Arnold Classic History: 1994 – 1998
We continue with the second part of our series looking back at each contest of the Arnold Classic.
This would be the year for Kevin Levrone, a legend that is competing still in 2018. 1994 was a great year for Kevin Levrone, he was one of the best bodybuilders in the world, placing first in a majority of the contests. Kevin eventually finished second as well at the 1995 Olympia for the second time in his career.
Kevin had the ideal look of a Arnold Classic winner, he had perfect symmetry and size and was the ideal athlete to represent the sport. The defending champion Flex Wheeler did not participate, but these two legends would come head to head on the Arnold Classic stage in the near future.
1992 winner Vince Taylor managed to place second.
1995 would see the return of Flex Wheeler, but there was a giant walking on the stage that would take the title. Michael Francois. Michael showed great potential and looked liked the future of the sport, but his best placing after this victory would be winning the San Jose Pro in 1994 and placing third at the Arnold Classic in 1997.
Flex Wheeler looked fantastic as usual with his natural genetics, but the size factor played a big part and Flex finished in second place. The majestic Charles Clairmonte finished in third. Mr. ripped Adread Munzer (RIP) finished in fourth while the legend Lee Labrada took fifth.
The 1996 Arnold Classic presented one of the best battles in the history of the sport. The best bodybuilders in the world, Kevin Levrone and Flex Wheeler would do battle for the top prize. The title could have went either way. The two bodybuilders gave the crowd what they wanted in a show that is still discussed today.
With his second Arnold Classic victory in 1996, Kevin Levrone would become the first competitor to lift the Arnold Classic trophy for the second time in the history of the contest.
The giant Paul Dillett finished in third while Vince Taylor took fourth spot, while Shawn Ray finished in fifth.
In 1997, Flex Wheeler dominated the bodybuilding scene in 1997 and the bodybuilding world still cannot understand how he did not lift the Olympia title in his fantastic career.
The 1997 title would be Flex Wheeler’s second Arnold Classic victory.
Flex walked on stage and it was game over for the rest. Giant Nasser El Sonbaty (RIP) with all his size could not go up against the ‘Sultan of Symmetry’ Flex Wheeler and finished in second.
Mass monster Michael Francois was also back to try to win his second title, but the best he could do was third place. Ronnie Coleman, a man that would dominate the sport for more than 8 years would place fourth. Ronnie Coleman was a nobody at the time and was looked down at by a number of competitors, but the future would present a totally different story.
Mr. consistent was back, Vince Taylor managed to take fifth spot. Kevin Levrone disappointed in 1997 as he finished in eighth place, something that we would rarely see in his career.
The 1998 Arnold Classic had the top two battle it out again. It was symmetry against mass. Flex Wheeler would do battle against Nasser El Sonbaty (RIP) for the second time.
Flex Wheeler would go on to be the first person to win back to back Arnold Classic titles and the first to win three. Flex went on to finish second at the Mr. Olympia in 1998.
Vince Taylor was in the mix again and finished in third place while Jean Pierre Fux took fourth spot.
Chris Cormier finished in fifth place. Chris was having a consistent year regarding placings and also placed third at the 1998 Mr. Olympia.