It’s hard to tell the difference between Greek god or elite bodybuilder.
After James Hollingshead finished in 12th place during the 2021 Mr. Olympia — his Olympia debut — it might be fair to say the bodybuilder has been on the competitive warpath in 2022.
In September, Hollingshead came in third place at the 2022 Arnold Classic UK. He followed that performance with a win in the 2022 Tsunami Cup Pro, earning his second-ever berth in the Olympia. As he starts counting down the days toward the next big moment of his career, Hollingshead decided to have some fun commemorating the latest release in one of his favorite video game series.
On Nov. 5, 2022, Hollingshead posted a video to his YouTube channel where he cosplayed the powerful main character of the God of War series, Kratos. Hollingshead’s costume was part of a visit to the MCM Comic Con that took place on Oct. 28-30, 2022, in London, England. The latest edition in the series, God of War Ragnarök, was released on Nov. 9, 2022, for the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5.
Given that Kratos is a living, breathing tank of a fictional Greek (and Norse) god within the game’s lore, it’s only fitting an athlete like Hollingshead — with the requisite strength and power — could be his spitting image.
According to NPC News Online, Hollingshead has been a member of the International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness (IFBB) Pro League since 2018. In his Pro debut during the 2018 Tampa Pro, while competing in his usual Men’s Open division, a rookie Hollingshead came in 16th place. Ever since that fateful contest, the bodybuilder has seemingly only improved.
In 2019, Hollingshead tackled a gauntlet of competitions throughout the calendar year. He notched two top-five finishes while notably taking home a third-place result in the 2019 Bigman Weekend Pro. In 2020, Hollingshead won his first two IFBB Pro League contests — the 2020 British Grand Prix and the 2020 Europa Pro Championships. Eventually, Hollingshead reached a new peak with his first-ever appearance at the 2021 Mr. Olympia and the noted 12th-place finish.
After that Olympia debut, Hollingshead’s sterling results at the latest Arnold Classic UK and Tsunami Pro likely would not have been possible without his steadfast commitment to training. The athlete isn’t necessarily distinctive from his peers in sharing regular updates about his progress in the gym, but feats like a 340-kilogram (749.6-pound) squat triple and a 300-kilogram (661.4-pound) squat for nine reps in May 2022 could set him apart. They might even portend a terrific performance in Hollingshead’s second go-round at the Olympia.
Amongst a loaded slate of competitors like two-time reigning Olympia champ Mamdouh “Big Ramy” Elssbiay and the titanic Nick Walker, Hollingshead might get lost in the shuffle of so many Olympia contenders on December 16-18, 2022, in Las Vegas, NV. With a deeper look, it would likely be a mistake to dismiss an athlete who can successfully recreate the physique and mannerisms of a fictional god.
Featured image: @hollingshead89 on Instagram