At the conclusion of pre-judging I'm sitting on a shuttle bus along side Dexter Jackson. Dexter and I go back a few years, so I wasn't the least bit surprised to see his unique brand of pessimism. Who could blame him? A year ago, at the same event, he was relegated to a debatable 3rd place. More recently, just 4 months ago he was dealt a surprising blow when the Mr. Olympia judges scored him 4th place.
So there we were, aboard a shuttle bus outside of the Veteran's Memorial Auditorium. It was my opinion that Dexter was indeed the best man on stage during the pre-judging. When I told Dexter that the day belonged to him, he looked back at me and quietly said, "I don't know... it looks like they're gonna give it to Chris". Dexter was of course referring to Chris Cormier who arrived as the sentimental favorite after finishing 2nd in each of the past 5 years.
Chris Cormier & Dexter Jackson At Pre-Judging. Check out thousands of pictures here.
Confidence has never been a problem for the man they call The Blade. But, as we sat on the bus, it was obvious that Dexter was preparing for the worst. After a moment of careful thought, I pulled out a crisp $100 dollar bill and handed it to Dexter. The following is a transcript of how the conversation went:
In other words, I was so sure of Dexter's victory that I put my money where my mouth was! Dexter accepted my proposition.
At 11 P.M. on Saturday night, the 2005 Arnold Classic champ put down his first place trophy and his new watch just long enough to reach into his wallet and pull out a cool $200. Thanks Dex... and congratulations on a well deserved victory. It was nice doing business with you.
Additional Thoughts On The Arnold Fitness Weekend
Gustavo showed up nearly 20 lbs heavier than his Olympia weight. Bad move Gustavo! The added weight apparently went straight to his midsection. 3rd place was generous... to say the least.
Lee presented his best package in years. Always a class act, Lee managed to overcome some water retention issues that we had seen in prior events. In the end, it was a solid effort for the veteran.
Speaking of whacky judging... Did Kim Klein really finish ahead of Kelly Ryan in the fitness event? Are you kidding me? Kelly wins both routine rounds and still finishes 4th? Is her physique really that inferior? Give me a break.
Regarded by many as the premier female sports commentator in all of network television, was on hand to serve as the back stage reporter for the live TV broadcast. Congratulations to Executive Producer Richard Enlow and his team at Physical TV for bringing the event to bodybuilding fans throughout North America. Learn more about Lesley here.
Jim Lorimer And The City Of Columbus
And Finally, another tip of the cap to Jim Lorimer and the city of Columbus for embracing a tidal wave of health & fitness fans from places far and near. The event has elevated to an extraordinary level of popularity and economic impact to the downtown Columbus area. The Arnold Fitness Weekend is one of the industry's real treasures, and just like Arnold, fifty-thousand plus fans will be back for many years to come.
About The Author
Dan Solomon's articles and commentary are among the most published in the industry. His articles appear regularly in various media outlets, including Muscle & Fitness Magazine; the industry's most widely circulated publication.
Dan can also be seen on television providing commentary for major industry events, including the Mr. Olympia. Dan founded the Physique Management Group, which provides promotional and management support for many of the industry's top athletes, models and promoters.
Check out Dan's website Pro Muscle Online.