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William Bonac Hangs It Up For 2023 Season, Will Return at 2024 Arnold Classic


In the current bodybuilding pantheon, William Bonac’s name belongs amongst the elite. With a championship build and resume, he’s one of the sport’s biggest stars for a good reason. Unfortunately, no one will be able to see the athlete or his physique shine on stage for a little while.

In a Mar. 6, 2023, Instagram post, Bonac reflected on what was likely a disappointing seventh-place finish at the 2023 Arnold Classic (AC). A two-time AC champion (2018, 2020), Bonac entered the competition with hopes of capturing his third career AC title — a feat only four other bodybuilders have accomplished in the contest’s 34-year history. Instead, while reflecting in the aftermath, Bonac revealed he would not compete for the rest of 2023.

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Before Bonac noted he wouldn’t compete for the foreseeable future, he ran down his history at the AC. Compared to his modern peers, it’s mostly unparalleled for someone who has actually stood on top of the contest’s podium.

Here’s an overview of Bonac’s AC competitive history:

William Bonac (Men’s Open) | Arnold Classic History

2018 — First place
2019 Runner-up
2020 First place
2022 Runner-up
2023 Seventh place

*Note: Bonac missed the 2021 edition of the AC due to unexpected travel complications.

Here are the full results from the 2023 AC:

Here’s how the full top 10 shook out at the 2023 Arnold Classic:

​​Samson Dauda
Nick Walker
Andrew Jacked
Mamdouh “Big Ramy” Elssbiay
Shaun Clarida
Akim Williams
William Bonac
Justin Rodriguez
Kamal Elgargni
Patrick Moore

As for what lies ahead in the coming months, Bonac kept it plain and simple. He’s going to focus on more personal endeavors for the time being.

“I can honestly say I won’t miss my diet for a while,” Bonac wrote. “Time to focus on family and other business aside from bodybuilding.”

Aside from the general ramifications of Bonac’s decision, it also means the athlete will not appear in the 2023 Mr. Olympia in early November. Bonac has competed in every Olympia since the year 2014. His best-ever result was a runner-up finish to champion Brandon Curry in 2019.

As a competitor who has never won the contest and who also finished in ninth place during the 2022 Olympia iteration, Bonac does not have automatic qualification for the 2023 contest. As such, instead of pushing for a roster berth, it seems he’s decided to rest and refocus rather than commit to a challenging training and nutrition plan in contest prep.

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This is not the end for Bonac as a bodybuilder. He plans to make his competitive return to the 2024 AC. Perhaps then he can complete his vaunted mission of capturing a third championship and remind fans why they call him “The Conqueror.”

Featured image: @william_bonac on Instagram

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