First awarded in 1965, the Mr. Olympia is the pinnacle of physical accomplishment and pro bodybuilders know that no other title offers a truer test... Learn about the past winners, what set them apart, and what their thoughts were about the big show!
Mr. Olympia: when bodybuilding is discussed, the mere mention of this title suggests it is no ordinary award and that it is given only to those who truly reach the pinnacle of physical accomplishment.
Since the Mr. Olympia was first awarded in 1965, it has meant just that, and more, and professional bodybuilders know that no other title offers a truer test of their fortitude and muscular superiority. It was back then and remains today an honor that is never given lightly, but rather is strictly reserved for bodybuildings best of the best, its champion among champions.
Probably the best indication that it is indeed professional bodybuilding's biggest prize is the fact that in its 42 year history only 11 men have won this most prestigious of bodybuilding awards. All of them say it is the biggest achievement of their bodybuilding career.
In an age where an increasing number of major professional bodybuilding contests are competing with one another to become the biggest and the best, why does the Mr. Olympia remain such a sought after title and the ultimate iron accolade?
First of all, since it has been around for so long and has hosted all of professional bodybuilding's top champions, it has the longest and strongest tradition of attracting the sports biggest and best.
It has stood the test of time and never fails to produce the most exciting bodybuilding spectacle in any given year - like the athletes who dominate its stage, consistency of quality and ultimate supremacy are its key hallmarks. Then there is allure of following in the footsteps of the those bodybuilders who effectively pioneered bodybuilding and shaped it into an industry that creates fortunes for the lucky, and genetically blessed few who make it to the top.
Such is its proud tradition that today's iron athletes, most of which were not even born when Larry Scott won the first event back in '65, aspire to be included among the ranks of those who will forever be regarded as legends.
Being an Olympia winner also tells the victor that he is the best in the world at that point in time and that there is no room for argument concerning this distinction. The other contests, including major spectacles such as the Arnold Classic and Europa Pro, are distinctive in their own right but all professional bodybuilders will agree that when it comes to testing their mettle against the very best the sport has to offer, the Mr. Olympia is without peer.
To make it to the Olympia one must first prove they are worthy, either placing in the top six at the previous years event or by qualifying at one of the "smaller" shows. And such is the pressure connected to retaining the Olympia title that the incumbent champion will often spend the entire year focusing exclusively on this one contest. Other bodybuilders who are lucky enough to qualify usually save their best for the "big dance".
So it is pretty clear that to be Mr. Olympia is a special honor that the vast majority of bodybuilders will never attain despite this being their primary aim in the sport.
Over the years so many great bodybuilders have narrowly missed out on sharing the distinction of being Mr. Olympia with those who attained the Sandow. The fact that men such as Harold Poole, Shawn Ray, Lee Labrada, Nasser El Sonbaty and Flex Wheeler did not win an Olympia usually says more about this contests status than any real or imagined deficiencies on their part.
Like Olympia's past, the 2007 version will be contested by the best in the world. But unlike many previous Olympia's, this year's event is not a forgone conclusion, with its lineup featuring least three men who have a real chance of winning.
In 2006, bodybuilding fans were shocked with the surprise announcement that four-time runner up Jay Cutler was the new champ, with the majority expecting the incumbent Ronnie Coleman to become the new record holder of nine Sandow's, breaking the record of eight he and Lee Haney share.
Ronnie & Jay: Rematch! Who Will Be Praying This Year? Photo By SecondFocus.
This year it is impossible to say who will take the title. Ronnie Coleman has said he is training harder than ever for what will be his last shot at glory and Jay Cutler, as reports have suggested, is determined to win at least two more Mr. Olympia's.
Add to this Victor Martinez, a man who many thought should have won in 2006, and who has made even more improvements since then, and the years hottest breakthrough athlete, Tony "X-Man" Freeman, and you have a contest that is as tight as Freeman's waistline. And like all of the Olympia's before it, it will be the most exciting, and controversial, muscle show of the year.
One thing is for certain, other than the fact that the outcome is anything but certain, is that whoever does win will share the title with the 10 greats who have gone before, men who will forever be synonymous with bodybuilding perfection and physical excellence.
From the truly legendary Larry "loaded guns" Scott at five feet seven and 205 pounds through to present day behemoth Jay "a cut above" Cutler who hits the Olympia stage at five feet nine and around 280 pounds ripped to the core, professional bodybuilding has certainly progressed as far as size and conditioning is concerned. But even though the sport has evolved to where the quality of beef has definitely improved, all Olympia champions, save for a few controversial decisions which proves that bodybuilding has commonalities with other sports, brought the best physique in the world to the stage and were rewarded accordingly.
