The Top 5 Uncrowned Mr. Olympias

Every time we have one man dominate the Mr. Olympia with multiple victories, a legion of fans appear proclaiming how the “other guy” should have won.

In the early 2000s, Ronnie was shadowed by Jay Cutler, a bodybuilder that many considered to be better. Cutler eventually went on to win four Mr. Olympia crowns.

Related - Top 10 Bodybuilders of All-Time

Phil Heath has had some major adversaries, including Kai Greene and most recently Big Ramy.

In my opinion, there have been five notable freaks that could have won. But they had their Olympia dreams crushed - either by lack of work ethic (outworked by the winner), or they simply competed at a time when a very dominant champion was reigning supreme. These unbeatable champions include "the shadow" Dorian Yates, Arnold, and arguably the best ever - Ronnie Coleman.

These article features my top 5 uncrowned Mr. Olympias. They are ordered from most deserving to least deserving. In another era, or with a slightly improved work ethic, each of these men could have gone down as a Sandow winner.

After you read this, comment down below and let us know who your top five uncrowned Mr. Olympias are.

The Uncrowned Champions

1) Kai Greene

This three-time Arnold Classic winner is a fan favorite. From personal experience, Kai Greene is one of the nicest guys you'll ever meet. Known for his striated quads, low-inserting lats, and slabs and slabs of muscle, Kai wows fans with every pose.

He was also known for his unparalleled posing skills, taking entertainment and presentation to the next level. In a heated showdown in the movie “Generation Iron,” Kai lost by slim margins. This video portrayed Phil in a negative light, and Kai as the underdog. From here, his popularity skyrocketed.

Some argue his losses were due in large part to some questionable videos he did early in his career, but from my perspective Kai was just competing against a once-in-a-lifetime freak in Phil Heath. BUT, I can argue and win that Kai deserved to best Phil in at least one Mr Olympia showdown.

Kai Greene and Marc Lobliner Train Back

2) Kevin Levrone

From 1992 until 2003, Kevin Levrone was a perennial contender for the Mr. Olympia crown. From Dorian to Ronnie, Levrone went head to head with two 6+-time Mr. Olympians.

Why did Levrone fail to win? Work issues, and two greats.

Dorian and Ronnie, in my humble opinion, simply out-trained Levrone. I saw this first-hand when I worked at Weider. Levrone would go from literally not acting like he cared about lifting, to placing second at the Mr. Olympia.

Kevin Levrone literally trained less than 16 weeks a year! The rest of the time he would focus on his rock band, Fullblown. If Levrone took it seriously, Dorian might have never won one Sandow and even Dorian has stated this!

3) Flex Wheeler

A man so prolific that he is even rumored to have a myostatin disorder that makes him look freakier than freaky. This dude - Flex Wheeler - was his own worst enemy.

From being known as cocky and arrogant, to not training hard enough, Flex still won many shows and was a contender each time he stepped onstage. His career was ended prematurely because of a genetic kidney disorder. He also tried to make a comeback after a debilitating car accident.

Flex didn’t win the Mr. Olympia because of four reasons:

  • 1) Dorian Yates
  • 2) Ronnie Coleman
  • 3) Work ethic
  • 4) Bad luck

4) Mike Mentzer

While Mentzer himself never said he should have won the 1980 Mr Olympia - where he placed behind Arnold, Chris Dickerson, and Frank Zane - he asserts Arnold didn’t deserve to win.

Mentzer was the first man to get a perfect 300 score at the Mr. Universe. His Heavy Duty training philosophies revolutionized the sport and also led to the advent and proliferation of Nautilus machines in gyms across the world. Next to Dorian, Mentzer was perhaps the most influential thinker in our sports history.

5) Rich Gaspari

The first man on the bodybuilding stage to have shredded glutes, Rich Gaspari won the 1986 IFBB Pro World. He competed in an era filled with legacies such as Lee Haney and Dorian Yates.

A smaller man in a big man’s world, Gaspari was known as the Dragon Slayer. His mention here is mainly because he started the shredded-glute trend.

Who is in your top 5 uncrowned Mr. Olympia List? Let us know below.

Previous article 10 Top 1980s Bodybuilders - Then and Now


Cade White - January 11, 2019

Completely agree with Kai being #1. That man deserves an Olympia title.

Plecemanvpd - January 11, 2019

Good stuff

Frank R Lev - January 11, 2019

You forgot Gunter Shlierkamp in 2002…he was robbed!

Martin Wheeler - January 11, 2019

Shawn Ray?

Aliya Tudor - January 11, 2019

Kai Green 100% agree. He seems like the nicest, quietest gentle giant.

Alex Berry - January 11, 2019

I think you could make a case for Lou Ferrigno. If he would’ve continued competing I feel like he could’ve won multiple Olympia titles.

josh millhollan - January 11, 2019

#1 would have to be brad castleberry

Jordan Adams - January 11, 2019

I agree that Kai is the #1 uncrowned Mr O. But I’d put Flex in second due to his number of Arnold Classic wins. He always came in better during the spring than he did the fall.

anonymous - January 11, 2019

Tom Platz at the 81 Olympia when Franco Columbo won was probably among the most controversial Olympias to date.

John Hennessy - January 11, 2019

This is a great list! I am a huge fan of both Kai and Levrone. Those are two guys who were very deserving of the title. And you can’t forget about Flex as well. He is a bodybuilding legend! Unfortunately for Flex and Levrone they were competing in a tough era. Ronnie and Dorian stood in their way and were two unstoppable monsters. Kai I feel should have beat Phil in 2014. But it is what it is. I just hope Big Ramy doesn’t make this list because hopefully one day he’ll win the title.

Leave a comment

Comments must be approved before appearing

* Required fields