John Hansen's Review Of The 2007 Olympia: The Final Outcome.

This insistence to award the title to the reigning champ has hurt the popularity of the Mr. Olympia. Here is my review of each Mr. Olympia competitor, where they placed, and why. Did Jay deserve the title? Learn more!

I haven't attended a Mr. Olympia contest since 2002. That was the year that Gunter Schlierkamp stole the show from Ronnie Coleman and earned a standing ovation from the crowd for his massive and ripped 300 pound physique. Of course, Ronnie went on to win the Mr. Olympia that year over Gunter as well as Dexter Jackson, Chris Cormier and Kevin Levrone.

The crowd loudly booed the decision and it lent some credence to what Shawn Ray said years ago about the Mr. Olympia, "The returning champ will always win, no matter what he looks like."

RELATED ARTICLE

[ Click here to learn more. ]
John Hansen's 2002 Olympia Report.
Natural Olympia John Hansen gives you his opinion on each competitor, their condition and whether or not they deserved their placings. Do you agree?
Author:
John Hansen

This insistence by the judges to award the title each year to the reigning champ has hurt the popularity of the Mr. Olympia. Think how much more exciting it would be to have the Best Physique on that day win the contest instead of it automatically going to the returning champ. The crowd would love it and then the former champ could always return the next year and try to reclaim his crown.

As anyone who has competed can tell you, it's very difficult to hit your peak every time you compete. There are so many things that can go wrong including injuries, holding water, coming in flat, etc, etc. To win the biggest contest of the year, the Mr. Olympia, is an incredible accomplishment. To win it continually, year after year, is an astounding feat.

There have always been debates in the bodybuilding community about all the multi-Olympia title winners and if they deserved each one of their wins. Should Arnold have beaten Sergio Oliva in 1972? Was Lee Haney superior to Lee Labrada in 1989 or 1990? How did Dorian Yates win over an incredible Shawn Ray in 1994? Should Cutler have beaten Ronnie Coleman way back in 2001 instead of 2006?

This year, we had a new champ returning to reclaim the title. Jay Cutler won the title over the reigning champ, Ronnie Coleman, in 2006 (a feat that has not been accomplished since Lee Haney beat the current Mr. Olympia, Samir Bannout, in 1984). To add some excitement to this year's event, Ronnie Coleman was actually planning on competing again to get his title back.

The talk on the internet boards as the contest got closer proposed all sorts of scenarios: Ronnie will come back and destroy Jay this year, Jay will win again easily, Ronnie will not only lose but he will place lower than second because current Arnold Classic Champ Victor Martinez will place ahead of him.

A total of 24 competitors competed in this year's Mr. Olympia contest. Below is my review of all the contestants for the 2007 Mr. Olympia contest in Las Vegas, Nevada:


Out Of The Top 15


-> Mark Dugdale:

    Mark has one of the more pleasing physiques on the pro scene today. He placed second at the 2007 Pro Iron Man Show in February but dropped way down for the Arnold Classic two weeks later. He didn't place in the top 15 today at the Olympia.


+ Click To Enlarge.
Mark Dugdale At The 2007 Olympia.
View More Pics Of Mark Dugdale Here.

    Mark has a lot of thickness on his physique, particularly in the chest and quads, but his structure is smaller than most of the other competitors so he needs to show up ripped to the bone and rock hard in order to place high. Today, he was in good shape but not super hard like he needed to be.


-> Sergey Shelestov:

    Sergey is a Big Man and he placed third behind Jay Cutler and Ronnie Coleman at one of the European Grand Prix shows after last year's Mr. Olympia contest.


+ Click To Enlarge.
Sergey Shelestov At The 2007 Olympia.
View More Pics Of Sergey Shelestov Here.

    He stacked up well against the two Mr. Olympia winners because of his height and massive structure. However, he is not that aesthetically pleasing so he did not place in the top 15 at this year's Mr. Olympia. Sergey could also have been much harder and he would have placed higher if he combined that hardness with his massive structure.


-> Quincy Taylor:

    Big Quincy Taylor looked much better tonight than when he recently took seventh place at the recent Atlantic City Pro Show two weeks ago. He was flat for that contest but he filled out here and looked much better. Quincy is another Big Man, standing 6'4" and weighing around 280 pounds onstage. He has one of the freakiest Most Muscular poses in the pros today but he came up against some tough competition on this night.


+ Click To Enlarge.
Quincy Taylor At The 2007 Olympia.
View More Pics Of Quincy Taylor Here.


-> Bill Wilmore:

    Bill was competing in his first Mr. Olympia after winning his pro card at last year's NPC Nationals. Bill is a very big guy with thickness throughout his whole physique. He doesn't have the smallest waist and he needs to come in really hard to do some damage against the more aesthetically pleasing physiques.


