“I Love Hadi”: 2023 Mr. Olympia Derek Lunsford Denies Any Ill Feelings Towards Hadi Choopan, Explains Why His Reaction Was Normal

Published 11/08/2023, 11:52 AM EST

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The controversy surrounding Hadi Choopan storming off the Mr. Olympia stage remains a hot topic of discussion on the internet. Gradually, people reminisced about the 1980 Olympia, where a similar but worse incident happened. Arnold Schwarzenegger was crowned as the six-time Olympia, and abruptly, defending champions Frank Zane and Mike Mentzer left the stage. After the show, Mentzer announced his retirement from the competitive arena.

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Even as the situation is similar, many have come out in support of Choopan’s reaction. Earlier while working out, the new Mr. Olympia 2023 also went live on Instagram and talked about what Choopan did on the Olympia stage.

Derek Lunsford on Choopan’s behaviour

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In his recent live video, Lunsford emphasized how you treat others has a strong impact on people, especially prominent figures. He admitted that he is not perfect and sometimes gets frustrated, but he strives to maintain professional behavior. But in the end, how someone treats others is what truly matters.

When a fan asked him if he had any ill feelings toward Hadi or the situation, he replied, “No, I don’t. I love him, I really do, I love Hadi, I care about him, care about him and his family.” With his statement about Choopan, he tried to clear the bad air and expressed that he did not have anything against what Choopan did on the stage.

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“I said it earlier and said it before, we pour our heart and soul into this, and you’re in the heat of the moment. And when you truly feel like you’re going to win or get what you want, and then it doesn’t happen, it’s a hard pill to swallow sometimes,” He described why Hadi behaved the way he did during Olympia. Well, it’s not just Lunsford who empathized with Choopan. The bodybuilding community also supported him.

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Bodybuilding legends support Choopan’s reaction

Earlier, RXMuscle-The Truth in Bodybuilding, shared a video on their YouTube channel with the title, “HEATED WRAPUP! DID DEREK DESERVE WIN?” Despite many people not supporting the Persian Wolf’s reaction, he still garnered sympathy from former bodybuilders. When the host turned the mic towards 1983 Mr. Olympia Samir Bannout, he said he never walked off the stage but still defended Choopan. 

“WOW I Think “He” They Did It Again”: Legendary Bodybuilder Misses His Prediction as ‘Persian Wolf’ Hadi Choopan Comes 2nd at Mr. Olympia 2023

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“I mean when you pissed you know you could do things you could be irrational a little bit you know but I don’t blame him because honestly, I felt really bad for him because I really thought he would win,” The Lebanese bodybuilder said. Do you think Choopan was right in walking away from the stage? Let us know in the comments below.

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Written by:

Arpita Shrivastava

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Arpita Shrivastava is a bodybuilding writer at EssentiallySports. She holds a Master's Degree in Mass communication. She has done her graduation in Hindi literature From Delhi University.
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Edited by:

Abhishek Manikandan

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