In the last couple of weeks we have been hearing the opinions from the top figures in the industry on who they think will win the Mr. Olympia.
Names such as Dan Solomon, Jay Cutler, Shawn Ray, Dave Palumbo, Chris Aceto, Dennis James and a number of others all gave their feelings on who would win.
Shawn Ray, who we believe was judged harshly on his opinion was right in many ways. Others who spoke against the Levrone comeback did not get the same backlash as Shawn did. He was the first to express his opinion and others followed.
Many believe Phil Heath will totally dominate and take home his sixth Sandow. While other pundits this Dexter will win his second Sandow.
Well this is the way I see it. Being a good friend of Levrone, it is sometimes hard to see clearly on the matter. Deep down, you want him to win, but then reality sets in. I am not going to say Kevin is going to win just for the sake of it. Some others do this for personal gain.
Seeing Phil Heath, with the age difference from his closest rivals, you automatically can say he is the favorite to win.
Dexter looks like he never gets old. He always looks fantastic, but we have to see him side by side with the others.
Then we have Shawn Rhoden, who has been covered for a while, so nobody can really say how he is looking other than Charles Glass.
We must not forget about Cedric McMillan. He is the ideal Mr. Olympia. But Cedric never seems to nail it on the day. He has perfect genetics, but the killer instinct is not there!! Size, definition and balance is all there. It just has to be timed perfectly. There is a reason why Arnold Schwarzenegger likes this Cedric.
Its is going to be a very exciting Olympia with a deep field of competitors who can surprise at any moment. The quality is just that good.
Why is this Olympia is so special? Well we have the Levrone factor. I can guarantee that every competitor that is going to step on that stage watched some old footage of Levrone in his prime. They know Kevin can bring it and he is looking to be bringing back that 90’s look.
Kevin’s competitors will surely be watching their midsection as they know that will be Kevin’s main point.
Even at the age of 52, if Kevin is 90% of what he was, we will see some magic.
This Mr. Olympia can be a success or it can be another 1980 or 1981 farce.
The pressure will not be on the competitors, but it will be on those sitting in front of them with their pad and paper. The judges have the power do decide who is going to win and as well give an indication on what direction they want the sport to go.
When Dorian Yates stepped on the stage, the sport chose to move in the direction of freak size and it continued with Coleman and Cutler (with Dexter winning once). When Phil Heath came along we saw a slightly more refined physique dominate.
The big question is, will the judges be looking to ‘big’ wins it all? or will they want to see a physique such as Dexter or Levrone walk away with the Sandow.
Can you imagine Big Ramy standing next to Kevin Levrone on the stage? It will be the best of both worlds. The biggest bodybuilder in the IFBB vs the refined and smaller Levrone. How will the judges judge this situation?
With the Classic Bodybuilding class gaining a lot of popularity, this might slightly alter the way the judges view the sport. Do the fans want to see a freak show, or see a physique they can possibly emulate.
It will be the 90’s vs today.
If Phil Heath comes in the condition that he won with in 2011. I would surely pick Phil to win. If some bodybuilders are off as in recent years (including Phil), and the judges use their true knowledge of bodybuilding to judge… Levrone and Dexter should do some damage.
You might be saying, what kind of a prediction is this? Well, it is easy to say somebody is going to win. But when a sport is at a turning point, it is not that easy to predict and we all just have to wait and see what direction the powers that control the sport want it to go.
Lets just leave these names here (in no specific order). Phil Heath, Dexter Jackson, Kevin Levrone, Shawn Rhoden, Big Ramy and Cedric McMillan.
The other classes
In the Bikini class I am going to pick Ashley Kaltwasser to dominate again.
The 212 bodybuilding class will be exciting, but I can’t truly see anybody matching Flex Lewis on that stage, so it will be another victory for him.
In the Figure Class, I will just say Nicole Wilkins is hungry to get that title back and it will be a great battle between her and Latorya Watts.
Men’s Physique… well to be honest I find this to be as hard to judge as bikini. The athletes all in great shape. With many moving towards the Classic Physique class… I will stick to Jeremy Buendia to retain his title.
Men’s Classic Bodybuilding – Its a new class, a number of fantastic physiques. It will probably be the highlight of the weekend!
Women’s Fitness – Oksana Grishina for another win.
Women’s Physique – Well could be anybody’s. Again, I see the sport at a a turning point. Do the judges want to see more muscular women or a more refined physique?
Good luck to the competitors, they are all winners already and as well good luck to the judges as it will be a very stressful evening!
Finally well done to Robin Chang and the rest of the team for what looks to be another successful event!!