The leadership team of the iconic Olympia is constantly working to grow the Olympia brand while providing life changing opportunities for the best bodies on the planet. Owner Jake Wood and his team are bringing the celebrated Masters Olympia back. The new and improved version of the Masters Olympia will take place on Aug. 26-27 in Cluj-Napoca, Romania, and it will feature more than ever before. There will be five men’s and five women’s divisions featured over the two days. Alina Popa, the director of the event, wants fans to know that these competitors are still the elite of the elite, and they deserve a stage to prove it.
“Even at 40 years of age and up, these athletes are still extremely competitive, and some of them are still competing at the highest level. So, we want to create a platform for them.”
Wood has a history of making the sport better. From the creation of Wings of Strength and his support of many of the industry’s biggest events, he makes the commitment, goes all in, and the entire industry benefits. Popa feels that the Masters Olympia is yet another step in Wood’s pursuit of taking bodybuilding to new heights.
“When Jake said that he wants to bring this back and that he wanted to bring it back for every division, I was extremely excited.”
Popa isn’t only excited about this as an executive and promoter with Wings of Strength. As a past Rising Phoenix World Champion, it does her heart good to see a Masters Olympia show for Women’s Bodybuilding.
“This is amazing, and I had always thought about it,” she said. “This is a big deal in our industry. I know there are many athletes that feel the same. We’re starting to see more and more Masters events and classes. The sport has evolved that much.”
One question that some fans and insiders have asked is why Romania? When Popa was asked the question, she simply replied,” why not?” Yes, it is her home country, but bodybuilding fans in the Western hemisphere may not be aware of how big of a deal bodybuilding and strength sports in general are in that part of the world. Romania already as a pro show as well as amateur Olympia contests that serve as pro qualifiers. They are also well respected in the worlds of Olympic lifting and powerlifting. Popa is confident that Romania would be a perfect place for an event like the Masters Olympia.
“There is a big fitness community there,” she explained. She also credited Wood for making the decision to host the Masters Olympia outside of the United States, with Romania being the optimal site.
“Jake’s a nonconformist in that way, and I would even call him an innovator.”
The big weekend in Cluj-Napoca is going to be more than a bodybuilding contest. It will be a celebration of the sport that may cross multiple generations. Popa shared that the Amateur Olympia Eastern Europe show will also be a part of the weekend.
“So, you’ll have all the athletes coming together in one big event there. To have a Masters Olympia event with an Amateur Olympia event that serves as a pro qualifier, it made perfect sense.”
Olympia President Dan Solomon adds, “The Olympia is more than just a competition. It’s the ultimate symbol of achievement in the world of bodybuilding. I’m so proud of Alina and the countless hours she’s spent making sure the Masters Olympia reflects our overall commitment to quality. We are all proud to be a part of Jake’s vision and it’s been amazing to see the way the bodybuilding world has responded to this event.”
To top it all off, the winners of the Masters Olympia divisions will also be granted invites to compete in the 2023 Olympia Weekend in Orlando, FL on Nov. 2-5, if they aren’t qualified already. Popa feels that the Masters events will confirm her belief that there are world-class athletes that can still be competitive on the highest stages in the sport.
Some fans may remember that the Masters Olympia came back briefly in 2012, but it disappeared again immediately. Wood doesn’t want that to be the case this time. As a matter of fact, Popa shared a possibility that could excite fans and athletes alike.
“The Masters Olympia may become a qualification event, meaning that athletes would qualify for it by winning various shows throughout the year. We are hoping for that to become a possibility.”
As for the 2023 edition of the Masters Olympia, fans that can’t be in Romania will be able to watch a pay-per-view livestream of both the Amateur and Masters Olympia competitions as they happen. Details are expected to be announced soon. You can follow @mastersolympiaofficial on Instagram to stay up to date on the latest news leading up to the big event in Romania.