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Mr. Olympia Review – 2015

Mr. Olympia Review – 2015

In a subjective ‘sport’ where the fate of pageant contestants the athletes that participate is left in the hands of ‘judges’, opinions and tempers flare high amongst pot-bellied fans furiously typing away on laptops across the country. Each year the most prestigious title in bodybuilding is crowned, the outcome typically more predictable than a Floyd Mayweather fight or Harlem Globetrotters game. Even with all of the hullaboo built up this year about potential competitors to out condition and flex their way to the (new and improved) Sandow, Phil Heath remained the victor. A non-threatening generic personality and ‘good enough’ presentation of himself was the sine qua non for another $400,000 check (before taxes.)

I do not belong to the cadre of some supposed bodybuilding fans that are content to negatively thrash and nitpick every detail of every competitor (while usually looking like 10 pounds of shit in a 5 pound bag themselves;) on the contrary my passion and support for this sport remain as rigid and unbending as Nancy Pelosi’s artificial face. In similar fashion to Ronnie Coleman, Phil Heath‘s dominance has caused the Olympia to lose some of its luster for a few years; this year remained another bullet point on the list of unexciting Olympias, that left many looking forward to the Arnold Classic for more dramatic results.

Dexter Jackson_Olympia_2015_2nd Place

There were some slight surprises such as former Olympia champion, Dexter Jackson taking 2nd place. Even Dexters placing might be a display of how stagnant the sport has become at the highest level; while the people we were expecting to push him just a few years ago such as Beyeke and Centopani are no where to be found, or at home taking the same pale gym selfy they have been for the last 5 years. However, most of the excitement had already been splurged on Kai Greene’s carefully staged media-manipulation, stating he would not do the show in an ’emotional’ video landing him on the USA Today website. Despite the predictable outcome, there were a few saving graces to make the show tolerable; competitors that brought the best presentation of themselves possible, even if they were not rewarded by the judges.

Branch Warren_William Bonac_2015_Mr Olympia

Apparently Branch Warren and Victor Martinez earn their bread (albeit cheap white-enriched) by signing up for the show. Both are legends having placed as high as 2nd at the show in previous years, both now struggling to hold their bodies together in the new era. Branch brings the benjamins to the NPC from his show in Texas and Victor is well… Victor. Perhaps it’s not moral treason to give the old dogs a nod here or there… Yet it seems somewhat odd that a stellar physique like William Bonac is relegated below Branch.

Another competitor who looked exceptional was the young and rising phenomenon Dallas McCarver. Dallas was peeled with great lines and symmetry complimenting his genetically gifted structure. This however was only enough to warrant 13th place. Was it because he hasn’t ‘earned his stripes’ yet? Judging, as noted above is subjective…

Dallas McCarver_Olympia_2015

The biggest issue the IFBB and NPC face is that as a whole they remain reactionary organizations, never taking courageous leaps to keep the brands thriving or palatable to a new audience. The new Classic Division is good news to the ear, yet comes off the heels of Arnold’s commentary earlier in the year. Besides this, little has been done to make the Olympia a more entertaining and larger spectacle. Even the ‘Challenge Round’ as ridiculed as it was brought some buzz to be excited about. Perhaps I do not have the right to complain as I watch the Flex Online webcast, and essentially participating in the game. I don’t have an agenda or plethora of grand ideas to make the Olympia as exciting as it once was; none the less, there are people who have plenty of good ideas on resurrecting the ‘O’ and industry as a whole, surely there is enough money floating around to consult some fresh ideas out of a stale industry.

By: Danny Manslaughter

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