2011 Olympia Review

The 2011 Olympia is in the books and we have a new champion, Phil Heath!  Dubbed “the Superbowl of Bodybuilding”, this year’s Olympia took place in Las Vegas September 17th, 2011.  Phil is the thirteenth winner of the prestigious Olympia Crown since its inception in 1965.  Phil garnered 1st place votes to upset his best friend and four time Olympia winner, Jay Cutler.  This Olympia was previewed as a two man race.  That’s exactly what we got, Jay versus Phil, in an epic battle of the student versus the teacher.  

Many people don’t realize Jay and Phil are best friends, who also share the same nutritional Guru, Hany Rambod.  Congrats to Phil as he was most deserving of the title and I see him holding it for some time.  I believe he’s only 31 years old and the way he has progressed in a short time it’s his title to lose for many years to come.  Here is my review of the top 6 athletes, for those of you who missed the big show.

1st Place Phil Heath
A new era in professional bodybuilding beckons as many had predicted.  As soon as Phil came out at prejudging he was the man to beat. He appeared almost three dimensional with added size and width to his back and quad sweep.  In the past Jay use to look a foot wider then Phil, but that wasn’t the case anymore.  Phil is always known for his conditioning which was on point.  In the past 

Phil was always criticized for having narrow clavicles, in which gave the illusion to being narrow.  I don’t know how he remedied this imperfection, but somehow he did, because he looked wide as ever.  I guess being nicknamed “the gift” doesn’t hurt. Phil appears to have no weaknesses and if he can remain healthy look for him to retain the title for years to come!

2nd Place Jay Cutler
Was this the last we have seen of Jay Cutler on the Olympia stage?  Jay was off and his physique appeared to look a bit weathered.  His left bicep looked like a bruised balloon which was very distracting.  I saw a few pictures a few days prior to the show which didn’t depict that left bicep bruising, but he states it was a strain that happened at a photo shoot 2 weeks prior.  Even with the bicep eye sore, his physique was holding some water and was not crisp as we have seen him in the past, mainly 2001, which I firmly believe was his most polished showing to date.  Jay has been a great ambassador for the sport, but I don’t think he will regain this crown back like he did in 2009 when he earned the crown back from Dexter Jackson.   I don’t think he will necessarily retire, since he just turned 38, and has only competed around 30 times.  I believe he still has gas in his tank, but time will tell.

3rd Place Kai Green
Kai definitely got some redemption from last year’s Olympia where he placed a disappointing 7th.  He switched nutritional gurus and hired George Farrah, who I believe is delivering some of the best athletes to the stage.  I wish Kai would have come in about 15 lbs lighter, which would stream line his physique and maximize his trademark conditioning that he displayed at the 2009 Arnold when he was champion.  I was also slightly disappointed Kai was never directly compared to Phil and Jay.  Kai’s physique was good enough to vie for a 2nd place finish, but I guess the powers that be saw it differently.  Look for Kai and Phil to battle it out for years to come.

4th Place Victor Martinez
It was good to see Victor back in the top 5.  Many thought he was the heir apparent to Ronnie Coleman; even Ronnie himself stated this after his retirement.  Victor hasn’t been true to form ever since falling short to Jay at the 2007 Olympia, followed by a horrendous patellar tendon rupture in 2008. Victor has worked hard getting back to the upper echelons of the sport.  He has minimal flaws in his physique, but his conditioning is what is usually lacking.  Victor brought it together barely narrowing out Dennis Wolf by one point.

5th Place Dennis Wolf
I had Dennis around that 3rd to 4th spot after Friday’s prejudging.  He came into the show in shape, but unfortunately he also possesses some major structural flaws.  His high lats, shallow hamstrings, and stringy calves will always keep him from top honors at the Olympia. Dennis is always a crowd favorite, as he is an elegant poser, and his conditioning was on point.  He appeared disappointed at his placing and rightfully so.  He should have been at least one spot higher.  I believe that Dennis should set winning the Arnold as a career goal, not the Olympia.

6th Place Dexter Jackson
Finally, in 6th place was Dexter Jackson.  He, among others, should be thanking Branch Warren for getting injured, which helped solidify this placing.  Dexter looked better than his previous outing earlier in the year.  He has lost that trademark conditioning, which will mostly likely never return due to his age. Dexter was very happy with his placing, because so many had written him off!

Side note:  Kudos to Brandon Curry for his 8th place finish at his first Olympia. Look for him to improve and possibly crack the top six next year.

Be sure to keep emailing me your questions and I will answer them in an upcoming blog entry. You can get in touch with me by email.  Until next time be consistent, and stay balanced!