The Masters of Muscle: Meet the Living Legends of the 2023 Masters Olympia Men’s Open Bodybuilding Division

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In professional bodybuilding, the Masters Olympia represents the pinnacle for veteran athletes over 35 still pursuing sports excellence. 

Later this year, an impressive cast of seasoned bodybuilding stars and living legends will converge in a spectacular showcase of muscular artistry, grit, and longevity at the 2023 Masters Olympia in Italy.

Look at the qualified masters gunning for glory in the premier Men’s Open Bodybuilding division. 

While years may have passed since their primes, these masters prove age is just a number. Their journeys show bodybuilding greatness transcends time.

Kamal Elgargni – Former 212 Olympia Champion Still Seeking Gold

kamal elgargni mr olympia 2019
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No athlete represents the caliber of competitors at the Masters Olympia better than former 212 Olympia Champion Kamal Elgargni

The Egyptian phenom made history by winning the 212 Olympia title in 2019. He backed it up with a runner-up finish in 2020.

After missing the 2021 Olympia due to surgery for a detached bicep, Kamal Elgargni returned to take a remarkable 3rd in the 212 division at the 2022 Mr. Olympia at 41 years old. He continues showcasing elite form.

Kamal Elgargni recently qualified for the Masters Olympia by winning the 2022 Vancouver Pro 212 division. He proves that a decade into his 40s, he remains one of the world’s premier bodybuilders pound-for-pound. Gold still awaits this Master of 212 bodybuilding.

Rusty Jeffers – The 58-Year-Old Phenom Defying Age

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No story better epitomizes chasing dreams regardless of age than 58-year-old Rusty Jeffers. Despite most competitors retiring long ago, Rusty Jeffers refuses to step away.

The Pennsylvania native earned his pro card in 2012 after a dominant Masters Nationals victory. Rusty Jeffers announced himself by winning the Masters Pro 50+ class at the prestigious 2014 Pittsburgh Pro.

After several years away from the stage, Rusty Jeffers catalyzed an inspiring comeback at age 56 by taking 1st in the 40+ division at the 2021 IFBB Pro Legion Masters Championship. He continues competing with the best Masters nearly into his 60s, exemplifying perseverance.

Phil Clahar – Emerging Star Chasing His Moment in the Spotlight

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Relative newcomer Phil Clahar has burst onto the Master’s scene, hungry to make his mark among the veterans of the sport.

The charismatic Canadian earned his pro card only a few years ago by winning the 2019 IFBB North American Championships

After turning pro, he gained valuable experience competing across multiple pro shows in America. Clahar’s breakthrough was winning the 2023 Orlando Pro and earning an Olympia invitation. 

He was also impressed by taking 8th at last year’s Texas Pro. Now he looks to capitalize on this momentum.

Phil Clahar’s talent and vitality on stage make him a dark horse to watch. He may soon exit the shadow of obscurity and step into stardom on the Master’s stage. The spotlight awaits.

Maxx Charles – Consistency Personified in Search of Gold

maxx charles bodybuilder age
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When consistently bringing elite conditioning and aesthetics year after year, few match Masters competitor Maxx Charles.

The veteran pro has been competing high since earning his pro card in 2009. His resume since then boasts two runner-up finishes and numerous top 5 and 10 placings.

In recent outings, Maxx Charles took an impressive 4th at the 2021 Tampa Pro, followed by 3rd at the 2021 Chicago Pro – remarkable for a competitor over 40. He continues defying time.

Maxx Charles hopes all his tireless efforts translating to a career-first Olympia qualification will finally pay dividends by earning a Master’s victory. If he comes in at his all-time best, he’ll be tough to beat.

Logan Robson – An Australian Juggernaut with World-Class Power

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Few physiques on the Master’s stage boast the immense muscularity and pure power of Australian Logan Robson.

The IFBB Pro’s stocky, ultra-thick physique took the bodybuilding world by storm after he earned pro status with a dominant victory at the 2019 Amateur Olympia. Robson put the industry on notice.

Before turning pro, Robson won the 2018 Arnold Classic Australia SuperHeavyweight and Overall titles, demonstrating he could compete with the best globally. He remains dedicated to training for size and strength daily.