+ Click To Enlarge.
Bill Wilmore At The 2007 Olympia.
View More Pics Of Bill Wilmore Here.


-> Eddie Abbew:

    Eddie has some of the biggest and freakiest arms on the planet. If you ever see him walking through one of the bodybuilding expos, your jaw will drop at the size of his massive guns hanging by his side. Onstage, Eddie didn't appear to be sharp enough to place in the money tonight.


+ Click To Enlarge.
Eddie Abbew At The 2007 Olympia.
View More Pics Of Eddie Abbew Here.

    He is a big man onstage but he didn't stand out in comparison to the other bodybuilders. One thing that hurts him is that Eddie is so dark, he actually blends into the black curtains behind him onstage. This makes him appear softer than he actually is.


-> Vince Taylor:

    The veteran, Vince Taylor, was back in the Olympia at 51 years old. Vince placed 11th at last year's Mr. Olympia and he did not look as good tonight as he did then. His arms are still incredible but his legs and back looked soft and smaller.


+ Click To Enlarge.
Vince Taylor At The 2007 Olympia.
View More Pics Of Vince Taylor Here.

    I heard from one of the fans at the Expo that Vince hurt his back about 3 months ago and could not properly train for this contest but he honored his commitment to compete and got onstage anyway. Vince is always a joy to watch onstage and he is one of the true professionals competing today.


-> Markus Ruhl:

    Markus is one of the most popular pros with the crowd. His big, freaky physique always gets the audience applause. However, Markus does not seem to have the same appeal with the judges that he has had in the past. His physique looks older and he appears to have some type of chest injury or lump on his right pec. Markus was never aesthetically pleasing but he seems to have lost that freaky size and impact that he had years ago. It looks like this is the end of his career.


+ Click To Enlarge.
Markus Ruhl At The 2007 Olympia.
View More Pics Of Markus Ruhl Here.


-> Francisco Bautista:

    Francisco "Paco" Bautista just won the Pro Show in Spain the week before the Mr. Olympia. Bautista has incredible size in his legs and arms and that freaky mass is combined with paper-thin skin and crazy vascularity throughout his physique. Unfortunately, Bautista is also extremely blocky with the widest waist in the contest and little to no V-taper. He is a freak to look at but he will probably never place high in a contest like the Mr. Olympia.


+ Click To Enlarge.
Francisco Bautista At The 2007 Olympia.
View More Pics Of Francisco Bautista Here.


-> Marcus Haley:

    Marcus was in decent shape for his first Mr. Olympia but he was not hard enough to make a dent in the top 15. Marcus has good size and proportions but he doesn't stand out in a contest of this caliber.


+ Click To Enlarge.
Marcus Haley At The 2007 Olympia.
View More Pics Of Marcus Haley Here.


The Top 15


15th Place - Will Harris:

    This was my first time seeing Will Harris compete and I was impressed with his physique. He was in very hard condition for the Olympia and Will combined that hardness with some impressive thickness, particularly his back, which was one of the best in the show.

    Will also had one of the most entertaining posing routines of the night. It's hard to describe but he was shuffling back and forth across the stage while rubbing his hands all over his torso. It was weird but the crowd seemed to love it.


+ Click To Enlarge.
Will Harris At The 2007 Olympia.
View More Pics Of Will Harris Here.


14th Place - Toney Freeman:

    One of the biggest disappointments in the contest was Toney Freeman. Toney was one of the pre-contest favorites based on his wins this year at the Pro Iron Man and the San Francisco Pro Show. Toney also placed a very impressive third place at the Arnold Classic and was in seventh place at last year's Mr. Olympia. Tonight, he was just too smooth and was very lucky to even place in the top 15.

    It's amazing how an impressive physique like Toney's is totally diminished when he is off condition. I'm sure Toney will correct the mistakes he made for this contest and come in much better next year.


+ Click To Enlarge.
Toney Freeman At The 2007 Olympia.
View More Pics Of Toney Freeman Here.


13th Place - Hidetada Yamagishi:

    The very impressive Hidetada Yamagishi placed 13th at this year's Mr. Olympia. Hide was extremely hard and vascular and his physique reminds me a little of the great Rich Gaspari when he was in his prime.

    Hide has great thickness throughout his physique, especially the pecs and quads, and he combines that thickness with extremely hard condition. Hide is always a crowd favorite because he is so animated onstage and his posing routine is full of sweeping moves and high energy.


+ Click To Enlarge.
Hidetada Yamagishi At The 2007 Olympia.
View More Pics Of Hidetada Yamagishi Here.


12th Place - Darrem Charles:

    Darrem was out of the top ten this year at the Mr. Olympia. Although Darrem has a lot of success at the smaller pro shows, he always seems to place much lower at the big shows like the Arnold Classic or the Mr. Olympia.

