The 2023 Masters Olympia is scheduled to be held on the weekend of Aug. 26-27, 2023 in Cluj-Napoca, Romania. There will be plenty of history made at this competition. It’s the first time that the Men’s Open Masters Olympia will be held since Dexter Jackson won the title in 2012. For the other nine divisions, it will be their first Masters Olympia competition, including the 212 division.
One of the men in that 212 lineup is David Henry, who knows a lot about making Olympia history. He’s the first Olympia champion in the history of the 212, which dates back to even before the weight cap was 212 pounds.
Henry was a part of the lineup for the inaugural Olympia 202 Showdown in 2008, when the weight cap for the division was 202 pounds. That contest in Las Vegas, NV was the first time since 1979 that the Olympia had two different weight classes. Frank Zane won the lightweight and overall Mr. Olympia titles that year, before the classes were reunited in 1980 — the year Arnold Schwarzenegger came out of retirement to win his seventh Mr. Olympia title.
When Henry won that inaugural Olympia 202 title, he faced a lineup of contenders that included two eventual bodybuilding greats. Kevin English finished in second place — he would go on to win the next three 202 Olympia titles from 2009-2011. Flex Lewis placed third in 2008 and he would eventually overtake English to begin his own string of seven titles once the weight cap was raised to 212 in 2012.
Henry never reclaimed his title after losing it in 2009, but he’s been a mainstay in the division in the years since. As an active competitor, Henry most recently placed third at the 2022 Japan Pro and earned his most recent contest victory at the 2021 Legion Sports Fest Pro. At 48 years old, he’s qualified to be in the 2023 Masters Olympia 212 lineup with its 40-year-old minimum.
The full 18-man lineup for the 2023 Masters Olympia 212 is below.
Anwar Darwish Ali
Fernando Noronha de Almeida
Ricardo Plata Duran
Milton A. Martinez
Whoever wins this contest will make history as the first Masters Olympia 212 champion, but Henry has even more history riding on this coveted championship. The only competitor to have won both the Masters Olympia and Mr. Olympia titles is Dexter Jackson, who also won the Sandow trophy in 2008 — the same year Henry won his Olympia title.
If the United States Air Force veteran manages to take the win in Romania, his legacy in the sport may be even more secure than it already is.
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