For the second straight year, 7-time 212 Mr. Olympia Flex Lewis has decided to not compete in the Mr. Olympia. He stated in a video that it isn’t because of injuries, like last year. His joint pain was addressed with a stem cell procedure last December. And it also has nothing to do with the fact that his long-time coach Neil Hill won’t be in Vegas training him.

“I’ve competed three quarters of my life with Neil being in the UK and he’d come in two weeks before the show. So that rumor right there has to be fucking canceled, and it has nothing to do with why I’m not stepping on stage this year. The fact that people are thinking and attaching that to me, fucking pisses me off. And when I heard that I was very disappointed with who started that. [He’s referring to Flex Wheeler.] It’s been addressed, but the bottom line is that is not the reason.”

“The main reason, which I didn’t really want to get into, is myself and my wife are trying for another kid. Bodybuilding’s always been part of my whole being, and as I’m getting older my family now has replaced what was first in line, which was bodybuilding. Now family is first, and that is everything that I do, and the reason why I provide. I wanted my family to grow, and my wife and myself have been working for the last couple of months on trying to add to that part of the family. Not that it’s anybody’s business, but now I feel the need to tell everybody because there’s false information that’s been put out there.”

After winning seven straight 212 Olympias and retiring from the 212 division undefeated in 2018, Lewis planned to take 2019 off and grow into the Mr. Olympia competition last year. It wasn’t to be. And then this year. It wasn’t to be. And now? The Welsh Dragon turns 38 in November, and at next year’s Olympia it’ll be four years since he last competed. Is he spending his best years off stages, now focused on his family and his new Las Vegas gym, The Dragon’s Lair? Will Flex, arguably the world’s most beloved bodybuilder, ever compete again?

“I’m not retiring,” Lewis said. “And there’s still so much burning desire and ambition for me to fulfill my bodybuilding dreams, and, God willing, injury-free, I will be on that Olympia stage next year.”

Opening image: Flex Lewis, 2018 212 Olympia / Webcast

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