2022 Olympia Superstar Seminar / Instagram: Jonathan Moriau
The annual Olympia Superstar Seminar on the Sunday morning after the Saturday finals isn’t known for making news. Many people are already in cars or airplanes headed home when the sleepy Olympia winners of various categories tell a room of fans how happy they are. But this year was different. Olympia president Dan Solomon informed all attending that next year the ultimate bodybuilding and fitness event will return to Orlando, Florida, in the first week of November.
The Olympia was held in Las Vegas, Nevada, for 21 straight years from 1999-2019. At first the Mandalay Bay and then the Orleans Arena, Vegas and the Olympia became synonymous. But COVID-19 shuffled the deck. To secure a venue, the Olympia moved to the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando in 2020 and remained there in 2021. Then, with much fanfare, the Olympia returned to Vegas this past weekend and was staged in the Zappos Theater at Planet Hollywood. It seemed all was right with bodybuilding and Sin City once again.
We don’t yet know why the “Super Bowl of Bodybuilding” is returning to Orlando after what seemed a successful return to Vegas. However, it may involve securing an appropriate (and perhaps larger) venue at the right time. It was not ideal to have the Olympia so late in the year, the weekend before Christmas. The Olympia has traditionally been staged in September or October.
Furthermore, there is a Pay-Per-View advantage to having the Olympia in the Eastern time zone where 47.6% of the American population lives. Another 29.1% is in Central time zone. (Together: That’s nearly 77%.) Las Vegas is in the Pacific time zone (three hours later than Eastern, two hours later than Central), and this year’s Friday show ended with the last callout of Mr. Olympia prejudging—what most fans most want to see—at midnight local time, 3:00 AM Eastern, 2:00 AM Central! That can be corrected by starting the show earlier and not letting it run five hours (!) with endless parades of female competitors and/or scheduling men’s prejudging earlier. Get both the Friday and Saturday shows over by midnight Eastern. But that’s a rant for another day.
For now, we just know the 2023 Olympia will be back in Orlando on November 2-5.