Rather than giving a long-winded overview of who won the Olympia and when, and what the events leading up to this were and what the aftermath was, I will let the champions themselves explain how they won the title and what it means to them to have achieved bodybuilding immortality, to have become Mr. Olympia.
Wallpapers Of The Week: 2007 Olympia Competitors!
BB.com offers two new high-quality desktop wallpapers each week for your viewing pleasure! These ones, however, are specifically themed around competitors in the 2007 Olympia! [ Click here to learn more. ]
Larry Scott (Mr. Olympia 1965-66)
There could be no more worthy champion to usher in bodybuilding's premier event than beach bronzed Californian Larry Scott. With gigantic arms and shoulders and great development elsewhere, along with a picture perfect all-American look, Larry garnered the loudest audience response at a bodybuilding contest up until then, a record that possibly stands today.
Click To Enlarge. Larry Scott.
When Larry hit the stage the crowd went wild and combined with his immaculate presentation, he was duly awarded bodybuilding's fist ever Olympia. In 1966, Larry Scott maintained his winning streak but was pushed extremely hard by Harold Poole, a man many though could have taken the title that year.
"As the first, Mr. Olympia, I realized right away how important it was for the titleholder to be a good role model for the sport. In your time as Mr. Olympia, you are the, figurehead for the sport, and the fans, particularly the younger ones, need someone they can look up to and respect."1
"The sport and its audiences were different back then. We had non-bodybuilding jobs and paid our own way to the contest. We did it just for the glory; the audiences knew that and responded by giving more of themselves. They would stand on their seats and holler, even throw things onstage. Today, the audiences think, well, this guy's getting 100 grand for this, so they feel detached from the athletes. In my day, the ¬athletes and fans were like one entity."1
Click To Enlarge. Larry Scott.
"That first year, they gave me a crown but no paycheck. The second year was terrific: I got $1,000 -I didn't miss the crown. "Before the' 66 Mr. Olympia contest, I promised myself that if I won, I would announce my retirement. I thought the crowd would listen and then move on to the next item. I was amazed and moved at the emotion that welled up in the audience and their feeling that I should not retire."1
Sergio Oliva (Mr. Olympia 1967-69)
Sergio "The Myth" Oliva is widely regarded as history's most genetically superior bodybuilder. His wasp waist combined with flaring back, wide shoulders and the roundest muscle bellies ever seen up until that point Sergio easily won his first Olympia in 1967. By '68 his reputation had spread and nobody wanted to challenge him so he took his second title without a fight.
Click To Enlarge. Sergio Oliva.
In '69 Sergio was challenged by a man named Arnold Schwarzenegger, but was able to again win bodybuilding's biggest crown, becoming the first man to win the title three years running. Of all the Olympia champions Sergio's
name usually tops the list of most gifted and worthy champions.
"We [the bodybuilders from the '60s] were the foundation that made the Mr. Olympia contest what it I today. In '67, I took on and beat all comers: Harold Poole, Dave Draper and Chuck Sipes. After '66, Larry Scott stepped out, so we never had a rematch."
"In 1968, nobody would go up against me in the Olympia: I was the only one in the contest. It was good and it was bad. Good that the other guys felt they didn't have a chance against me, but bad because I feel you should always compete whatever the odds. I always enjoyed competing against the other guys."
"I had no real competition until 1969, when Arnold showed up. I beat him that year, and in 1970 Arnold looked no different, but he won. He knows and the whole world knows that I was the better bodybuilder. But it was a nice time [my reign as Mr. Olympia], a different time. I might have a lot to say, but I'm a different person than the one I was back then."1
"After winning the Mr. America, Mr. World and Mr. Universe titles, the only thing left to prepare for was the Mr. Olympia. Being Mr. Olympia carried a magic completely different from that associated with other titles. I feel good still being known as Mr. Olympia - you stand apart."1
Arnold Schwarzenegger (Mr. Olympia 1979-75, 1980)
Some might find it hard to imagine one of the worlds most photographed and instantly recognizable men, a political and entertainment industry force, being first and foremost a bodybuilder. But as most fans of the sport know, bodybuilding is exactly where Arnold Schwarzenegger got his first big break and where he made the Mr. Olympia title his for eight years.
