Arnold Schwarzenegger. Lee Haney. Dorian Yates. Ronnie Coleman. Jay Cutler. Phil Heath. The history of the Mr. Olympia competition is filled with big names displaying a mammoth-sized dominance of the competition.
This year, six-time Mr. Olympia Phil Heath found himself gunning for yet another title; inching a big step closer to the record eight Olympia victories held by both Ronnie Coleman and Lee Haney.
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Heading into pre-judging on Friday, very few had doubts about the competition's outcome.
2017 marks the 52nd year of the iconic Mr. Olympia competition. It has long been the pinnacle of the bodybuilding world, and the competition is usually stiff enough to make it an event worth tuning in to.
There are too many variables in the sport of bodybuilding to consider any one competitor a lock. Conditioning, and timing of a competitor's peak. The freak surprise of a dark horse bringing his game up a notch. And let's not forget the odd competitor that - by luck or happenstance - brings the best showing of his career; a freaky-shredded physique that can't be denied.
With Kai Greene out of the equation, the question boiled down to: Who in the pack had what it takes to knock out the champ? Dexter Jackson? Sean Rhoden? Let's not forget about Brandon Curry, Mamdouh Elssbiay, William Bonac, Cedric McMillan or Roelly Winklaar.
Pre-judging kicked off at 9pm eastern on Friday, September 15th. The location: Orleans Arena, Las Vegas. Heading into the event, prize money had yet to be announced. Last year, Phil Heath took home an epic $400,000 for his first place finish. Shawn Rhoden won $150,000 for his second place finish, while Dexter Jackson won $100,000 for finishing third.
By noon on Thursday the Mr. Olympia press conference kicked off, and there was early entry for VIP ticket holders opened. Thursday evening wrapped up with a "meet and greet." VIP ticket holders were allowed to mingle with the field, and shortly after the event was opened to the public.
Friday started early at 8am with VIP and Platinum ticket members getting into the Expo. Events started promptly at 10am with a wide range of events such as Boxing and Jiu Jitsu Grappling. With so many events packed in to a Friday, there was plenty for general spectators to take in.
On Saturday it was time for the finals.
It didn't take long for the crowd to understand that Phil Heath was facing tough competition. The only real question was if the judges would still see Phil as king, with Mamdouh "Big Ramy" Elssbiay looking immense and shredded. At the end of the night the judge's scorecards went with aesthetics over sheer size - Phil Heath was still the king of bodybuilding.
In the 212 division, Flex Lewis took home his 6th crown, with Ahmad Ashkanani placing second.
2017 Mr. Olympia Final Results
|2017 Mr. Olympia Results|
|2||Mamdouh "Big Ramy" Elssbiay||$150,000|
|7||Nathan De Asha||$25,000|