For part of me, it is hard to imagine that in the last fifty-six years that Mr. Olympia has been going on, there have only been sixteen men that have claimed victory in the men’s open class. Since the beginning, the men’s open class has been the mainstay, with other classes coming and going.
The men who make it to the open stage of the Olympia have gone to levels few even dream about when you talk about discipline and dedication. They have a singular focus, a winning mentality, to do whatever is necessary to win. You do not have to be a bodybuilder; however, that does not mean you can not adapt their personality of winning as your own
When you look at your life, how many times have you claimed victory. Large or small ones all count; you do not have to win a gold medal, be the strongest, fastest, or most intelligent, to claim a victory. For some, waking up in the morning and doing a push-up is a victory. Claim it and be proud. Then push to bigger and better victories.
Mr. Olympia Champions
The first man to have the title of Mr. Olympia in 1965. He would go on to claim victory again in 1966. To date the only man to never lose at the Olympia.
The Myth became the catalyst for years to come as the original mass monster. Claiming three victories, one of which was beating Arnold.
For many of us, the first introduction to knowing who Arnold was, came from him portraying Conan the Barbarian. Between bodybuilding, movies, governorship, and conventions. Arnold is a mainstay of drive and dedication to gaining victory in every area of our lives. Through the course of his career, he claimed victory seven times.
Often overshadowed by Arnold, Franco was a beast. Making his name known both in the bodybuilding arena, claiming two victories as Mr. Olympia, and working as an actor, director, writer, and producer in Hollywood.
Bringing back aesthetics to the stage Frank was able to claim victory over those with larger mass. Winning three Olympia’s and the first man to be awarded the Sandow Trophy.
The early 80s were both controversial and an interesting time for the Mr. Olympia competition. Arnold came back out of retirement to win in 1980, Franco won his second in 1981, Chris claimed victory in 1982, the following year Samir would win, and then era’s would start.
Over thirties years of competing Chris became one of the most titled bodybuilders in history.
The last man to win being under two hundred pounds, the aesthetics era was over bring on the bigger-than-life mass monsters. Samir’s career in bodybuilding was shadowed by underhanded politics, warranted or not. How often do politics bring down good men, holding them back from what they could have achieved?
Starting in 1984, three men would dominate the next 22 years. The first man Lee Haney would-be champion for the next eight years straight. He would be the first to win so many in a row. Tied for most wins with Ronnie Coleman.
With the retirement of Lee Hanley in 1991, it was now Dorian’s time to shine. He would go on to win the next six years in a row till his retirement in 1997. In the ebb and flow of aesthetic, conditioning, and mass. Mass one again ruled the stage.
Ronnie brought the mass and symmetry to the stage. Many consider him the GOAT of bodybuilding. Winning eight consecutive years (1998-2005) till Jay Cutler beat him in 2006.
Though not consecutive, Jay won four times. Often stated: he took the art of bodybuilding to a business-level mindset that many bodybuilders since have worked to emulate.
Dexter took the victory in 2008, breaking Jay’s streak, with Jay returning to reclaim the title the following year. Dexter may have only been Mr. Olympia for one year. However, that does not take away that he has won more titles in the bodybuilding world than any other man. Setting records few ever even dream about. He retired at the age of fifty, with the 2020 Mr. Olympia being his final show.
Becoming the champ in 2011, Phil would continue to take victories till being beat by Shawn Rhoden in 2018. With his seventh win, he tied Arnold for most wins after Lee Hanley and Ronnie Coleman. Taking a break, he came back in 2020 chasing that eighth win, tho placing third. As of right now, he is the last man to control an era. As the future unfolds will see if another man can dominate the stage.
After winning in 2018, Shawn ran into some legal trouble, resulting in him not being allowed to defend his title. The rule of innocent till proven guilty is lost in our culture. I look for him to return once again and show the world he has what it takes to win.
With Shawn not able to defend his title, it was up for grabs. You sometimes hear a bit of shade thrown at this event. In my opinion, it does not matter, on this day, this moment of time, Brandon was the man, and rightfully so, nothing should be taken from the work he put in to become the champ. There was a line up against him, unlike in 1971 when Arnold was the only competitor.
Better known by many as Big Ramy. Coming into the 2020 Mr. Olympia on a special invite. Big Ramy walked out on stage bringing what everyone has been asking for with both size and conditioning. The question now is can he hold the title, will it be another era when one man dominates the main stage. Only time will tell.
Those of us who are mere mortals will never see the mass and size of the men listed in this article. That does not mean we cannot push our bodies and take inspiration from the victories shown. Many events have all kinds of classes that are age and weight-appropriate. Or even taking it to a smaller scale of looking good naked.
I talked about a few of the classes here, BODYBUILDING TO LOOK GOOD NAKED
We each should be striving to be the best version of ourselves. In body, mind, and spirit. Look for that inspiration and start chasing after your dreams and make them into realities. Bodybuilding is only one avenue that can be taken. Business, relationships, life, pick your course of action, step down that path and achieve what you set out to do.
Start claiming VICTORY.
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