Click To Enlarge. Arnold Schwarzenegger.
As Mr. Olympia Arnold set a new standard in all-round bodybuilding excellence. As a consummate performer, strategist and physical warrior, the "Austrian Oak" only ever lost one Olympia ??" to Sergio in 1969 ??" but thoroughly trounced the opposition in at least seven others.
Known for his supreme stage presence and magnetic charm, Arnold's major physical attributes were his massive chest, peaked biceps and diamond calves and as being the first man to approach shredded muscularity. If Sergio is the most gifted Olympia champion ever, Arnold is surely its most popular and enduring.
"In the week before the Olympia, everyone got personal attention from Joe Weider, which made everyone feel like a winner. He was like a coach who never chose one [athlete] over another. He felt like we were all his children and we felt he was the father figure. Without him, there would have been no Olympia, none of the excitement, and I would never have had- besides all the other help [he gave me] - the great pleasure and entertainment that I had in bodybuilding."1
"At the 1970 Mr. Olympia, the judges called Sergio Oliva and me together at the end of the evening for the last time. It was clear the scores were close, and I was wondering: What can I do to convince the judges it's not close, and that I'm ahead of him? I was not that convinced myself, but I had to psych myself up because he looked awesome. They called for us to free pose [(pose-down)] together. This was my last chance: It was now or never."1
"We posed and posed. He'd hit a back shot; I'd hit a front lat spread. He'd come back with a thigh shot; I'd hit an arm shot. He'd throw in a side chest -¬ all this stuff was flying around like crazy. Finally, Sergio leans over to me and says, 'I'm wiped out. Let's walk off.' I said, 'You're right, this is too much.' He waved [goodbye] to the crowd. I made one step to the right [as if to leave the stage] and Sergio walked offstage to the left. I stayed onstage and gestured in his direction [in the manner of asking], 'Why is he leaving? Why is he surrendering? Is he maybe too old? Is he burned out?' I hit some more shots, and the crowd was chanting, 'Arnold! Arnold! Arnold!' Then I bowed and walked off."1
"If that did it or not I never knew because the judges never commented on it. But I think that, besides being in great shape, that was the additional thing that swayed them. I became aware at that point in my career how quick improvisational tactics are crucial to winning a contest when it is so close."1
A most unlikely Olympia champion was Franco Columbu, who at five feet five inches and under 200 pounds of dense muscle on a compact physique, did not fit the mythic status given past Sandow winners, but he surely made up for this with determination, heart and amazing conditioning to win his first title.
Click To Enlarge. Franco Columbu.
The second, where he did not compete at his best, is largely disputed.
Possessing possibly the best detailed and most muscular chest and back during his rein, Franco was a veritable powerhouse and one of the strongest
bodybuilders of all time.
"What makes the Mr. Olympia - the contest and the winner - so great is how the event forces physique standards to improve year by year. In 1975, when I went against Arnold for the overall, it was very close - it could have gone either way. As we were standing onstage, Arnold said to me, 'this is it [his last Olympia]. It's getting too dangerous out here. I'm improving, but everybody else is too.'"
"Over the next year, I improved, then won the title in 1976. That year, I weighed 187 pounds. When I won again in '81, I was 11 quality pounds heavier. To win the Olympia, you have to improve on your previous form.
Standing still won't get you the crown."1
"The moment of winning my first Olympia was so incredible [after competing in it for so many years] that I jumped up in the air. Then I had to take a big deep breath to think about what I had done. What I had done was get to the top, top, top, top, top!"1
Click Image To Enlarge. Franco Columbu Is Inducted Into The Muscle Beach Hall Of Fame.
Frank Zane (Mr. Olympia 1977-79)
The first man to be rewarded for proportionate mass and presentation, Frank Zane could be responsible for the emphasis that is now placed on balance and conditioning among many of the sports champions. Not the most massive man to have won the Olympia, Frank nevertheless presented the perfect package time and again, beating out such massive men as Mike Mentzer to claim bodybuilding's biggest prize.
Click To Enlarge. Frank Zane.
Frank Zane also radically changed many competitors views on presentation.
Before Zane, stage presence and the so-called little things like skin color and posing were mere afterthoughts, once the physique had been built. Having placed as much emphasis on presentation as he did on physical development, Frank Zane was always honed to perfection and many of his fellow pros followed suit.
