by Christian Duque
If you love movies, music, and/or appreciate contemporary, American pop culture, then the name Mark Wahlberg should inspire many different, positive reactions. When I think of Mark, I remember his music from the 90’s, I remember watching him as the lead singer of the band Steel Dragon in the movie, Rockstar, and I almost immediately think of Boston.
I also think of fitness (which is good that I do, because he’s now heading up a nutritional and exercise empire) and I think of sound, clean eating. Mark is part of a very small, elite, club of Hollywood A Listers who made it to the top – and stayed there – over the course of decades. Mark has amazing crossover appeal, with fans of all ages, from countries the world over. Even during their rise to fame, guys like Mark and LL Cool J, presented some of the best physiques gracing the covers of magazines, movie posters, and billboards from Sunset Blvd to Times Square. Whereas a lot of celebrities would eat, drink, smoke, even go skiing, Mark looked like he could compete in a natural bodybuilding competition at the drop of a hat. Just because his star was shooting to the top, didn’t mean he stopped treating his body like his temple. In addition to his undeniable commitment to health and fitness, this living, breathing legend, will be a major part of Joe Weider’s 2019 Olympia Weekend. That’s huge news for an event known to get better and better, each and every year. People from all over the world fill its seats and millions watch online, through state of the art apps and on cutting-edge websites.
Anyone who knows bodybuilding, will tell you, that the Mr. Olympia is absolute most prestigious title in the sport. It is the only title that determines the best man or woman in any given physique-based division in the world. A bodybuilder, for example, could win the Arnold Classic in multiple countries and a string of pro shows to boot, but that would only make him a highly decorated athlete. He will never be considered the best, until he wins the Sandow, the statuesque prize awarded to all Mr. Olympias.
Professional athletes from all over the world, battle it out, on IFBB Pro League stages, hoping to either win a contest or earn enough points to secure a spot on the greatest stage in the sport.
With Dan Solomon, Chief Olympia Officer, at the helm, we’ve seen an already high-bar, set even higher. Dan represents a whole new generation, with an innovative vision. As the pioneer of bodybuilding radio in the 2000’s, along with Bob Cicherillo, he brought about a brand new way for growing the sport. As a driving force behind the major motion film, BIGGER, he showed us that great projects may take many years to finalize, but once completed, they’re absolute home runs! The film’s portrayal of the Weider Brothers was both accurate and inspiring, rendering them the honor and respect they both deserved and giving younger fans a true appreciation of what they did for the sport. Dan also brought us Digital Muscle, a completely unique site, that was best described as a bodybuilding hub. Finally, his ability to forge, maintain, and even strengthen key relationships in a sport often times divided by pettiness, further shows his undeniable qualities as a leader.
The fact the 2019 Olympia will have someone of Mark Wahlberg’s caliber, joined by 4x Mr. Olympia Jay Cutler, and other major influencers, including Nick Miller, of Nick’s Strength and Power, involved, all reflects on Dan’s vision and that of his team. I can’t even begin to tell you how much positive press Mark’s involvement will generate and that’s a key component in bringing bodybuilding to more mainstream audiences.
With regards to the weekend itself, those attending will be on Cloud 9. There’s no question that the vibe at the Las Vegas Convention Center and the Orleans Arena, will be absolutely electric!
With regards to predictions, I’ll go on record, that my friend Shawn “Flexatron” Rhoden will successfully defend his title. I also predict that my friend Brandon Curry will make Shawn fight like there’s no tomorrow. Rounding out that elite, Top 3, I have Dexter “The Blade” Jackson, who once again, will silence all the doubters from the peanut gallery, saying he should be eyeing retirement. Dex will retire when he’s good and ready!! Also, it’ll be very interesting because both Rhoden and Jackson, are single-year Olympia champions. That’s a showdown we haven’t seen on an Olympia in quite some time. Further, who knows if Phil Heath will jump into the mix at the last minute? Then we’d have 3 Mr. Olympias one on stage!! And that’s just it, anything can happen, and that’s insanely exciting in and of itself. I mean we’re just in June, can you imagine the build-up from here till September 12-15th?!?!
If you want to be where history’s made, make sure to reserve your hotel rooms and get your tickets, ASAP. For more information visit Mr. Olympia. I hope enjoyed reading this article, here, at Iron Magazine. Remember to use discount code IML15 to Save 15% Off when shopping at IronMagLabs.com.