Samir Bannout Reflects on 2023 Olympia Drama and Hadi Choopan’s Actions

The echoes of the 2023 Mr. Olympia are still resonating within the bodybuilding community, and the drama that unfolded during the event has caught the attention of veteran bodybuilder Samir Bannout.

In a recent episode of the Old School Labs podcast, Samir Bannout delved into his perspective on the competition, addressing the controversy surrounding Derek Lunsford’s win and Hadi Choopan’s actions.

hadi choopan vs derek lunsford
via stagetimephoto instagram

A Predictive Triumph

Starting with a touch of self-congratulation, Samir Bannout expressed satisfaction with his pre-Olympia predictions, having accurately foreseen Derek Lunsford’s victory.

Samir Bannout, a former Olympia champion himself, acknowledged the intense competition Derek Lunsford faced, emphasizing that it was far from an easy triumph.

The Controversy and Judging Criteria

As the aftermath of the Olympia stirred debates among fans, Samir Bannout dissected the controversial outcome between Derek Lunsford and Hadi Choopan.

While recognizing Derek Lunsford’s aesthetic physique, Samir Bannout contended that Hadi Choopan’s unparalleled quality, especially in the front, warranted serious consideration.

Samir Bannout, known for his commitment to the “24-carat look” or supreme quality, admitted that he personally leaned towards Hadi Choopan.

However, he acknowledged the subjectivity of judging criteria, stating, “There’s no doubt about it, I totally agree with you, Hadi Choopan should not walk off the stage. Hadi Choopan should not, but I put myself in his shoes.”

Hadi Choopan’s Actions and Potential Consequences

hadi choopan mr olympia 2023 posing
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Regarding Hadi Choopan’s controversial actions of storming off the stage, Samir Bannout expressed understanding while disagreeing with the decision. 

He empathized with Hadi Choopan’s position as a frontrunner and suggested that a warning, rather than a suspension, would be a more appropriate response.

“I don’t know, just put yourself in his shoes. I would personally, I’m against that, I’m against that 100%, but I would give Hadi a warning, not a suspension from what I heard. I think Jim will probably give him a warning that this such thing should not happen again,” shared Samir Bannout.

Samson Dauda’s Potential and Conditioning

Shifting the focus to the bronze medalist, Samson Dauda, Samir Bannout offered insights into the areas where Samson Dauda could further excel. 

While praising Samson Dauda’s physique, Bannout suggested that an improvement of around 10% in conditioning could elevate his competitive edge. 

Samir Bannout emphasized the importance of achieving the coveted “24-carat quality” and advised Samson Dauda on the nuances of proper drying up, cautioning against certain practices that might work against the desired effect.

samson dauda mr olympia 2023
via stagetimephoto instagram

Insights from a Bodybuilding Legend

Throughout the podcast, Samir Bannout’s analysis provided a unique blend of seasoned experience, critical observation, and empathy for the athletes. 

Acknowledging the subjective nature of bodybuilding judging, Samir Bannout’s reflections on the Olympia drama shed light on the complexities and nuances inherent in the sport.

As the bodybuilding community continues to discuss the aftermath of the 2023 Mr. Olympia, Samir Bannout’s perspective serves as a valuable contribution to the ongoing dialogue. 

With the 2024 Mr. Olympia on the horizon, the sport awaits another chapter in its storied history, promising both challenges and triumphs for the athletes who strive for greatness on bodybuilding’s grandest stage.

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