The biggest bodybuilding stories of 2021

Here are the biggest bodybuilding stories of the past year!

As 2021 draws to a close, it seems like the best time to look back at some of the best bodybuilding stories from the past year. There has been a lot of action this year and it has been underlined by some of the top competitions.

Olympia and Arnold Classic 2021 took place two weeks apart after being pushed back due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Nick Walker won his first Arnold Classic competition and finished fifth at the Olympia. For Big Rummy, he won back-to-back titles in Orlando. Brandon curry again finished second followed by Hadi Choopan and Labrador hunter.

Outside of the world of bodybuilding, there have been many huge stories in weightlifting and boxing. This sets up what could be an extremely exciting 2022. Let’s take a look at some of the best stories and moments from 2021.

The best stories of 2021

Olympia 2021 weekend brings new champions and recurring champions

Olympia 2021 was moved to Orlando in October due to COVID-19. This happened just two weeks after the Arnold Classic 2021. Great Rummy was able to win his second consecutive title and proved he was the competitor to beat. Derek Lunsford upset Shaun Clarida in 212 men while Chris Bumstead won three in a row in Classic Physique.

READ HERE: 2021 Mr. Olympia bodybuilding results for all divisions

World's Strongest Man 2021 Tom Stoltman

Tom Stoltman Wins 2021 World’s Strongest Man Title

Tom Stoltman is one of the best strongmen in the world and he showed it on the biggest stage this year. Stoltman was able to edge Brian Shaw, who finished second, and Maxime Boudreault to win the title. There were 10 competitors in total vying for the title and Stoltman was able to come out on top.

READ HERE: 2021 World’s Strongest Man Final Results

Flex Wheeler COVID-19 Hospital

Flex Wheeler diagnosed with COVID-19 and recovering

COVID-19 has affected the whole world, but especially those who have contracted it or lost someone to it. In October, legendary bodybuilder Flex Wheeler was diagnosed with the virus and the journey home was a long one. Wheeler has remained active on social media giving updates on his condition throughout his battle. He was released in November, but not before receiving best wishes from many.

READ HERE: Flex Wheeler was diagnosed with COVID-19: ‘I will beat the virus’

Michal Krizo Mr. Universe Pro 2021Michal Krizo wins Mr. Universe Pro and draws comparisons with IFBB Pro athletes

Michal Krizo has become a big name in the Elite Pro League and he solidified his legacy by winning the 2021 Mr. Universe Pro. This win brought a lot of attention to Krizo and his work as a bodybuilder. Krizo’s popularity has caused many fans to clamor for his move to the IFBB league. It could happen in the future, but for now he continues to dominate the Elite Pro League.

READ HERE: Michal Krizo wins Mr. Universe Pro 2021

Martyn Ford vs Iranian Hulk

Martyn Ford vs Sajad Gharibi

One of the most anticipated of the year will take place on April 2. Martyn Ford and Sajad Gharibi have agreed on the terms of a boxing match and it has been building since October. Not only will these two face off in the ring, but there are some personal issues between the two. The fight will take place under the banner of BoxStar, the celebrity boxing promotion.

READ HERE: Martyn Ford to fight ‘Iranian Hulk’ Sajad Gharibi in one-on-one boxing match

Hafthor Bjornsson Vs Eddie Hall Boxing Match Transformations

Both Hafthor Bjornsson and Eddie Hall made the transition from powerlifting to boxing. The two were scheduled to meet in September, but Hall was forced to pull out due to injury. There’s no official date set yet, but it’s likely to be in early 2022. Since transitioning, Bjornsson and Hall have made some incredible physical transformations.

READ HERE: Eddie Hall vs. Hafthor Bjornsson: Who had the most significant transformation in 2021?

Comments on Arnold Schwarzenegger’s freedom and industry reaction

Arnold Schwarzenegger has received a lot of backlash after speaking his mind about anti-masks during the COVID-19 pandemic. “Screw your freedom” were the words used by Schwarzenegger and it was not well received. Many have publicly expressed their opinions and some have decided to cut ties. Brian Shaw has gone so far as to remove posters of the bodybuilder from his gym to show that he is against his remarks.

READ HERE: Brian Shaw lands the Arnold Schwarzenegger poster in his gym

Ryan Crowley tears up Pec during practice

Ryan Crowley has taken on some serious size and gained strength through huge workouts. He joined Larry Wheels, who thrives on performing massive lifts, for a workout in March. Crowley suffered a chest tear during a heavy bench press.

READ HERE: Video of Ryan Crowley Pec Tear while training with Larry Wheels

George Peterson coachbuilder RIP

Remember those we’ve lost

The world of bodybuilding has been hit hard by a string of deaths among the sport’s top athletes. Shawn Rhodes died aged 46 in November after suffering a heart attack. Rhoden won the Olympia title in 2018 and was one of the biggest names in bodybuilding since earning his Pro card in 2010.

George Peterson was preparing to compete at the 2021 Olympia before passing away in his hotel room in Orlando. No cause of death has been released for Peterson. He was 37 years old. Renowned bodybuilder and trainer John Meadows died aged 47 in August. Meadows dealt with health issues during his time as a bodybuilder. After his retirement, he remained active in sport as a trainer and nutritionist.

Odalis Santos Mena was an up-and-coming name in bodybuilding after making a splash on social media. In July, Mena underwent surgery to fix her constant sweating and died from an anesthesia-related complication. She was only 23 years old. Generation Iron remembers those we have lost in the sport of bodybuilding this year and sends condolences to family and friends.

Unfortunately, there were far more losses last year than detailed here – drawing a lot of attention to the health of competitive bodybuilding. Although there has not been a proven direct link between all of these deaths, many are hopeful that health will become a bigger priority in the future of sport. Generation Iron would like to pay tribute to those we have lost and wish a stronger and safer year ahead.

Some bodybuilders who died in 2021 include:

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Teresa E. Burton