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Kai Greene: Genius, Madman, or Both? The ’15 Mr. Olympia Debacle

Kai Greene: Genius, Madman, or Both? The ’15 Mr. Olympia Debacle

Part I


 

The debacle that was the Kai Greene experience at this year’s Mr. Olympia contest / expo played out with all the dramatic peaks and valleys we’ve come to expect from a character such as Kai. Yet again, Kai left audience members and fans at home watching their screens wondering WTF just happened; only this time, instead of questioning what they witnessed from Kai, it was what they didn’t see from him, an appearance on the grandest stage in the sport of bodybuilding.

The dust has yet to settle, and we still can’t tell if this was the best decision Kai’s ever made; plotted and well thought out, or the worst; brash and his moves consequential / reactionary to changing surroundings. On one hand, there’s potential for a story of great loss, but on the other, success. He may have missed the Olympia, losing a supplement sponsor in the process as well; but it would appear, Kai, the mysterious / mischievous cat he is, has yet again found a way to land on his feet.

The epic began weeks before the Olympia, when Kai was dropped from his media contracts as well as parting ways with Muscle Meds, a company which notoriously stood by his side for a large part of his career. Shortly thereafter, it was announced that Kia was starting his own supplement line, Dynamik Muscle; through his affiliation with the company isn’t fully known. This is when the whispers started, but nobody could foresee the scale or implications the series of events which were about to unfold would have.

Dynamik Muscle_supplements_Kai Greene

The first ‘official’ clue came when Kai was removed from all media pertaining to the contest, such as Olympia posters, and banners on the Vegas convention center. What were whispers quickly had grown to screams, as the news made its rounds that Kai had yet to sign up for the contest and was unlikely to do so.

Like an elephant in the room, nobody directly responsible bothered to explain the situation, from any party; instead, fans were left wondering if they would get to see one of the greatest of this era complete. As the contest drew closer, so did the daunting reality of the silence. Leave it to industry-insider and IFBB Pro, Bob Cicherillo to lighten the mood with his insights:

Kai Greene_Olypmia Poster_2015_Bob Cicherillo


Part II:


Like an avalanche in the night, Kai Greene released an early-morning (~2 am GMT) announcement pertaining to his lack of entry in the 2015 Mr. Olympia bodybuilding competition, as well as (some of) his reasoning at the time for the decision:

In many words, Kai essentially states that he was banned from both the Olympia as well as the competition; and would not be competing in Vegas, nor have a booth for Dynamik Muscle as originally planned. He didn’t clarifying what or who exactly his issue was with, but rather highlighted the consequences. This sob story, however, landed him on USA Today, amongst many other ‘mainstream’ media publications; the news sitting at the top of Facebook’s trending subjects the entirety of the day.

Kai Greene_Facebook_trending_2015_Olympia

As expected, Phil Heath would earn his 5th Sandow, and the Olympia as a whole would come and go with a blink of the eye. However, we’re still watching how the Kai Greene story plays out. Yet again, Kai’s gotten us collectively wondering, WTF (even more so after his recent guest posing in Spain that only raised more questions,) and what’s his next move going to be as well as why. In the process, he’s grabbing people’s attention and demonstrating a groundswell / surge of interest in the sport of bodybuilding this industry dreams of, and can learn from.

This is the most marketing bodybuilding has received lately, with the exception of Generation Iron which Kai is largely responsible for popularizing. He may not have a Sandow, but Kai’s winning right now in a lot of ways; as he’s created or at least joined forces with a new supplement company, as well as ESPN / NFL.

Kai Greene_2015_Mr Olympia

These maneuvers could possibly be setting Kai Greene up as an ambassador to the sport beyond the sport itself, as he’s grown bigger now in some ways than the industry in which he developed. Don’t think the produce videos are slowing his momentum either, it’s 2015 and it’s an interesting story; plus, Arnold is just lucky there weren’t as many video cameras around during his ascent to the top.

Now we are left to wonder; are we watching a genius or madman, and what’s it taken to make him and others capable of getting to this point?

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