The battle for the Sandow Trophy is surely the toughest feat that any bodybuilder could ever face. Here’s all the news from this year’s showdown straight from the stage in Nevada
In 50 years only 13 people have held the title of Mr. Olympia. It’s been dubbed the ‘Superbowl of Bodybuilding’ and this year it gave away over $1m in prize money. It is surely the most prestigious event in the bodybuilding calendar, taking place at the larger than life location of Las Vegas, USA. And this year’s Mr. Olympia certainly didn’t disappoint…
The drama began early this year when 40-year-old Kai Greene made a last minute announcement that he would not be competing, just days before judging began. Greene is a crowd favourite with an inimitable stage presence and a long-term fierce rivalry with Phil Heath, coming in second place to Heath’s first for the last three years and with the two competitors even having an on-stage scuffle at last year’s event. While the explanation for his last minute drop out has still not been confirmed, some have speculated that Greene was expecting his supplement line to sponsor the event exclusively and purposefully held back his contract until it was agreed. Maybe we will never know the true reason, but for many, it was cause to believe even more strongly that Heath would take his fifth Sandow in a row, now that his main rival was no longer challenging him.
And that he did.
Heath Wins Again
When Phil Heath’s name was called out on Saturday night, he became the first bodybuilder since Ronnie Coleman to take five Mr. Olympia titles in a row. If he wins again next year, he will match Dorian Yates’ and Arnold Schwarzenegger’s runs of six consecutive victories (Schwarzenegger actually won seven times but there was a four year gap between his sixth and seventh win). Two more, and he’ll be in the same league as Lee Haney and Ronnie Coleman with eight consecutive wins each. At just 35 years old, Heath – known on the circuit as ‘The Gift’ – has plenty more years ahead of him to try and match and even smash these records. The runner-up this year, Dexter Jackson, is 45, so imagine what Heath could do in the next ten years. 40-year-old Shawn Rhoden – also from the USA – took third place, making an all-American top three. At the Mr. Olympia press conference, Heath humbly thanked all the “amazing fans” and his fellow “amazing athletes,” adding that: “each and every one of these guys upon this stage deserves a huge amount of respect.” When asked about Kai Greene’s absence this year, Heath said that it wasn’t his job to comment and that he just “focuses on himself.” This definitely seems to be a method that pays off.
The Perfect Physique
Of course, Mr. Olympia is more than just bodybuilding and over the past few years the contest’s Physique division has commanded as much attention as the main event. With a history span of just three years, the Men’s Physique category has grown in popularity, showcasing an aesthetic that is symmetrical, conditioned and shredded but – unlike bodybuilding – bigger is not better. Succeeding in Physique is in no way easier than the bulkier counterparts in the Open division. Presentation is everything and it is said that the competitors’ looks are also judged, so overall appearance is key. In the end, it was 24-year-old Californian (and friend of Perfect Fit) Jeremy Buendia who took first prize for the second year in a row, making him the most successful competitor in this competition ever! Second place went to Yugoslavian-born Sadik Hadzovic, and Jason Poston from Texas took third. After the show Buendia thanked his fans and trainer Hany Rambod and said this year his “prep had been perfect.” Buendia and Rambod will be travelling to Kuwait for the Platinum Sports Festival later in the month so be sure to congratulate him when you see him in town.
Big Ramy In Top 5
Congratulations to Mamdouh Elssbiay aka ‘Big Ramy’ who soared into the top five at just his third outing onto the Mr. Olympia stage. Speculators had high hopes for Ramy, who came 8th in 2013 and 7th last year. The 31-year-old Egyptian, who now lives in Kuwait, was the youngest in the top ten and made a huge impression on the crowds, tipping the scales at an incredible 142kg (315lb)! With a steady improvement over the past three years and still so young, we expect even bigger things from Ramy in the future. Be sure to congratulate him next time you see him in Ktown.
Obaid Takes 10th Place
There was further success for the Middle East as Dubai-born Essa Obaid took tenth place. The 36-year-old, who has been prepping at Oxygen, improved by an incredible six places since his last outing at Olympia in 2013. What a result to have two Middle Eastern bodybuilders finish in the top ten, not to mention Roelly Winklaar, who has also been training at Oxygen (no less than three times a day) taking the 7th spot. This is the second time ‘The Dutch Beast’ has taken 7th place (the other was in 2013) and a massive improvement on his 12th ranking last year. A special mention must also go out to Lebanese Mohamad Ali Bannout, who missed out on the top ten but came joint 16th alongside USA’s Curry, Kuclo, Rowe and Smalls plus Jellali from Morroco and Piotrikowicz from Poland.
2015 Mr. Olympia Top Ten