Becker Built 2010 Olympia Review

The 2010 Olympia is in the books and it truly lived up to all of the hype and expectation. I feel it was one of the best judged Olympia’s that I can remember. The competition was scored fairly and politics were not a factor in awarding the top honors. We must remember that the Olympia is a Weider/AMI produced event. In the past, the winner was always a Weider/AMI sponsored athlete. Jay Cutler, once a Weider/AMI sponsored athlete, jumped ship in January of this year and joined Muscular Development publications. All in all, it was a great show and I cannot wait until the 2011 Olympia.

Here’s how the top 10 guys placed and my thoughts:

#1 Jay Cutler: This year’s Olympia was Jay’s show to lose but there was not enough competition in the field to steal the crown. Jay looked very good, but in my opinion, was slightly off from his condition at last year’s Olympia where he took top honors. He looked better at finals on Saturday night than pre-judging Friday night and after his win, he stated in an interview that he was struggling Friday night due to severe dehydration. Jay is not one who needs to make any big changes to his physique; he just has to nail his conditioning. Jay had all first place votes, except for one, after pre-judging and victory was well in hand leading into finals Saturday.

#2 Phil Heath: Phil looked incredible. When he came out individually during the mandatory posing round, I thought he had it. I definitely believe that he is the heir apparent to Jay on becoming the next Mr. Olympia. Phil came in 15 lbs heavier from his last Olympia appearance and it showed. His conditioning was spot on but while standing next to Jay in the lineup, Jay was just so much wider than Phil and he began to fade in the hamstring-glute area as pre-judging progressed. Jay’s conditioning was not off enough for Phil to surpass him. Great showing—Phil is definitely the future Mr. O.

#3 Branch Warren: Branch looks like Branch. Grainy, ultra conditioned with lots of mass. I’m not a fan of his physique, but it was more aesthetically pleasing this year. I believe that he will never become Mr. O, due to his wide, blocky waist. Some say Jay has a wide waist, but he’s got 3 inches of height on Branch and he can get away with it. I see Branch continuing his streak as a second or third place finisher for years to come.

#4 Dexter Jackson: The Blade dropped to 4th place this year, even though he had a great showing. He may have duplicated or surpassed his ’08 look when he was the winner at the “O”. This just goes to show how the sport is evolving. It will be interesting to see if Dexter continues to compete in years to come. I feel that his placings will continue to slide and I see Dexter hanging it up before this happens.

#5 Dennis Wolf: This was a redemption show for Dennis; I still feel he looked better in ’07. But after the past two years of looking like crap and poor placings, I feel 5th place is a great accomplishment. Dennis also gave the quote of the weekend while at the press conference where Bob Chiccarello asked him what he did differently this year. Dennis stated “No gurus”. Classic!

#6 Ronny Rockell: Here’s a guy who just keeps getting better! He’s only 5’6” but damn, he’s thick. He has vastly improved his conditioning from the rear and I think the only thing that hurts him is not from a physical standpoint but he doesn’t speak a lick of English! He is thus not marketable as an athlete in the United States.

#7 Kai Greene: Kai looked terrible compared to his 2009 showing and I am very happy that he placed out of the top 6. You could tell by looking at the pics from the athletes meeting that he was not in shape. His cheeks look like he was smuggling two grapefruits, no pun intended! Thursday night at the athlete meeting, there were pics of him weighing in at 282 pounds. This man competed at the Arnold, just 6 months prior weighing in the 250’s. Good for the judges at getting this right. Hell, I would have had him in 9th place at best!

#8 Victor Martinez: Victor looked good but has made no improvements from his second place finish in ’07. The sport is evolving around him and I feel that his ’08 knee injury has a lot to do with this. Victor was once prognosticated as the future Mr. O but Vegas odds sees it differently. Hopefully Victor has more success with his “Muscle Maker Grills” than he has in recent contests!

#9 Toney Freeman: The “X-man” is another athlete who is just hanging on. At 44 years old, his most competitive years are over. Toney looked like he did in the spring shows with no major improvements, but was awarded a top 10 placing based on his structure alone. Toney is a super nice guy who I hope continues to compete as long as he can.

#10 Hidetada Yamigishi: I agree with Hide’s 10th place finish, especially after suffering a minor quad tear in July of this year. He had his trademark conditioning with great balance. He may want to take some time off to have his umbilical hernia repaired, as it is becoming distracting and I’m sure it has to hinder his training in some shape or form. It may be hard for him to take the time off as he likes to compete in every IFBB show.

Well, there you have it. The Olympia is a big event at the Becker household every year. I love to have my buddies over and watch the play by play with my laptop hooked up to the Hi Def TV and this year was no exception. Since I have entered the off season, it was nice to be able to enjoy a pizza while watching the show!

Until next time, be consistent and remain balanced!