"The Olympia represents the best the sport has to offer at that particular time. Whoever is fortunate enough to win becomes the role mode for the sport. I'm thankful that I had the opportunity to fill that position. The story of my career was that I persevered. I lost a lot of contests, a lot of Olympia's before I won in 1977. The high point was '79, because I was in the greatest shape of my life."1
"Basically, a contest is won beforehand in how you prepare. After that, you step onstage to convince people you are the winner. Of course, there's always a couple of other competitors who feel the same way, and part of the job is to sell your act."1
"In '79, it was close between me and Mike Mentzer. I was behind going into the evening posing round, but I also knew I was going to win. I hadn't been compared to Mentzer and I knew that when we were, all the work I had put in would show and I would beat him. I knew Mike didn't pose too well. What happened was that Mike watched me pose, and when it came [to be] his turn he imitated each of my poses. That was perfect for me; it was follow the leader."1
An Interview Frank Zane.
I spoke with Frank recently and he discussed his life as one of bodybuilding's greatest, what he has been doing in recent years and his thoughts on the current state of the iron game.
Like Frank Zane, Chris Dickerson presented balanced muscle mass and great conditioning along with excellent posing skills, which enabled him to win the 1982 Mr. Olympia. In fact many would say that Chris rightly deserves the honor of being the best bodybuilder in the early '80s, and the distinction of having three Sandow's, given he narrowly lost the '80 and '81 Olympia's under controversial circumstances.
Click To Enlarge. Chris Dickerson.
Chris is also known for being one of the first men to display complete leg development with massive and cut calves and thighs, and for being the oldest man to win the Mr. Olympia at age 43.
"I'd been frustrated by two controversial second places in '81 and '80 behind Franco and Arnold, so when I won in '82, I was consumed by a feeling of 'I've done it . . . finally!"1
"As myself and Frank Zane stood there as the last two, Frank said to me: 'I figured it would be you and me for one and two.' Even though Frank was a previous Mr. Olympia, I thought I had it. After what had happened to me the previous two years, I didn't think the roof would fall in a third time. When they announced Frank as second, I looked down at my good friend and coach Bill Pearl [seated in the audience], and he had this big grin on his face. Bill's not a demonstrative man, but he clasped his hands above his head in the manner of victory."1
"The moment seemed to say 'we did it,' and 'we' really had done it, because it was a joint effort. It was like, after all the controversy of 1980; things had finally come out as they should have. The journey was a long, painstaking one, but the victory was sweeter for having had to wait."1
Click Image To Enlarge. At The 1982 Olympia.
"The Mr. Olympia is the apex that eclipses all other titles. When they announce me anywhere, they say, 'Chris Dickerson, Mr. Olympia!' There's just no point in quoting any other titles. I know I will be remembered for having been Mr. Olympia. It's there forever."1
"Winning the Mr. Olympia. Not only is it the highest title, both then and now, but also after two disappointments, to finally win it was great. That would have to be the pinnacle of my bodybuilding career. The other one, a close second, would have to be being the first African American to win the A.A.U Mr. America."3
"I felt confident. It was kind of a do-or-die thing. Bill Pearl travelled with me and he was there in the audience in the front row and I remember lifting up the trophy and making the victory sign and looking down and there he was, all smiles. He was just as delighted as I was, so that was a wonderful moment."3.
"I think I would have wanted any place, but London has always been a very good city for me. The London audience and the people really look for perfection and not just size. We are becoming more of a size audience and the fans go crazy over the biggest guys. But aesthetics play a big part and always have in England. I am not saying it may not have happened in another place, but it did happen there."3
Samir "The Lion of Lebanon" Bannout is another who pulled it all together to combine crisp conditioning with balanced size to win an Olympia. Distinguishable for his incredible back development, complete with Christmas tree erectors that had never been seen before with such detail, Samir bested a strong field, including Lee Haney who would go onto win eight Olympia's, to win his '83 title. The statement "mass with class" could be used to describe Samir's physique when he won the biggie in '83.
Click To Enlarge. Samir Bannout.
