The Mr. Olympia contest is the largest and most important fitness event in the world. Originally just for Bodybuilding, the Olympia now covers Bikini, Figure, Fitness, and Physique.
This year is the 50th anniversary of the Olympia,and there is a special treat to commemorate such a monumental event. This year is exceptional in the sense that it will be the first time in decades that the Olympia will be televised! NBC will cover the Olympia because of a hand full of reasons.
Last year a few things happened: First, right before the 2013 Olympia, Generation Iron was released in theaters. This was a documentary about the contest prep for the Olympia to help this new generation of people understand what the sport of bodybuilding is all about.
Second: Last years Olympia was the first year of Men’s Physique, Women’s Physique, and 212 Class Bodybuilding. This helps bring the sport into the mainstream as the physique divisions are more popular than the previous bodybuilding divisions. Consequently the attendance was the highest it had ever been, 42,000 people.
With this year being televised it could easily result in millions of viewers finding out what the sport of bodybuilding is all about and like the sport has grown in the past 5 years since the addition of bikini in 2009 it will continue to grow as its accepted into the mainstream.
Now that all the people new to the sport are caught up lets cover the athletes competing this year that will likely make it to the Top 5
1) Phil Heath
The Gift is considered by many the greatest bodybuilder of all time and an excellent ambassador of the sport. With incredibly round muscle bellies and Hany Rambod as his coach the Gift is an incredible bodybuilder. Tiny joints make his relatively lighter physique look much bigger. With incredible conditioning and the illusion of being the biggest on stage it would seem that he would be unbeatable, but it gets worse. He has incredible symmetry and is a bodybuilder aesthetically pleasing enough that women who have no interest in bodybuilding take note. He’s well spoken, friendly, not intimidating and has light eyes. All these things make him extremely marketable and a great ambassador of the sport.
Many will claim that this political advantage makes the competition ‘rigged’ but the industry and the sport are intertwined and it is unclear if there is a way to truly be objective with a panel of humans giving their subjective assessments.
Phil is my choice for first because he just keeps getting better.
2) Kai Greene
The Predator is my favorite in the running for Mr. O. He has the most massive and detailed grainy and scary physique and image. But in direct contrast to his intimidating visage he is a soft spoken philosopher, the closest thing we have to a Bodybuilding samurai or spartan warrior.
Kai despite his monstrous countenance is an artist at heart, he paints, draws, and posing is his most formidable asset despite it no longer being judged. Unfortunately for Kai, despite his eloquent diction and noble bearing his photographed image would offend or scare lay people and this makes him a poor ambassador for the sport. I desperately hope this does not stop him from acquiring the Sandow, as i think he is an excellent role model for people of all walks of life once one sees past the eccentricity.
3) Shawn Rhoden
Flexatron has one of the most balanced, symmetrical, and aesthetically pleasing physiques in the sport today. He came out of retirement in 2012 and mopped up trophies left and right. That year he placed 3rd behind Kai and Phil at the Olympia and will likely do again this year. With incredible conditioning he is one of the most impressive men in the sport today. Unfortunately he is under muscled compared to his competition and as he accumulates more muscle he may lose his symmetry and look. Only time will tell.
4) Dennis Wolf
The Big Bad had placed 3rd last year at the Olympia and 1st at this years Arnold classic (formerly the IFBB Pro World). Aside from high lat insertions and small calves Dennis has a pretty perfect physique. Conditioning is usually an issue, but pictures don’t do this guy justice as he just dwarfs some of the competitors.
5) Dexter Jackson
The blade is known for his ultra shredded conditioning, but hes deep into his forties now. Some had considered him past his prime then he shocked everyone winning the masters Olympia in 2012 and the Arnold classic in 2013. Now he is bigger than ever! This former Mr. Olympia winner (2008) has a solid shot at cracking the top five this year and is projected to come in 3rd by many experts.
6) Big Ramy
This guy came out of nowhere last year and won the NY Pro. A Massive man who put an ungodly amount of muscle on his enormous frame in only a couple of years, he lacks conditioning and may not crack top 6 this year but if he persists may be MR. O in no time.