If Robson brings his granite-hard Aussie beef to the Masters Olympia stage at 100%, he has a legitimate chance to outmuscle the competition. Underneath the mass lies one of bodybuilding’s strongest minds.

Marek Olejniczak – A Living Legend in Polish Bodybuilding

Marek Olejniczak bodybuilder
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In his homeland of Poland, Marek Olejniczak is spoken about reverently as a living legend in bodybuilding history. He aims to write another memorable chapter by earning Masters Olympia glory.

Few athletes can rival Olejniczak’s immense resume. He earned Pro status by winning the 2012 World Championships alongside numerous Polish national championships. At 45 years old, Olejniczak remains dangerous.

Marek carries the hopes of Poland on his rugged shoulders. His unbreakable mindset from years of wear and tear in this sport makes him a threat anytime he steps on stage. Victory would cement his legacy.

Michael Ely – The Determined Trailblazer Chasing His Ultimate Dream

mike ely bodybuilder
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Fan favorite Michael Ely brings his magnetic smile and infectious energy to the Masters Olympia stage as he pursues one final career achievement – a Masters title.

Known as “Big Mike,” the gregarious Californian won national bodybuilding titles in the 1990s before turning pro. He instantly endeared himself to fans through his fun-loving personality and inspiring journey.

Along with competing, Ely has spent over 25 years motivating clients as a personal trainer and coach. Now he writes the closing chapter of his story, seeking the triumph that’s eluded him as a pro.

Big Mike’s determination and passion for sharing his love of fitness light up any arena. He hopes to inspire and capture hearts one last time on the ultimate stage – the Olympia.

Sergio Lima – Late Bloomer Bursting Into Contention

sergio lima bodybuilder
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Few athletes exemplify perseverance and peaking later in life better than Portugal’s Sergio Lima. The 45-year-old didn’t turn pro until 2019 but is making up for lost time.

Lima hit the pro circuit running after earning his IFBB pro card by winning the 2019 Mr. Universe in Brazil. A 13th-place finish at the 2022 Portugal Pro earned him a ticket to this year’s Masters Olympia in Italy.

As one of Portugal’s top pros, Lima now flies the flag proudly for his country on bodybuilding’s most significant international stage. His story proves it’s never too late to achieve your dreams through dedication.

Robert Burneika – Latvia’s Legend Still Chasing Glory

robert burneika bodybuilder
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At 48 years old, Latvian bodybuilding star Robert Burneika remains passionately dedicated to his craft. He aims to bring glory to his nation by earning a Masters Olympia title after nearly two decades as a pro.

Burneika turned pro back in 2004 after winning the heavyweight class at the World Amateur Championships. 

He steadily rose to the pro ranks, including a 7th place at the 2014 Nordic Pro. In 2013, he qualified for the Mr. Olympia. While time is catching up, Burneika’s competitive fires continue burning bright. 

He won the 2022 Latvia Grand Prix, proving this dogged veteran has plenty left in the tank. Victory in Italy would mark his crowning achievement.

The 2023 Masters Lineup Beckons Legends Old and New

Beyond these standouts, numerous bodybuilding legends have qualified for the 2023 Masters Olympia in search of gold, celebrity, and renewed glory.

Perennial fixtures Joshua Lenartowicz, Ken Jackson, Ron Stevens, Michael Lynn, Fred Smalls, Slavoj Bednar, Vladimir Agrinskiy, Tony Lagrene, Vincent Galanti, and more comprise an awe-inspiring lineup of living legends.

These veterans crushed limitations and defied critics who said their best days were behind them long ago. 

Their perseverance is a masterclass in longevity, chasing passion, and never accepting defeat. When these masters convene under the Italian sun, they will write a new chapter in the annals of bodybuilding history. 

Blood, sweat, and tears forged their physiques. On the Masters Olympia battlefield, they lay it all on the line again. The clock is ticking as a collection of legends vie for the ultimate crown. 

Their timeless work ethic and unwavering belief show age won’t slow down the elite. Anything is possible when living a life dedicated to iron willpower. The 2023 Masters Olympia beckons – where masters rise and legends are born.

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