Muscle Sport Magazine

We Called It – Athleticon Postponed To 2021

We called it back in August of 2019, way before the Chinese Virus spread and was the cause of events being cancelled all around the globe. This one had ‘cancelled’ or ‘postponed’ written all over it since the day it announced and now it is official – Athleticon will be pushed back a full year and is now scheduled to take place October 9 and 10, 2021 in Atlanta.

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is a superstar celebrity and he obviously has a love for The Iron Game. But anything that he has set out to do with it has not exactly gone the way it seemed at the outset. His taking of the stage at the 2016 Mr. Olympia and subsequent announcement that the 2017 was going to be on television had bodybuilding fans angst with anticipation, only to eventually get a 15-minute YouTube highlight reel of sorts weeks after the show put together by Seven Bucks Productions, the company he co-owns with his ex-wife Dany Garcia.

When the plans for a huge show promoted by Johnson and Garcia began to make the rounds on the Internet, speculation was that it could be the de-facto replacement of the Olympia as the sport’s most prestigious competitor of the year. Large cash purses were being bantered about and during one of Mike Rashid’s podcasts, it looked as if two of the biggest names in the sport – Dexter Jackson and Phil Heath – were the first two to throw their names in the proverbial hat. With eight total Sandows between the pair, this would have been a coup for Johnson and Garcia.


Don’t print those programs just yet; Jackson later announced that the Olympia would be his last show before finally retiring after a legendary career. This was before the big show was postponed until December from September. So Jackson was not going to be on The Icon World Classic (what the IFBB Pro League portion was going to be called) stage a month later. And Heath has waffled on committing to Atheticon and no one knows for certain if “The Gift” will even compete again, let alone when and where.

The plans for Athleticon were also quite odd, as the amateur portion of the show – the NPC Worldwide International Championships – was going to be open to athletes who lived everywhere EXCEPT for the United States. It was unsure how many would have the flexibility and finances to come to America to compete before the pandemic/lockdown took place.

So while we hope that this show does go on as now planned next October, we did not have a good feeling about it the way it was being planned and a lack of information for the media and public alike made it even more difficult to get a gauge on things. Perhaps with the extra year, they will be able to iron out the wrinkles and get everything right.


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