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The $50,000 Challenge Round is revamped for the 2005 Mr. Olympia
August 9, 2005 - Ron's Opinion

  • So 40th anniversary of Joe Weider’s Mr. Olympia is definitely going to be interesting, and worth a whole lot of money. Much more than any other Mr. Olympia to date, and his amazing that the AMI & Weider organizations for putting in a tremendous amount of effort and money for the competitors. And what of the Challenge Round, first put in place last year, and which a lot of people didn’t like. AMI listened to what people had to say and revamped it.

    This year, the round will have no effect on who will win the Olympia. But it will add to the pocketbooks of the top five competitors. AMI has put up $50,000 extra for this round. $50,000 is a lot of money - and who will judge it. Not the IFBB judges. No - it will be past Mr. Olympia winners. Nice.

    A contest within a contest. Interesting...

    Here is the official press release regarding the Challenge Round.

  • Woodland Hills, CA, August 9, 2005 – American Media International (AMI) and the International Federation of Bodybuilders (IFBB), co-promoters of Joe Weider’s 2005 Olympia Weekend, which will take place in Las Vegas from October 13 through 16, have announced the latest in a series of historic changes to the Mr. Olympia competition.

    The new initiative involves a revamping of the Challenge Round, which will entail a $50,000 increase in the Mr. Olympia prize money within a format that will pay full homage to the 40th Anniversary rendition of Joe Weider’s legendary event.

    The Challenge Round, which was instituted at the 2004 Mr. Olympia contest, will this year have no bearing on the scoring of the Olympia itself, instead becoming its own “contest within a contest,” with cash prizes totaling $50,000.

    With this increase, the prize money for the Mr. Olympia contest is now $550,000 compared to $400,000 in 2004, with the total prize money for all of the Weekend’s events rising from $541,000 to $711,000: an increase of 31%.

    To add to the excitement of the reconfigured Challenge Round and to celebrate the contest’s glorious history, the judging panel will be comprised entirely of former Mr. Olympia winners. As we go to press, Sergio Oliva, Franco Columbu, Frank Zane, Samir Bannout and Dorian Yates are expected to judge the Challenge Round and it is certain that other former Mr. Olympia will be recruited very soon.

    The Challenge Round will be contested by the leading five athletes determined after the four rounds of official Olympia competition. Their specific placings, as decided by the IFBB judging panel, will not be revealed and at the commencement of the Challenge Round they will be placed on their pods in competitor number order. They will all start the Challenge Round with zero points. Starting with the competitor with the lowest number, each competitor will call one individual mandatory pose of his choice against the other four finalists. The winner of each pose, as scored by the Mr. Olympia panel, will score two points. After the first competitor has completed his four challenges, the next competitor will begin his four challenges, and so on until all competitors have completed all their challenges. At the end of the round the athletes’ total points will be tallied and prizes awarded as follows:

    1st place: $25,000
    2nd place: $10,000
    3rd place: $8,000
    4th place: $5,000
    5th place: $2,000

    The new format of the Challenge Round will bring even more drama and debate to an Olympia Weekend already packed with excitement and this year’s program is on course to eclipse by a wide margin the outstanding success of the 2004 event. For more information on the 2005 Olympia weekend please go to, or and look for upcoming articles detailing the event in both FLEX and Muscle & Fitness magazines.