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By Joe Pietaro

All the talk heading into the 50th Mr. Olympia contest has been two things: will Phil Heath win his fourth consecutive Sandow and will it be either Kai Greene or Dennis Wolf finishing as his runner-up? There has even be a lot of noise being made about the great shape that Dexter Jackson is in and if Big Ramy can keep the conditioning he had when he won his second New York Pro four months ago.

But not much has been heard about a guy who placed fourth and third, respectively, in the last two Olympias.

Shawn Rhoden is certainly one IFBB pro that flies under the radar and “Flexatron” has a quiet and humble personality to match. But this is also a man who placed second to Wolf at this year’s Arnold Classic and won the Australian Pro. So him being discounted as a top-three competitor may be a glaring oversight in the throngs of predictions being heard throughout the bodybuilding industry.

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The mass factor is certainly the most common reason heard when Rhoden’s name is brought into the argument. He has one of the best physiques on the circuit, with a small waist, round muscle bellies and near-perfect symmetry. But he does not have the size of Heath, Wolf or Greene and will look small standing next to any one in that trio.

Let’s break it down this way: Heath is the only one that can defeat Heath. If the reigning champion walks into the Orleans Arena in shape, he will win. And the chances of him being off – even slightly – are slim to none. Then you have Wolf, who could have easily finished second at last year’s O and looked perhaps the best he ever has in Columbus, Ohio. Greene is the wild card here, but not in a good way. The Brooklyn behemoth has come into shows not in the best of shape and his midsection has come into question more than once.

So here’s where Rhoden can ‘steal’ a spot, if you will. Since he has finished third before, that’s not really a stretch, but Greene has been second the last two years so him sliding out of the top three would be viewed as a bit of a shock. But if Rhoden comes in peeled as expected and Greene’s timing is not perfect, this situation is not as far-fetched as it may seem.

#Shawn Rhoden

Written by Joe Pietaro for - Copyright © 2014

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