There’s an old saying which says that in order to be a champion, you must first BEAT the champion.
In the last seven Mr. Olympia contests, competitors have trained all year in order to take down the reigning champion Phil Heath. But in these last seven Mr. Olympia contests, all have tried and failed to dethrone that very reigning champion, which includes tonight at the 2017 Mr. Olympia contest in Las Vegas.
Names like Jay Cutler, Kai Greene, Dexter Jackson and Shawn Rhoden have all stood next to Heath in the final call out, only to watch Phil as his name was announced as Mr. Olympia. Tonight, a new face stepped next to Heath in the form of Mamdouh “Big Ramy” Elssbiay but the result was still the same when The Rock grabbed the mic and announced the name “Phil Heath” once again.
Heath has continued to move closer to his goal of winning 10 Sandow trophies, something which he told me about two years ago, and seeing his dedication, passion, drive, effort, confidence and winning streak, one has to believe that he can do it.
This year’s contest appeared to be a three man show in pre-judging, with Heath, Ramy and relative newcomer William Bonac taking those positions respectively. Last year’s runner up, Shawn Rhoden, appeared to lack the crispness and pop he possessed in years past, while Dexter “The Blade” Jackson appeared to be sharp as always, but not sharp enough to move into the medal spots. The last man in the six man lineup was Roelly Winklaar, who always has great fan support but just can’t seem to crack the top five no matter how full he looks or how hard the crowd cheers for him.
Photo credit- Yussuf Khan
After the pose downs were completed, the top ten was announced. Cedric McMillan took tenth, followed by Josh Lenartowicz, Brandon Curry and Nathan DeAsha, followed by the aforementioned Roelly, Rhoden, Dexter and Bonac. So then it was down to two and Big Ramy looked to be not only a fan favorite, but also a real threat to Phil’s quest to tie Arnold’s record. But when tested, true champions rise to the occasion, and that’s exactly what Phil did, shutting the door on Ramy by hitting a rear double-biceps and most muscular pose, the latter of which always seems to seal the deal for him each year.
It was another great year in bodybuilding, culminating in a record tying performance by the Champ, who is now one win away from tying Ronnie Coleman and Lee Haney for eight consecutive titles, and two wins from securing GOAT status in the sport.