Well, the Olympia competition and expo for 2012 has [now] come and gone. This past weekend was jam-packed with lots of top-notch athletes. Some of the bodybuilders have been at this show for a while now with a few others making their first appearance. Specific to the Mr. Olympia competition, Phil “The Gift” Heath still reigned supreme. After two nights of judging, he edged Kai Greene to retain the title he first earned last year! Heath was very impressive as expected, but I must say that I was still Kai Greene really gave him a run for his money! I guess a little competition doesn’t hurt, huh?
To Be The Man…
… you have to beat the man! While Kai rocked the stage with solid definition and overall muscle thickness, it was not enough in the eyes of the judges to overtake the current king of bodybuilding, Phil Heath. It would be nice to see Phil have a few more challengers as he tries to march towards many more titles. Luckily, for the fans of bodybuilding, it appears that he has great competition coming straight for him. Kai continues to challenge him for top honors, and new challengers are stepping into the mix. Shawn “Flexatron” Rhodes, who took third place, certainly appears to have what it takes to improve for many years to come. Of course, we cannot forget Dexter “The Blade” Jackson [who took fourth], Branch Warren [who took a disappointing fifth], Dennis Wolf [who took a disappointing sixth], and Toney “X-Man” Freeman [who took seventh].
Overall, the show was great, but there were a few surprises – both good and bad. First, Shawn Rhodes came into the show in top form, but he is basically a rookie by most accounts. In the past, there have been some younger competitors who arguably could have been placed higher at Mr Olympia if not for potential judging bias, etc. [In the eyes of many fans] For some judges, some competitors had to work harder and put their time in to earn their stripes, while giving the benefit of the doubt [and podium placements] to some veteran competitors who could otherwise be viewed less worth of the placement in the final standings. Of course, this is all arguable, but Flexatron came in looking great, and [thankfully] he was awarded accordingly. Kudos to the judges! Second, Branch Warren did not place in the top three. After having to sit out last year’s event due to injury and winning this year’s Arnold Classic! Certainly, he is not happy with the fifth place finish, and I’m sure few people expected him to rank at number five. Lastly, Dennis Wolf appears to get no respect, or at least that is what some experts and fans proclaim. To many people’s surprise, he dropped all the way down to sixth place. Some find that he seems to fade a bit during the longer, multi-day shows. I’ll leave you to ponder that one!
This was one of the few years that Jay Cutler did not compete. He had surgery earlier this year and was extra busy with the business side of things. But, he said that he will be back in 2013. So, if he comes back to compete, where will Jay fall in the mix of things? Can he compete for the top spot again? Also, with Branch Warren still coming back from surgery 13 or 14 months ago, how will he do with more [training and] recovery time? I guess we will just have to wait and watch as 2013 unfolds. I know one thing that is for sure – I will do my best to get to Las Vegas to see the results next time! It’s bound to be EPIC! So, are you pleased with the rankings at this year’s Mr. Olympia? Did the judges get it right? And how do you see the near future unfolding as new challengers step up and veterans refine their physiques?