Lewis has loved his retirement however a hefty payday would get him again on stage.
Roughly a 12 months in the past on the time, James “Flex” Lewis officially retired from competitive bodybuilding. A seven-time 212 Mr. Olympia champion (2012-2018), Lewis completed his profession broadly considered one of the greatest bodybuilders of all time. Lately, with the icon maybe seeking to scratch that aggressive itch, he might properly return to a stage. That’s, for the correct incentives.
On Apr. 24, 2023, in a video profession dialogue shared on Lewis’ YouTube channel, the athlete breaks down his emotions a couple of potential return to skilled bodybuilding. Lewis maintains that for a seven-figure provide (at the very least $1 million), he would think about competing and donning his posing trunks once more.
After Lewis retired, it opened the door to former 212 competitor Derek Lunsford receiving a special invitation to compete in the Men’s Open on the 2022 Mr. Olympia. Lunsford would take house a runner-up finish at the contest. Lunsford’s absence as one of many inheritor apparents to Lewis’ former 212 title reign may imply there’s one other opening for the icon to step again in.
Nonetheless, contemplating the dedication at a training and nutritional stage, Lewis wouldn’t simply return to skilled bodybuilding seamlessly. As competitions just like the 2023 Masters Olympia re-enter the fray for knowledgeable veterans, Lewis’ return must come on the proper worth — a payday of at the very least $1 million. (Observe: Lewis, at age 39, wouldn’t be eligible for the Masters Olympia till the 2024 version when he’s 40 and meets the competition’s age requirement.)
“Clearly, my identify has been thrown within the combine this 12 months [for the 2023 Masters Olympia], and I mentioned, ‘Let me dispel this proper now, I’m alone journey, it’s positively again to the stage,’” Lewis mentioned “… If there was a financial draw for me, I’m all in. For me, it must be a seven-figure financial draw. It must be as a result of for me to stroll away from what I’m doing proper now, that’s what my sacrifice is, sadly.”
Within the approximate 12 months since his retirement, Lewis has maintained a gentle affect within the bodybuilding and power neighborhood over varied media platforms — even not too long ago serving as a social media correspondent throughout the 2023 World’s Strongest Man. His standing as a legendary Olympia champion appears to supply him a measure of respect for his opinions and ideas on the present state of the game.
Being such a giant identify on paper, Lewis in contrast his very best payday to compete as a bodybuilder once more to that of extra conventional sports activities.
“I really suppose bodybuilding was as fruitful as most of the different sports activities on the earth like golf and basketball and soccer,” Lewis mentioned. “The contracts these guys are getting paid, it’s insane … No one [in bodybuilding] was ever actually capable of carry the torch into the realm it may very well be to doubtlessly be one of many sports activities which can be getting enormous contracts for sponsorships … The place you’re capable of win a present and it’s a seven-figure win for a present otherwise you get seven-figure sponsorships as a result of bodybuilding is, if not one of many hardest sports activities on the earth … It’s 365/24/7. You’re all the time eager about what you’re consuming and what you’re coaching.”
The 2023 Masters Olympia has an overall prize purse of $229,000. Lewis now joins seven-time Mr. Olympia champion (2011-2017) Phil Heath as the most recent iconic bodybuilder to keep up they might return if the compensation was incredibly lucrative.
Lewis’s place appears to be gaining extra steam within the bodybuilding world. As among the elite athletes proceed to push their bodies to the restrict, and the game seems to be rising in recognition, the celebs of the game would possibly need larger paydays. On the very least, one thing like that would doubtlessly lure Lewis again to the stage to shine as soon as once more.
Featured picture: @flex_lewis on Instagram