An in-depth look at the upcoming 2014 Mr Olympia competition
Ever since a slightly famous Austrian bodybuilder named Arnold Schwarzenegger bust onto people’s TV and movie screens in the hit “documentary” ‘Pumping Iron’ back in the late 1970’s, it seems as if bodybuilding has been slowly becoming more and more popular with every passing year. The 80’s however, is what really sealed the deal as we had a whole heap of muscle bound action heroes, including Arnie himself, as well as Sly Stallone, Jean Claude Van Damme, Dolph Lundgren, and many more, kicking ass and taking names, whilst sporting powerful ripped physiques that looked like they belonged to Greek Gods themselves. As well as in the movies, pro wrestling, in the form of the WWF was also getting people more and more interested in bodybuilding and fitness, thanks to larger than life superstars like “The Hulkster” himself, Hulk Hogan. People saw these larger than life characters and decided to hit the gym, pump some iron, and attempt to emulate their favorite superstars by attempting to build as much muscle as they possibly could. Once they had the muscle, the next logical step was to enter bodybuilding shows and contests, just as Arnold, Lou Ferrigno and company had done in the smash hit Pumping Iron. The competition featured in that movie was the most prestigious bodybuilding competition in the world, and it still is to this day for that matter. Yes, we’re talking about the Mr Olympia contest.
Briefly, what is the Mr Olympia competition?
The Mr Olympia competition is the most prestigious bodybuilding competition in the entire world. The winner of the contest is awarded the title of Mr Olympia for that particular year, and until they defend their title, they are quite literally the best bodybuilder in the entire world. The contest was created by the father of bodybuilding, Joe Weider, who designed the contest to allow the winners and competitors of the Mr Universe competition to continue competing and to continue earning money. The very first Mr Olympia was held in New York City at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, on the 18th of September, 1965. Larry Scott was the first ever winner, and he also retained his title the very next year.
Now that’s the history lesson over with, how about some thoughts on some of the competitors at this year’s competition?
Although there is still much to be said about the history of the Mr O, we only have so many words and so much time and we now have to take a look at some of the competitors so far at this year’s competition. There are still spots open that will depend on the outcome of more upcoming shows, but so far, we know that as things stand, those competing at the 2014 Mr O will be:
- Kai Green: USA
- Phil Health: USA
- Dexter Jackson: USA
- Justin Compton: USA
- Juan Morel: USA
- Dennis Wolf: Germany
- Branch Warren: USA
- Mamdouh Elssbiay: Kuwait
- Fahim Ibrahim: Egypt
- Shawn Roden: USA
- Steve Kuclo: USA
That’s as things stand, but there are still plenty of spaces left open, so you can probably expect to see other regulars and fan favourites at this year’s show including:
- Evan Centopani: USA
- Victor Martinez: Dominican Republic
- Toney Freeman: USA
- Cedric McMillan: USA
What sets this competition apart from previous ones is that everything is so wide open with nothing being clear cut or set in stone. For decades we had Dorian (Yates), Ronnie (Coleman), and Kevin Levrone battling it out for the top three places, with Dorian coming out on top until Ronnie finally took the crown, from then on Ronnie dominated until Jay Cutler came into the mix. For many years, the top 2 places were pretty much set in stone for many people, as they knew it would be down to Ronnie and Jay, until Jay finally won. Despite a surprising win for Dexter Jackson, people knew that Jay would hold the title for a while after his incredible package back in 2009, until losing to Phil Heath. This year there is no Jay, but Phil is looking to retain his title for the fourth consecutive year. Here’s a look at a few of the favourites and potential wildcard competitors.
Phil “The Gift” Heath – They call him the gift because he was gifted with amazing genetics that have allowed him to pack on muscle and make some incredible gains and improvements over the years. His arms are considered the best of all time amongst many fans, and the smart money says that Phil will indeed retain his title this year.
Kai Greene – For many, when/if Phil does eventually lose the Mr Olympia title, it will be to this man. Kai Greene has been climbing the rankings lately and continues to add mass to his already huge frame. He placed second last year, but many fans believe that that was his shot, and expect him to drop further in the rankings this year, mainly because of his wide waist. Don’t count him out just yet however.
Dennis Wolf – People thought the big bad wolf was done a few years ago, after the infamous “Cookie” carb loading incident, but Dennis silenced his critics by coming back better than ever, and continuing to place well at big competitions. His sponsorship with BSN seems to be working as he placed 3rd last year, behind Phil, and Kai. If he can nail his conditioning, he has size and the potential to win.
Mamdouh “Big Ramy” Elssbiay – Two years ago, if you’d mentioned Big Ramy, people would probably have had no idea who you were talking about. These days however, things are very different indeed. The forums and magazines are littered full of threads and articles talking about this aesthetic mass monster from Kuwait and the astonishing improvements he’s made to his physique within a matter of months. He made his debut at last year’s show and placed 7th, which is an incredible feat for a debut, and he later went on to dominate the New York Pro, a few months later. For many, it isn’t a case of IF Big Ramy will win, but WHEN.
Branch Warren – He trains heavy, he trains dangerously, and his form is often called into question, but even so, Branch Warren continues to place consistently well at the big contests. Age and injuries may be finally catching up with him, but don’t count Branch out just yet, as he still has the potential for a top 3 finish.
Bear in mind, I have no real connections within the IFBB pro bodybuilding world, I don’t have any inside info or sources, and these predictions are nothing more than pure speculation from a pro bodybuilding fan. That being said, here is my prediction for the top 5 places in the 2014 Mr Olympia competition.
1st - Phil Heath
2nd - Kai Greene
3rd - Big Ramy
4th - Dennis Wolf
5th - Dexter Jackson
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