2021 Chicago Pro Bodybuilding Show Men’s Open Preview – BarBend

With less than three months to go until the 2021 Olympiataking place from Oct. 7-10 in Orlando, FL — more and more athletes are adding their names to the list of winners throughout the season qualified for the biggest weekend in bodybuilding. That also means that fewer spots remain, which is why this weekend’s Chicago Pro, taking place July 23-24, is such a valued opportunity. 

And some of the biggest names in the Men’s Open division are showing up in an attempt to punch their ticket to the O. Notably, last year’s Chicago Pro winner, Akim Williams, will not be in this year’s lineup. The 2021 Chicago Pro will feature 10 divisions. As of this writing, there are well over 150 athletes across all categories that will be posing for the judges and fans. The main event will be the Men’s Open bodybuilding. 

Below is a full breakdown of the Men’s Open roster and then a rundown of a few notable competitors. 

2020 Chicago Pro Men’s Open Competitors 

  • Slajov Bednar
  • Maxx Charles
  • Philip Clahar
  • James Culberson
  • Matt Kouba
  • Hunter Labrada
  • Joe Mackey
  • Justin Maki
  • Zach Merkel
  • Eslam Mohamed
  • Hassan Mostafa
  • Seth Shaw
  • Mohamad Shaaban
  • Brett Wilkin
  • Roelly Winklaar

Notable Names at the 2020 Chicago Pro

Compared to other pro shows that have taken place this year, the Men’s Open lineup is fairly stacked, featuring a few past Olympia competitors. Here’s who to look out for. 

Roelly Winklaar

The last time fans saw Winklaar onstage was the 2019 Mr. Olympia, where he placed fifth. He had taken the 2020 season off to prepare for last year’s Olympia. However, he tested positive for COVID-19 while traveling to Orlando, FL, the week before. Clearly, the native from Curacao will be on a mission to remind everyone why he is threatening to win the Olympia.

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Winklaar has placed as high as third place at an Olympia (2018), was named the first-ever People’s Champ (an award voted on by Olympia fans), and, before that, he won the 2018 Arnold Classic Australia in 2018. Winklaar is also scheduled to compete in this year’s Arnold Classic on Sept. 25, 2021, in Columbus, OH, which is now a qualifier for the 2021 Mr. Olympia. 

Maxx Charles

Charles is a seasoned veteran that is no stranger to the top position. He won the Tampa Pro in 2015 and has been to the Olympia four times in his career, with his highest placing being 12th (the same year as his Tampa win). His conditioning has been hit and miss over the years. That said, if he nails it and the favorites are off, it’s possible he could be the last man standing.

Hunter Labrada

The son of legendary bodybuilder Lee Labrada placed eighth in his Olympia debut last year. He has one win to his credit so far, which was the 2020 Tampa Pro. Before Winklaar adding his name to the lineup, the Texas native was the favorite for this contest.

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Labrada and Winklaar have never faced each other onstage before. Winklaar has impressive size (especially his biceps and triceps), but Labrada has those trademark lines with tight abs and is a talented poser, much like his father, Lee. If Labrada can upset Winklaar and win this show, he will receive a lot of attention before the Olympia or Arnold Classic.

Joe Mackey

Mackey is a dark horse. He’s still early in his career, but he is now working with coach Chad Nicholls and posing coach Dennis James. Those are the same men that helped Mamdouh “Big Ramy” Elssbiay win the Mr. Olympia in 2020. Nicholls is also the former coach of eight-time Mr. Olympia Ronnie Coleman. Mackey’s improvements in size and detail (most notably in his back) have garnered a lot of attention on social media. If he can translate that to the stage on game day, he could be in the final posedown at the end.

2021 Chicago Pro Prize Money

In total, $62,000 will be on the line. The top five in the Men’s Open and Women’s Bodybuilding division will take home prize money, with the top three in each of the other divisions also pocketing some cash. Here’s the full breakdown: 

  • Men’s Open: $10,000/$4,000/$3,000/$2,000/$1,000
  • 212 Division: $5,000/$2,000/$1,000
  • Men’s Physique: $2,000/$1,000/$500
  • Classic Physique: $2,000/$1,000/$500
  • Women’s Bodybuilding: $4,000/$2,500/$1,500/$1,000/$500
  • Fitness: $2,000/$1,000/$500
  • Figure: $2,000/$1,000/$500
  • Bikini; $2,000/$1,000/$500
  • Women’s Physique: $2,000/$1,000/$500
  • Wellness: $2,000/$1,000/$500

Featured Image: @roellywinklaar and @hunterlabrada on Instagram