A year or so ago I wrote in the News & Views that the current qualifying standards for the Olympia should undergo a facelift. With so many pro events on the calendar now, the line-ups in Las Vegas have become really watered down. This results with shows with less qualify and that run too long.
The Olympia should be the best of the best…perhaps 15, max, in each division. And, to refresh the theme of my viewpoint in 2010, I said everyone should have to requalify. Yes, even the current Olympia winners. This would obviously be of tremendous aid to promoters of "smaller" shows, who must have really deep pockets by continuing to produce their events year in and year out with three-quarter empty venues.
So, I was happy to see the press release, written by Jim Manion, NPC Prez and Chairman of the IFBB Professional League, on September 21 addressing the exact same issues I had written about in the past. Of course, the new rules regarding qualifications certainly didn’t come about due to my comments, but it doesn’t matter. Although they didn’t go nearly as far as I would, the latest changes will definitely be a plus.
Beginning in 2012, the following competitors will qualify for the Olympia:
1. Top four (4) in each division at the Olympia 9 (instead of top 6);
2. Top three (3) in each division at the Arnold Classic/International (instead of top 6);
3. Top two (2) in each division at the New York Pro (instead of top 5);
4. First place (1) at all other competitions (instead of top 3).
The top four (4) in each division at the 2011 Olympia will qualify for the 2012 Olympia. The remaining 2011 competitions will not be affected.
Again, not as far as I would go; okay, I could see giving a pass to the Olympia winners, and perhaps the champions at the Arnold. Or, guess I could be talked into the top two at the 0 and the top three at the Arnold. But, it’s a vast improvement over past standards. Thumbs up.