"The Olympia title is the ultimate. Nothing tops the ultimate. Being Mr. Olympia means you cannot go any higher. By winning the Olympia, you become the king of bodybuilding in '83 I truly felt like the king."1
"My tunnel vision to win in 1983 started a year earlier when I was fourth [in the Mr. Olympia] in London. I left the stage knowing deep down that I deserved to be higher. For a year, I trained with unbelievable enthusiasm. My mind was very clear. If you don't have a clear mind, you will never get anywhere. The mind was in control, there were no worries - I just knew everything was going my way."1
"I was ready for the war." "The night before the show, Joe [Weider] asked me to go up to his room, so he could check me out. I started posing, and I looked at Joe and Betty's faces, and they were like Wow! Holy cow! What did this guy do? Joe became excited and said, 'Oh, my God, let me get a photographer up here. I need a cover."1
"While Joe was on the phone, Betty said to me, 'Samir, Arnold Schwarzenegger and you are the most impressive bodybuilders I have ever seen.' That was a h-ll of a compliment."1
Lee Haney dominated pro bodybuilding in the 1980s to the extent that he was classed as unbeatable. In '91 he retired from competition on his own terms with a record eight Olympia titles, an achievement that would stand for the remainder of the '90s.
Click To Enlarge. Lee Haney.
Lee Haney is known for bringing the biggest, most balanced physique to the stage during his rein and today many feel he is the greatest of all time based on the combination of aesthetics and mass he routinely presented. At over 250 pounds, Lee Haney seemed to keep getting better and better so much so that in his final Olympia in 1991 he said: "I have finally learned how to peak."
"Preparing for my last Olympia, my motivation was to do what nobody else, not even Arnold, had done before: win eight Olympia's and earn a unique place in history. "There was something almost pre-ordained about that last year ['91]. The training was the easiest ever - I peaked perfectly, and going out in the best shape of my life was a magical experience. For that last contest, I used the same music [theme from the movie Excalibur] that I used for my first victory in 1984. That seemed to bring my bodybuilding career full circle and gave it a sense of closure." "Should I never achieve anything else, I can say I took eight Olympia titles. When my kids grow into adults, they can look back and say, 'Yup! My daddy was the greatest bodybuilder of all time.'"1
"The Olympia is a monument to Joe's love for the sport, and the avenue through which we [the athletes] can become better bodybuilders and people. Joe's like the shepherd pointing us in the right direction."1
Lee Haney Interview.
In this episode, Dan Gastelu interviews guest Lee Haney, 8-Time Mr. Olympia! Hear about his reflections on the Olympia and his new supplement line! [ Click here to learn more. ]
Dorian Yates is known for being a hardcore trainer and an advocate of the Heavy Duty high intensity method. He also ushered in a new standard for sheer size, which nobody could match. The first "freaky" bodybuilder Dorian Yates was, at over 265 pounds ripped, the biggest bodybuilder in history during his six-year rein as Mr. Olympia.
Click To Enlarge. Dorian Yates.
With the biggest back and legs ever seen on any stage, and grainy conditioning not previously witnessed, Dorian's physique possessed shock value and since his arrival the sport has not been the same.
"The Olympia is the ultimate title for the ultimate bodybuilder. When you think 'of Mr. Olympia, you think of someone with presence, power and size. You think of Arnold, Sergio and Haney. Two hundred-pound guys can win other contests, but if you are going to say to the general public, 'this is 'Mr. 0, the best bodybuilder in the world'; they are going to expect to see a big, big guy."1
"The night before my first win, I was nervous. By finishing as the runner-up in 1991 [and with lee Haney not competing in '92], I was the pre-contest favorite. But I kept on thinking, Okay, you've I proven yourself one of the best bodybuilders in the world, but being Mr. Olympia means being the absolute best. Out of all the countless numbers of bodybuilders in the world, can it be that I, Dorian Yates, am the best?"1
"It's quite an amazing thought to be considered the best on the planet at what you do. I was confident in my physique, but it was incredible to think I could be the absolute best at what I did. Then I thought, s**t, somebody's got to be the best - why not me?"1
Click Image To Enlarge. Dorian Yates.
"I think it was an achievement coming from the background I came from. I didn't really have any support when I started. The facilities in England at the time were pretty poor compared to the States, and the attitude of people over here was like, 'you can never beat the Americans.' It was almost like the Americans were seen to have two heads and stood twelve feet tall."4
"It was an American sport, so people over here didn't give me much of a chance to beat the Americans. Then there was all the talk of politics: 'You don't know the right people and you are not in all the magazines, and nobody knows you.' I think I disproved all those feelings, and they turned out to be myths. I think you can be successful no matter where you come from, if you have got what it takes and are determined enough."4
" My philosophy was, 'I will be so f*cking good they can't deny me.' That was my approach. I get a bit annoyed about people always complaining about their placing's because they 'Haven't been around long enough,' or 'Haven't paid their dues, or 'Don't know the right people and it is all politics.' I just think it is BS and I proved that so I could back that up."4
If Dorian Yates broke the size barrier, Ronnie Coleman completely obliterated it with unsurpassed mass. With a better structure than Yates, Ronnie succeeded in walking onstage at close to 300 pounds, 55 pounds heavier than his regular competition weight during the early '90s, when he was regularly placing out of the money at the Olympia.
