Myron Mielke's 2008 Olympia 202 & Under Show Review!

In the inaugural 202 Showdown at the 2008 Mr. Olympia, David Henry was victorious. He sharpened up a bit from his showing only 12 hours before... Here is my review of a very successful show by the IFBB!

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202 & Under Show - Henry Wins the 202!
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In the inaugural 202 Showdown at the 2008 Mr. Olympia, David Henry was victorious. He sharpened up a bit from his showing only 12 hours before when he stood on stage with the rest of the competitors at the Mr. Olympia judging on Friday night. By winning the 202 Showdown Henry solidified his place as one of the best in the IFBB.

Anxious fans and coaches awaited the beginning of the 202 Showdown. As the case at every bodybuilding show, the smell of ProTan filled the air. I took a quick peak backstage as the competitors were pumping up. It was very intense. No one was talking and each athlete had looks of intensity on their faces as they methodically repped out side lateral raises after side lateral raises.

The first guy I saw was Ray Arde and he looked impressive. He was very dark and his coloring looked very even. From backstage I thought he had a lock on being in the top five. Kevin English was covered up when I was there.

Ray Arde Ray Arde
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Ray Arde At The 2008 Olympia.
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I went back out front and grabbed my seat. Well, actually it was Shawn Perine's seat (his nametag was stuck on the chair). But he wasn't there until later on so I sat down. He was a good guy and left me keep my seat, however, as he went to sit with the rest of the guys from Flex Magazine in the row behind me.

The 202 Showdown would be held as an all-in-one show. The judging occurred and then the finals with the routines immediately followed. The whole show was over in less than two hours, including a brief intermission.

Rich Gaspari was sitting a few seats down from me cheering on Flex Lewis and shouting out a few coaching tips while he was on stage. The standard, "Bring it back!" and "There you go!"

I found the striking similarity between Gaspari and Lewis uncanny. Both became pros at a very young age and both are known for ultra conditioning along with ripped glutes.

Lewis had many moves like Gaspari used to do on stage. The rocking of the abdominals and the shifting of legs during the front abdominal pose had Gaspari written all over it.

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Top Six
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Although there were only three places given out, six finalists were called out for the posedown. Making the cut were Flex Lewis, Roc Shabbaz, George Farah, Kevin English, Jason Arntz and David Henry.

Of the final six I nearly completely agreement. I say nearly because I would have had Ray Arde in the final six and not George Farah. I thought Ray Arde looked great and his shape alone should have carried him into the finals.

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arrow Four Through Six:
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    At the time of the writing of this article I didn't see any score sheets or talk to the judges so I'm not sure which order these three were, so I'll pick the order to my choosing.

    George Farah:

      I thought Farah's coloring was a little muddy and he has been much sharper in other contests. He seemed to be a little soft compared to the other guys in the top six.

      If he would have had another week or two to prepare, I think George could have been fighting for a top-three spot. But, of course, he didn't have another two weeks and his physique showed it.

George Farah George Farah
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George Farah At The 2008 Olympia.
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    Jason Arntz:

      Arntz was in good shape and he was dry. His abs looked great and his legs were very tight and chiseled. His quads and hams were great. His coloring was good too. He looked a little smaller than the last time I saw him compete at the Iron Man.

      I thought his arms could have been a little bigger and fuller, especially the triceps. His delts didn't seem as overpowering as they have been in the past.

Jason Arntz Jason Arntz
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Jason Arntz At The 2008 Olympia.
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    Roc Shabazz:

      Roc stole the posing presentation round. He came out to the music of Rocky and was escorted by some unknown guy by the name of Ronnie Coleman who was wearing a Team Roc shirt. Ronnie took Roc's robe and boxing gloves.

      Shabbaz sported red, white and blue star-spangled posing trunks. It reminded me of Coleman's on-stage trunks change in 2001 when the nation was still in shock from 9/11 and feeling patriotic. Roc had a great routine and it was choreographed well.

Roc Shabazz Roc Shabazz
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Roc Shabazz At The 2008 Olympia.
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    Flex Lewis:

      The Rich Gaspari clone managed to take home third place. I think it was very close and he might have snagged second if his back was a little thicker. He's got plenty of time to grow and fill out, though. And he's a got a great mentor and nutritional coach who can speed that process up.

      I spoke with Flex and his nutritional coach Neil Hill at the Expo on Friday. Flex was busy eating rice cakes and bananas as we were talking. Neil explained that he had Flex eating 100 grams of carbs every two hours yesterday. Flex just smiled and said most people can't believe how many carbs he takes in when he carb loads. It's a lot more than most guys. That's for sure!

Flex Lewis Flex Lewis
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Flex Lewis At The 2008 Olympia.
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    Kevin English:

      He's the silent type. I didn't hear him say a word while I was back stage. He was just intensely pumping up and getting ready to do battle. He was in good condition, but I thought he was holding water in his hamstrings.

      I couldn't quite tell because his coloring or his oil application didn't allow the light to reflect on his lower legs during back poses. I was in the second row and had a hard time seeing the definition. Kevin has a great victory pose, but he seemed upset that the victory wasn't his when he was announced in second place.

Kevin English Kevin English
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Kevin English At The 2008 Olympia.
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    David Henry:

      David Henry was very emotional when he was called out in first place and it had sunk in that he won the show. He kneeled down for a moment to soak it in and try and compose himself. It was evident that he wanted this win badly and that he had worked very hard for it.

      His wife was in the audience and screaming approval for her hubby. Henry had a broad smile on his face when Bob and Dan raised his hands overhead in victory for the celebratory pose for the cameras.

David Henry David Henry
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David Henry At The 2008 Olympia.
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Conclusion
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Backstage Henry was all smiles and posing for lots of photos with friends surrounding him. His wife was with him and was very excited for him. Henry's day wasn't over yet, however. He still had the Olympia finals to prepare for.


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David Henry.
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Gaspari was very excited for his protégé and was posing for a variety of photos also. I asked Flex if he could go eat and Rich chimed in, "Oh no. He's got photo shoots to do tonight." Flex nodded in agreement. "Tomorrow you can eat?"

"Yes, tomorrow I will eat," replied Lewis happily.