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  • 6 min read

by Matt Weik

For those of you who were excited for Athleticon this year, you’re going to need to wait another year. In a move many of us are not surprised with, Dwayne Johnson and Dany Garcia pushed back the inaugural live event to October 2021. With everything going on, I feel it’s the best thing to do and agree with their decision to push back the event until the following year.

I received a press release that also drew me over to their website and social media pages to confirm as well, that Athleticon will move to October 9-10, 2021 in Atlanta, GA. Per the press release and the actual Athleticon website Dany and Dwayne said:

“Greatness Begins Now

Today, we announce the brand’s strategic evolution and revolutionary launch of a free interactive, multi-platform digital community, which will feature accessible and exclusive content to ignite passion and spark curiosity through the power of the brand’s athletics, wellness and entertainment pillars. The inaugural live event experience will now take place on Saturday, October 9th and Sunday, October 10th, 2021.

We created Athleticon to inspire the next step in your health and wellness journey – and that won’t stop in 2020. Tune in to and our social channels for new wellness content from us. Expect to laugh, sweat, and stay motivated through the year.

Athleticon’s robust slate will feature continuously-evolving, complimentary content within the spaces of high-performance physical fitness, yoga and dance, mental health and relationships, entertainment and fitness competitions, food and nutrition, and tech and gaming. Recurring series will include heart-pumping dance sessions, comprehensive cooking tutorials, lessons in amplifying peak performance and tools to maximize endurance, longevity and recovery, featuring members of the Athleticon family. The audience will have the opportunity to submit personal clips of their fitness routines and techniques to be reviewed and evaluated by the Athleticon pros.

We hope you and your loved ones are staying healthy and safe. We can’t wait to see you in Atlanta next year.”

Attendance Would Be Low

While people are saying to open up the economy and allow everyone to roam freely (I’m one of those people), let’s sit back and just think about Athleticon for a minute. Atlanta is a HUGE city and with as much buzz going around that surrounds Athleticon, I’m not so sure the same people who were excited about going to Athleticon in early 2020 are still that excited.

Moving around your hometown and going back to your daily life is one thing but surrounding yourself with thousands of people all in a confined space with the Rona still spreading probably isn’t the best idea. Sure, we don’t know what the world will look like later on in 2020 but the last thing Dany and Dwayne want to do is get everything set, spend all that money and get everything lined up just to cancel the show somewhat last minute (think about the chaos that happened at the Arnold).

The safer play is to simply push the event back to 2021, regroup, refocus, and continue planning. It also gives them more time to pull out all the stops to make Athleticon as big of an event as what they have been hyping it up to be (or at least what us bloggers and media peeps have been hyping it up to be).

Some people have been complaining that they waited too long and have kept people in the dark about what was going on, but I don’t see their silence as a negative. I’m sure they were doing their due diligence to figure out what all was going on, if they were able to secure the location for 2021, and the logistics involved before putting out a press release with the announcement.

More Time to Rethink Their First Impression

They say you only get one opportunity to make a good first impression and Athleticon is no different. Dany and Dwayne want to make a splash with this event – there’s no doubt about it. Pushing the event back for another year allows them even more time to get athletes and celebrities lined up. More time to enhance and improve the production value. And maybe even the time they need to secure a cable network to cover the event like an actual sport (ESPN, do you hear me? A spelling bee and poker is NOT a sport nor takes any athletic ability whatsoever).

I can’t see Dwayne and Dany sitting back for a year with their feet up not working on improving Athleticon. I see them doubling down to literally make it the show of 2021 and leave people anxious for the following year’s event. It’s still too early for me to say, but I may try to make my way to Athleticon in 2021 just to do some coverage and create some content (but that’s all up in the air at the moment – Hey Dwayne, feel like putting me up in a nice hotel? LOL).

What Does This Mean For the 2020 Mr. Olympia?

I’m sure this is going to piss off a lot of promoters but at this point, no one other than the competitors really cares about shows outside the Olympia for 2020. Dan Solomon, Jake Wood, and their team have done a great job moving the Olympia to December, put it in a new and amazing venue that makes much more sense, and I feel is going to put on one of the best productions we have ever seen in the sport of bodybuilding.

That being said, for all of those who have been wondering if Phil was going to skip the Olympia and hold out for Athleticon have just had a monkey wrench thrown into the mix. If that were true, Phil would need to wait yet another year, after sitting out the previous, to return to the stage. I just don’t see it happening.

Phil isn’t getting any younger and with Phil looking at making history, I think he’ll be back in 2020 to try and take back his crown. If he were to skip the 2020 Olympia, I don’t think we’ll see Phil back on a stage ever again and he’ll officially retire. After all, he’s got nothing left to prove to anyone.

But with more time to plan Athleticon, 2021 could be the year The Rock breaks the internet.