The criticism surrounding the 2019 Mr. Olympia competition was that the big names weren’t going to be on stage.
Reigning champion, Shawn Rhoden, 7x Mr. Olympia, Phil Heath and Big Ramy were all going to miss this year’s competition for different reasons, leaving many fans to say that this year’s competition was going to be diluted and should have an asterix next to it.
But the Olympia has always been about rewarding the hard work and talent of the competitors on stage, so no matter who’s posing in front of the thousands of fans, it’s their hard work, conditioning, symmetry, sacrifice and dedication that would be rewarded.
This year, it was Brandon Curry’s turn as the Tennessee native became the 15th man to hoist the Sandow trophy, taking home a check for $400,000 as well.
Curry defeated four tough competitors including (in order) William Bonac, Hadi Choopan, Dexter Jackson and Roelly Winklaar.
Curry’s road to Olympia has been a long one. He’s always been a recognizable name yet he could never crack the top five at the Olympia. But in 2017, things began to change for Curry as he changed up his routine and started winning shows, including the New Zealand Pro and Arnold Classic Australia that year. He finished 8th in the Olympia that year, but in 2018 he took 5th at the event, won the Arnold Classic this past year, and then capped 2019 with his first Olympia win.
And he’s ready for 2020.
“I’ll definitely be back to defend my title, and we’ll see how long we can ride this train.” said the new champ.
The weekend featured some new, and returning champions, as well.
In the Women’s Figure division, Cydney Gillion defended her title, besting two-time champion Latorya Watts, Nadia Wyatt and Jessica Reyes Padilla.
In Women’s Physique, Shanique Grant defended her title and Whitney Jones won the Women’s Fitness competition
In Men’s 212, Flex Lewis left the title vacant, and Kamal Elgargni stepped up to become the division’s new champion for the first time in six years.
In Men’s Physique, a new champion was crowned in Raymont Edmonds. Last year’s champ, Brandon Hendrickson, finished fourth. The story was the same in Men’s Classic Physique and Women’s Bikini, as last year’s Physique champion, Breon Ansley, was defeated by new champ, Chris Bumstead, and reigning Bikini champion, Angelica Teixeira, finished third behind new champion Elisa Pecini and second place finisher, Janet Layug.
With a record setting $1.4 million in prize money, the 2019 Olympia was another big event that has us all salivating for 2020.