Decades After Competing, 57-YO Bodybuilding Veteran Admits Comparison With ‘Multi Mr. Olympia Champ’ Is an Honor

Published 06/05/2023, 4:38 PM EDT

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In 1992, Flex Wheeler astonished even the most experienced critics at the NPC USA Championships with his breathtaking physique. Having grown significantly in size and presenting an impeccable condition, he demonstrated exceptional shape and balance. Thus, without a doubt, he dominated the heavyweight class by effortlessly prevailing over a challenging lineup and securing the overall title.

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The bodybuilding icon Don “The Ripper” Ross, providing commentary for ESPN, found himself amazed by the Sultan of Symmetry’s extraordinary physique and claimed it surpassed most professional bodybuilders of that era.

In a recent Instagram story, the legendary bodybuilder enthusiastically conveyed his gratitude and pride upon witnessing a comparison between his 1993 Arnold Classic photograph and that of multiple Mr. Olympia Classic Physique champion, Chris Bumstead.

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Flex Wheeler on the significance of the comparison with Chris Bumstead

On his story, Flex Wheeler actively participated by resharing one of his fan’s IG polls. Featuring the choice of “pick your favorite,” the poll intriguingly positioned Wheeler and CBum side-by-side in photos. “What an honor 20 yrs later and my photo is being compared against Chris Bumstead multi Mr. Olympia champ,” Wheeler said.

The 57-year-old has underscored the importance of this comparison, noting that the photo was captured during his rookie year in 1993. Remarkably, this was only his second time competing as an IFBB pro, and he weighed 216 lbs at the time. This remarkable comparison not only showcases the timeless appeal of the former IFBB pro’s physique but also speaks volumes about the impact he has had on the bodybuilding community.

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In 1991, the ex-Arnold Classic champ embarked on his bodybuilding journey, initially facing disappointments as he secured second place in the USA Championships—and experienced another narrow defeat at the Nationals. Despite these setbacks, he fortified his determination, refusing to leave anything to chance. Moreover, the athlete used his hunger for success to enhance his training, committing to come back stronger and better prepared.

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The enduring legacy of Flex Wheeler’s 1993 Arnold Classic performance

Wheeler made a stunning professional debut at the 1993 IFBB Ironman Pro, maintaining his dominance at the NPC USA Championships. With his formidable physique, he triumphantly defeated esteemed bodybuilders such as Lee Labrada, Vince Taylor, and the rising star, Paul Dillett. A mere week later, he participated in the prestigious Arnold Classic, astonishing the bodybuilding world with his unmatched excellence.

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Even his fiercest competitors, Shawn Ray and Kevin Levrone had no choice but to recognize the physical flawlessness that Flex displayed on stage. Even decades later, people still regard his 1993 Arnold Classic performance as one of the finest in bodybuilding history.

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Written by:

Jaishin J

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Jaishin J is an American sportswriter at EssentiallySports. He has a passion for storytelling and a keen eye for detail. Jaishin holds a Master's degree in Journalism and has honed his skills as a content creator during his one year as a Jr Content Executive and five years as a freelance content writer and video producer.
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