The world’s biggest bodybuilding show has come and gone, and like always, the Mr Olympia contest seems curiously next to the controversy and drama. Two quick rules: a) everything in bodybuilding sucks except the bodybuilders, and b) complaining about sports is more fun than following sports. There were events in 2015 that we’ll be chewing over for a long time.
Phil Heath won a fairly uncontroversial victory. Shawn Rhoden was the only one who seemed to be pushing him, but when they turned around, it was all over from the back. Phil’s thickness and fullness just stole the show, and his structural issues (narrow clavicles etc) don’t seem to be holding him back at all. I noticed that one judge had him in second place in the prejudging. By the night show, all five had him in first.
The biggest story was Phil’s missing arch-rival: where is Kai Greene? Over the past few weeks he’s ended a long-lived contract with Musclemeds, launched his own company, failed to sign the contract for the contest, lost his chance at a near-guaranteed second place finish, and has released a nine minute video literally crying about it< all/a>. If you hear people saying he was “banned” from the contest, piss on them. He has not been banned. He did not sign the contract, and that’s the only reason he was not at the Olympia this year. Here’s IFBB promoter Robin Chang’s account of Kai Greene’s failure to put a signature on a piece of paper. Frankly, nothing about this story makes any sense, and although I have some theories I think we need more to go on.
Kai’s non-appearance left the door open for someone else to move up to number 2, and that someone else proved to be…Dexter Jackson. As a rule, he looks better in videos than photos. I don’t think anybody predicted this – Dexter is 46 and seemed to be a permanent fixture in the 4th-6th spot. I don’t know about this decision: his condition and proportions are great, but he’s fundamentally a pretty small guy in the lineup. Dexter is great…but top 2 great? My opinion vacillates.
Otherwise there’s just little storylines popping up and resolving themselves. Big Ramy was being touted as the heaviest bodybuilder ever to set foot on the Olympia stage…DIDN’T FUCKING HELP, DID IT? Enjoy your fifth place, you waterlogged Egyptian. I say this with the expectation that he will be a top-level threat once he figures out how to diet properly. The guy’s just overwhelmingly massive, and not necessarily in a good way. The cuts and details you want to see just aren’t there.
The big positive surprises of the show were Will Bonac and Dallas McCarver (who is just 24 years old). A lot of fullness and pop in both of them, and plenty of potential to shunt their way up the ranks. I’m concerned that Bonac keeps getting lost in the lineup – on his own, he’s pretty much flawless. Dennis Wolf and Branch Warren did their usual “ugly as fuck but still tough to beat” acts. Roelly Winklaar could have placed higher – he’s another one who keeps getting overlooked. Steve Kuclo had no business stepping on stage that weekend – does he even diet for shows these days?
In any case, the circus is over, and now these depleted athletes can partake in some bread.