Everything You Need to Know About Mr. Olympia’s Sole Owner Jake Wood, Who Also Brought Ms. Olympia Back

The mid-2010s saw bodybuilding diminish in variety. While the Masters Olympia returned in 2012 after almost a decade’s absence, it was the first and final time the contest was held in the 2010s. In 2015, the IFBB dealt a massive blow to women’s bodybuilding by announcing the cancelation of the Ms. Olympia. The Mr. Olympia remained the most popular event, and it wasn’t until 2020 that other divisions saw changes.

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In February 2020, American Media Inc. and David Pecker announced that Jake Wood had acquired the Mr. Olympia brand. Wood had made a name for himself as a renowned promoter and the co-founder of Wings of Strength. After the sale, Wood became the sole owner of the most prestigious brand in bodybuilding. He became only the third individual to become the owner of the Olympia. So, who is Jake Wood? How did he come to own the empire Joe Weider founded in 1965?

The fan-turned-bodybuilder


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Standing 6’6″ tall, Jake Wood was involved in sports like football since childhood. Besides football, the Olympia owner also fell in love with bodybuilding during his teen years. While appearing on Dennis James’s The Menace Podcast in 202, Wood said he grew up as a bodybuilding fan before hitting the gym at 16. Eventually, Wood stopped his football training and prepared to become a competitive bodybuilder.

“I competed in some very local non-sanctioned shows in Oregon back in 1983 and 1984,” the promoter told James. However, Wood’s 6’6″ frame prevented him from becoming elite. Jake Wood explained his shortcomings during the podcast. “I never was a great bodybuilder. My torso was too long,” he told Dennis James. However, after his competitive bodybuilding days, Wood turned toward his family business.

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From Aerospace industrialist to promoter

After moving on from competitive bodybuilding, Jake Wood embarked on a prosperous career in the aerospace industry. Wood inherited a multi-million dollar business of manufacturing airplane parts. After a successful career in the aerospace industry, Wood retired at 46 and focused on re-entering bodybuilding. However, for his second attempt, Wood looked to enter the sport as a promoter.

Whilst looking for a chance to start his career as a bodybuilding promoter, Wood became aware of an opportunity. “One day I heard of this guy named Tim Gardner, and he apparently needed some help because one of his divisions was being canceled,” Wood told James. The division was women’s bodybuilding, and the Mr. Olympia owner asked Gardner if he could take over. Gardner brought the budding promoter on board, and his first event turned into a success. However, it was only the beginning of a storied career.

Contribution to women’s bodybuilding

Women’s bodybuilding found itself in a tough spot after the 90s. The Ms. Olympia contest never reached the popularity of Mr. Olympia. During the late 2000s, several bodybuilding competitions, including the 2009 Tampa Pro, where Wood got his start, began canceling women’s bodybuilding events. However, Wood was among those who fought to keep women’s bodybuilding alive.

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In 2011, the owner of the Olympia established Wings of Strength. The bodybuilding promotion company helped organize women’s bodybuilding shows and within a few years established itself as a major player for the division. In 2014, after the Olympia slashed Ms. Olympia from his annual lineup, Wood’s promotion carried the torch for women’s bodybuilding. While Wing’s of strength’s popularity has stemmed from the women’s division, Wood’s motto has been, “Bodybuilding is for every body.” 

Jake Wood buys Mr. Olympia

Wood’s dedication paid off in February 2020. The previous owners of the brand announced that Jake Wood would acquire multiple brands. The promoter bought Joe Weider’s Olympia Fitness & Performance Weekend as well as the Muscle & Fitness, Muscle & Fitness Hers, and FLEX. “My primary motivation for acquiring the Olympia is to bring the event back to the fans,” said Wood.

Dan Solomon, who became Mr. Olympia’s president in 2018, also voiced his support for Wood. After acquiring the Olympia brand, Wood focused on expanding the sports reach further to bring new fans to the sport. The bodybuilding-promoter-turned-Olympia-owner also endeavored to bring back some popular, yet lost events.


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Re-establishing the trinity

While Mr. Olympia continues to be the main attraction of the Olympia weekend, Jake Wood reinstated Ms. Olympia after taking ownership of the brand. The former bodybuilder brought back the Ms. Olympia event five years after its cancelation. The move boosted women’s bodybuilding as the premier event of their division was back and offered better prize money.

After re-establishing the premier female bodybuilding competition, Wood turned his attention to the veterans. After 2012, the Olympia didn’t host a Masters event. Wood brought back the Masters Olympia event in August 2023. Unless there is a drastic development, the Masters event will continue alongside the two events. Hence, within three years of taking ownership, Jake Wood has established the trinity of the most prestigious bodybuilding events in their division.


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Besides, making strides in revising the popularity of the women’s and masters divisions, Jake Wood also aims to establish a parity of prize money between divisions. While Wood has taken the reins recently, the Olympia owner has made some significant changes to the overall brand.

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