Click To Enlarge. Ronnie Coleman.
A rapid transformation saw Ronnie go from nowhere in 1997 to number one in '98. He subsequently achieved eight straight O's until his rein was broken by his nemesis, Jay Cutler, in 2006. Having won 26 titles since turning pro, Ronnie is the most successful pro bodybuilding competitor of all time. In 2007 he hopes to go one better and become the best Mr. Olympia champion of all time.
"I just want to be the best bodybuilder that I can be as long as I can be. If it includes breaking Lee Haney's record then that is something I would cherish more than anything in the world."
"I never in a million years believed I would become Mr. Olympia. I was just competing to have fun and that was my only intention back then. But if the opportunity came for me to make money, I would be more than happy to do that, but I never cared about becoming Mr. Olympia because I didn't think I had what it took to become Mr. Olympia."
"My biggest competition is always myself. I mean no disrespect, but I do not look at any of the guys as being my competition for the simple reason that I can't control how they're going to look. I can only control how I look." 5
"For the most part I would say that I have always had a great love for the sport, just doing what I do. I think my success could be greatly attributed to that. I don't look at it like it's a job or anything like that. It's more like a hobby, something I have fun doing. And of course me having the type of personality that I have, I've always wanted to be the best at whatever it is that I do."6
"A big part of my success is my ability to put my best foot forward and be totally determined, focused and dedicated to the sport of bodybuilding."6
"My greatest moment in bodybuilding is, by far, winning my very first Mr. Olympia. The reason why is because I never really thought it was possible to win the Mr. Olympia. My biggest goal was to place in the top 5 and that's all I thought was possible for me, but for me to win was definitely overwhelming and very unexpected.
It just goes to show that we are not in control of our own destiny like we would like to be. God is in control and decides what he wants us to do in life." 7
"Winning the Olympia. When you reach the pinnacle of your sport there's really nothing that can top it. I never envisioned myself winning but when it happened it was like winning the lottery. It was one of those events where you are so overwhelmed that you can't find the words to put it into perspective to explain to people how you really feel about it." 9
Since he turned pro at the 1996 Nationals, Jay Cutler has steadily risen through the ranks along the way winning four Arnold Classic titles, while improving as a bodybuilder, all of which culminated in his first Olympia title in 2006. Like Ronnie, Jay is continuing the trend set by Dorian Yates, for being one of the biggest, most balanced men onstage.
Click To Enlarge. Jay Cutler.
Looking at Jay's physique it is hard to find a weakness and his conditioning is always on point. Is 2007 his year for a second Olympia victory? If he has made even more improvements since last year, it would be hard to bet against him.
"It was actually pretty amazing. Gustavo jumped on me and gave me a hug as soon as I realized what was kind of going on, so I was in shock a little bit but at the same time that was the most satisfying moment I think of my bodybuilding career because I not only won the Mr. Olympia but I won the crowd. And I always said if you won the crowd you win the show and I had the crowd behind me 100 percent and I could tell through the whole night show when the cheer was for Jay Cutler when Jay Cutler's name was announced. I mean it was off the hook. Through the pose-down and through my posing routine I heard the chants and I had so many people there supporting me."8
"I have been second so many times and have gathered so many fans over the years. I'm just a down to earth guy from nowhere USA, small town Massachusetts, and I have taken on a sport that people said I will only go so far in, I proved everyone wrong and I am completely satisfied."8
"I'm very, very confident. I was confident after prejudging that I won the show. I never felt that the judges would never give it to me. I was down last year and I knew if there was going to be a change it was going to be this year (2006) and the judges came through with what they really believed and I pulled out on top."8
"I said this was my destiny and I made a promise on my website the day after the Mr. Olympia last year (2005) and said 2006 was going to be different and everyone laughed and said, 'yeah right, this kid's dreaming' and I was persistent and I persevered and I really believed I could be the best and of course your are talking to me today because I'm the best." 8