Prize Money Difference Between Ms. and Mr. Olympia Will Blow Your Mind

Published 10/26/2023, 8:30 AM EDT

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When people think of bodybuilding, they usually picture a man flexing on stage. Like many sports, it’s often assumed that bodybuilding is mainly for men. But as society’s views change and women show their determination, they’ve carved out their own successful path in this field.

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Mr. Olympia is certainly one of the greatest prestige any bodybuilder can ever earn. Back in the 1960s, women weren’t allowed in bodybuilding. It took about 20 years for them to get in. The number of women in this sport has been much lower than men right from the start. Let’s see how prize money still doesn’t treat them equally, even in the 21st century.

Mr. Olympia vs Ms. Olympia: popularity difference

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It is needless to establish that Mr. Olympia is one of the most popular titles in the entire bodybuilding community. Moreover, most men dedicate their lives in order to stand up on the stage at least once in their lifetime. Not only do they get encouraged and supported by their friends and family, but they manage to acquire worldwide popularity and a huge fanbase. Ms. Olympia, on the other hand, barely gets any recognition in comparison. Although Ms. Olympia has been conducted for five decades now, it is still considered one of the most underrated bodybuilding contests.

The gendered view on the spectrum of sport is nothing new. However, those who do not follow the intricate details of the distinct differences between these two competitions usually get shocked after the revelation of the contrasting prize money range.

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Mr. Olympia Vs Ms. Olympia: Prize Money distinction

Surprising as it is, when fans search for Ms. Olympia’s earnings after winning the title, they often do not find a reliable answer. Olympia is a contest that makes the distinction between the importance of winning money and the “Posedown Music” based on the gender of the participants. The difference, thus, persists even in the amount of winning prizes, despite a prolonged history of both gendered contests in the field. Let us look at last year’s difference in details:

2022 Mr. Olympia Prize Pool

  • First Position: Hadi Choopan – $400,000
  • Second Position: Derek Lunsford – $150,000
  • Third Position: Nick Walker – $100,000
  • Fourth Position: Brandon Curry – $40,000
  • Fifth Position: Big Ramy – $35,000

Although lots of bodybuilders from all eras, including the three-times Mr. Olympia winner, God of Aesthetic, Frank Zane complain about the negligible amount of money Mr. Olympia provides – given the expenses of the bodybuilders are huge – Ms. Olympia’s prize money is evidently distinct.

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2022 Ms. Olympia Prize Pool

  • First Position: Andrea Shaw – $50,000
  • Second Position: Jennifer Dorie – $20,000
  • Third Position: Helle Trevino – $12,000
  • Fourth Position: Margie Martin – $7,000
  • Fifth Position: Branka Njegovec – $6,000

Predictions about the coming future in regard to equality

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Ms. Olympia’s winner gets about 1/8th of the prize money in comparison with Mr. Olympia’s open category. The gap is extremely unimaginable unless depicted next to each other. The community is not ready to accept how women work equally hard and go through a similarly intense training regime to stand on the stage. Yet they disregard Ms. Olympia while distributing the trophies. Although the change is slow, everyone can see the conditions and treatment of women in the field are improving. But would they equally increase the prize money? Let us look at the possibilities and predictions for this year’s prize pool.

2023’s Olympia season is only days away. And the predictions regarding the prize pool are ever so intriguing as ever. Although 2021’s Ms. Olympia fifth rank had only $4000, last year they increased it to $6000, however, the winning prize continues to be $50,000. This might suggest the possibility of a slight increase in the overall prize range, but not particularly for the winner. Similarly, the Men’s Prize pool is unlikely to change its winning amount, and it shall remain the whooping sum of $400,000.

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Watch This Story: From Ronnie Coleman to Jay Cutler: Bodybuilding Legends Show Up at Arnold Classic 2022 in Absence of Arnold Schwarzenegger

With Mr. and Ms Olympia knocking at the door, do you see the difference between both of these categories’ reception in society? Women have always believed to pursue sculpting a so-called “womanly” figure, while the well-trained ripped physique has always been attributed to men alone. With the world changing ever so slowly, do you see the possibility of Ms. Olympia becoming as popular and respectable as Mr. Olympia? Do you think the gap between the prize money in both of these categories will ever be negligible? Let us know in the comments below. 

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Written by:

Pritha Halder

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Pritha Halder is a Bodybuilding and Fitness writer at EssentiallySports. She holds a Bachelor's degree in English Language and Literature from a multidisciplinary university. Pritha started her career as a content writer for a literary magazine.
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Edited by:

Parth Sharma

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