2019 Mr. Olympia: New winner to be crowned as promoters do damage control.
The 55th Mr. Olympia, will most probably be the most anticipated contest in the history of the sport.
It is not the first time the defending champion has pulled out, such as Dorian Yates (injured), Arnold Schwarzenegger (retired) and Lee Haney (retired) to name a few.
The 2018 Mr. Olympia Shawn Rhoden will also be missing the chance to defend his title in 2019. Rhoden’s situation is totally different than any other competitor that ever stepped on the Olympia stage.
Shawn is missing the 2019 Mr. Olympia not because of injury or retirement, but because he is being charged with rape.
As Rhoden is innocent until proven guilty, AMI’s David Pecker, the owner of the Olympia brand, still decided to exclude Shawn Rhoden from the 2019 Mr. Olympia and the following years as well.
Read More: Mr. Olympia Shawn Rhoden charged with rape
As many disagreed with this decision from AMI, this situation has put the entire Olympia organization in a tough spot.
This event has totally destroyed all the hard work of Dan Solomon, the Chief Olympia Officer at Mr. Olympia LLC and his team.
The marketing campaign had to be totally revamped as it was also decided to suspend coverage of Mr. Rhoden in its media brands, including Muscle & Fitness and FLEX.
AMI are racing against time to get back up on their feet and do damage control.
The marketing campaign for the Olympia Weekend was sour as well as instead of focusing on 7X Mr. Olympia going for his eighth consecutive victory, the focus was on other athletes that could dethrone him. The man in control was Robin Chang. It would be his final year running the Olympia Weekend, he would eventually move on to work with Jim Manion and the NPC Worldwide.
Already, Olympia LLC have removed anything related to Shawn Rhoden on their official Olympia website. The banner with Shawn Rhoden standing in the front of all the competitors has been removed and even the image of Shawn Rhoden holding up the 2018 Mr. Olympia Sandow trophy.
It would be expected that Olimp, One of Shawn Rhoden’s main sponsor would cancel their contract with him, but it seems they are not in a rush as his image is still all over their official website.
Till the 14th July, 2016, two days after the news was made public regarding Shawn Rhoden, no comments were made by the NPC/Pro League’s officials. Athlete representative Bob Cicherillo and Pro League President Jim Manion have been silent on the matter. AMI’s David Pecker is the only person that took a stand on this.
Dan Solomon has brought on board movie stars such as Mark Wahlberg and as well made 4X Mr. Mr. Olympia Jay Cutler the Ambassador of the 2010 Olympia Weekend.
It is still now known if Dwayne ‘the Rock’ Johnson and his company Seven Bucks Productions will be involved this year.
At the moment, they can basically involve anybody in the promotion of the contest, the discussion will still be the black cloud that Shawn Rhoden has left over the Olympia.
The man (Shawn Rhoden) glorified and praised for dethroning 7X Mr. Olympia was a terrible ambassador for the sport.
Rhoden already hit rock bottom just a few months ago when he presented himself in the most horrible way in front of NPC/Pro League President Jim Manion while guest posing.
No matter how many times he tried to brush it aside, the biggest names in the industry still criticized him.
As it looks, at the age of 44 and even if he is proven innocent, Shawn Rhoden’s career is basically finished when it comes to bodybuilding.
A new Mr. Olympia for 2019.
Now, with rape charges over his head, Shawn Rhoden unfortunately labeled himself as the worst Mr. Olympia ever.
On the bright side of things, the 15th Mr. Olympia will be crowned at the 2019 Mr. Olympia.
The ultimate favorite to win the title would be 7X Mr, Olympia Phil Heath, if he does decide to compete.
Looking at all the other competitors it looks as all eyes will be on Brandon Curry, Roelly WInklaar, William Bonac and 2008 Mr. Olympia Dexter Jackson.
The competition will be tense with no defending champion to be compared to.
We must not forget a man that can easily be a contender for the title if he gets it right. We are talking about Cedric McMillan. As it looks, he will qualify on points.
Whoever will lift the 2019 Mr. Olympia title, he will have the extra pressure to be the brands ambassador. Hopefully the new Mr Olympia will represent the sport in the best possible way for the good of the sport and the future of the Olympia Weekend.