Angler-turned-pro bodybuilder Big Ramy couldn’t believe his first-ever Mr. Olympia win of 2020: ‘I’d wake up and it would look like a dream’

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For two years, Mamdouh Elssbiay, alias Big Ramy, reigns on the Olympic scene. He showed consistency and beat his rivals with size and conditioning. However, the journey to reach the biggest milestone in bodybuilding has not been easy for the Egyptian. In fact, while many of Mamdouh’s rivals were already competing, he hadn’t even turned professional.

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From dreaming of the title for a decade to overcoming the negativity he faced, Ramy once revealed what it was like to win the coveted Mr. Olympia title in 2020.

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It was like a dream even after winning

On April 5, 2021, Ramy appeared in Dennis James’ “The Menace.” podcast. Dennis asked Ramy how long it took him to process the biggest win of his career. Rummy saidFor the first three days after the show, I woke up and it felt like a dream.

Ramy also added, “I was looking around for the Sandow and I was like, ‘It happened. I still don’t dream. Most bodybuilders take decades to build a physique worthy of the Mr. Olympia stage. However, it only took seven years for Mamdouh.

COLUMBUS, OH – MARCH 07: Arnold Schwarzenegger interviews Mamdouh “Big Ramy” Elssbiay (9) after Elssbiay won the inaugural Franco Columbu Most Muscular Award during the Arnold Classic as part of the Arnold Sports Festival on March 7 2020, at the Greater Columbus Convention Center in Columbus, OH. (Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Mamdouh Elssbiay made his professional debut in 2013 and won the New York Pro. Elssbiay said winning the Mr. Olympia title in 2020 was a dream come true. “I did this (dreamt) for 10 years, and I thought about it every day.

Elssbiay also spoke about the negativity he faced. He said, “A lot of people around me said it would never happen.”

Big Ramy has proven all the skeptics wrong. In 2021, Elssbiay once again won the Mr. Olympia title and began to build a legacy. Mamdouh “Big Ramy” Elssbiay is also the first non-American to win the Mr. Olympia title after 1997. Before him, Briton Dorian Yates was the last non-American to hold the title.

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Big Ramy’s journey to the top was amazing. It didn’t take long for him to get his hands on the title, but Elssbiay had to face a lot of adversity in life. Just like the bodybuilding legend Arnold Schwarzenegger, Ramy was not born into a wealthy family. In fact, Elssbiay worked as a fisherman before he started bodybuilding.

COVID-19 nearly ruined Big Ramy’s chances

In October 2020, COVID-19 nearly ended Big Ramy’s dream of competing in Mr. Olympia that year. As he recovered in time for the show, Mamdouh had given up all hope of competing in the Mr. Olympia competition. However, he received an unexpected official invitation. It was the chance of a lifetime, and Ramy took full advantage of it, dethroning Brandon Curry.

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Big Ramy has had an incredible journey so far. He became the first non-American in decades to win the Mr. Olympia title. From humble fisherman to world champion, Ramy manifested a dream. No wonder Elssbiay still feels like he’s dreaming, even with the trophy in his room.

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