Update, as confirmed on the Mr. Olympia Facebook page:
Iranian bodybuilding sensation [Hadi Choopan] has arrived in the U.S. to finish preparations for bodybuilding’s biggest competition. It’s still unknown whether he will compete for the title of 212 Olympia or Mr. Olympia. Either way, Choopan will make his American debut on Friday, September 13 in Las Vegas at the Orleans Arena.
Joe Weider’s Olympia Fitness and Performance Weekend, home to the prestigious Mr. Olympia competition, is busy putting final touches on what many are calling the most anticipated event in its 55-year history. While most of the focus has been on an array of changes and expansion, Olympia organizers have begun working on an initiative to bring one of the top bodybuilding talents in the world into the United States to compete for the Mr. Olympia title in mid-September.
Hadi Choopan, an Iranian professional bodybuilding sensation, has been called a genetic marvel, earning the praise of bodybuilding insiders and fans around the world. Unfortunately for the man known as “The Persian Wolf,” his toughest opponent so far has been a U.S. travel ban impacting visitors from his native country.
In the fall of 2017, President Trump banned the issuance of travel visas for Iranian nationals. That ban was challenged in the federal courts, but on June 26, 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the visa ban, leaving the former Thai kickboxer to wonder if he would ever be allowed to compete for professional bodybuilding’s most prestigious title.
Commenting on the situation, Chief Olympia Officer Dan Solomon adds, “The Mr. Olympia contest was created to bring the best in the world together each year to compete for bodybuilding’s most coveted title. As we work to grow the event in every way possible, this fundamental objective remains a priority.”
While the current travel ban may prove to be too much to overcome, Choopan’s U.S. based sponsor Evogen Nutrition is working with Olympia organizers to help facilitate the bodybuilder’s participation in the event. Muscle & Fitness will continue to follow this developing story.
Olympia Weekend is set for September 12-15th in Las Vegas. For tickets and event information visit MrOlympia.com.