    Darrem has a great physique with huge biceps, ripped muscularity and incredible posing but he is much smaller than the top bodybuilders in the world. Darrem posed right after Victor Martinez and the size difference in the legs was immediately apparent.


+ Click To Enlarge.
Darrem Charles At The 2007 Olympia.
View More Pics Of Darrem Charles Here.


11th Place - Ronnie Rockel:

    At the pre-judging, there were only a small number of competitors who I thought were in peak condition. This group included Victor Martinez, Dexter Jackson, Dennis Wolf, Silvio Samuel, David Henry, Hidetada Yamagishi and Ronnie Rockel.

    Ronnie has a very impressive physique when he is standing relaxed from the front. With great thickness in his pecs, delts, quads and traps along with thick, rock-hard abs, Ronnie is one of the best physiques competing today. He was in great shape tonight and he just missed placing in the top ten.

    From the back, Ronnie is not as impressive as he is not that wide due to his narrow shoulder structure. However, with his thickness and round, full muscle bellies, Ronnie will always place high when he competes in rock hard condition.


+ Click To Enlarge.
Ronnie Rockel At The 2007 Olympia.
View More Pics Of Ronnie Rockel Here.


10th Place - David Henry:

    David was in awesome shape for the Mr. Olympia. He added some size to his frame this year and was a little soft when he competed earlier in the year at the Pro Iron Man and the Arnold Classic. However, David really hit his peak in time for the Olympia and he was rewarded a top ten placing for it.

    David has great thickness in his back, delts, arms and chest and he has a reputation for always competing in super-sharp condition. I winced when emcee Bob Cicherillo announced him as the "Giant Killer". As impressive as David looked, there is really only one Giant Killer and his name is Danny Padilla.


+ Click To Enlarge.
David Henry At The 2007 Olympia.
View More Pics David Henry Here.


9th Place - Johnnie Jackson:

    Johnnie finished off a great year by placing ninth in the Mr. Olympia contest. Johnnie also has incredible thickness throughout his upper body and when he combines that thickness with rock hard conditioning, he is always going to place high.

    Johnnie's legs have always been his weak point but he is bringing them up and his legs looked better than ever tonight. He still needs more size in his calves and quads so if he can make more improvements for next year, he could place even higher.


+ Click To Enlarge.
Johnnie Jackson At The 2007 Olympia.
View More Pics Of Johnnie Jackson Here.


8th Place - Gustavo Badell:

    Gustavo was way down in eighth place at this year's Mr. Olympia. Gustavo placed as high as third two years in a row at this contest so placing out of the top six has to be an incredible disappointment to him.

    To his credit, Gustavo was not off tonight, competing in hard condition with great thickness and size in his upper body. He has one of the most impressive front double biceps poses in the contest and his waist did not appear as blocky as it has in the past. His legs looked a little out of proportion with his upper body dominating most of the mandatory poses.


+ Click To Enlarge.
Gustavo Badell At The 2007 Olympia.
View More Pics Of Gustavo Badell Here.


7th Place - Silvio Samuel:

    The incredible Silvio Samuel was in outstanding condition for the Mr. Olympia contest. Silvio's skin is so tight over his abs, it looks like someone peeled the skin off them. He also has great thickness in his legs, back, delts and pecs. The thing that holds Silvio back is his structure, which is so narrow, it actually inhibits his muscle mass.

    If Silvio had a wider shoulder structure and a much bigger ribcage and he combined that structure with his current thickness and incredible conditioning, he would be looking at a top three placing. His narrow structure is really apparent when he tries to do the Victory pose made famous by Sergio Oliva. With his narrow shoulders and small ribcage, Silvio cannot pull off the pose like Sergio could.


+ Click To Enlarge.
Silvio Samuel At The 2007 Olympia.
View More Pics Of Silvio Samuel Here.


6th Place - Melvin Anthony:

    Melvin Anthony made the top six this year after placing fifth last year. He was not as hard this year as he was in 2006 but he made tremendous strides in the two weeks since he competed in the Atlantic City Pro Show.

    Melvin has good thickness and very nice shape so when he competes in hard condition, he always places high. His posing routine was still the best of the night but he was lucky to have placed as high as he did because he was not has hard as he could have been.


+ Click To Enlarge.
Melvin Anthony At The 2007 Olympia.
View More Pics Of Melvin Anthony Here.


5th Place - Dennis Wolf:

    The surprise of the show was Dennis Wolf from Germany. Dennis had one of the best physiques onstage that night and I would have placed him in the top two or three. He has incredibly wide shoulders combined with a small waist and huge, perfectly shaped thighs. When someone said earlier this year that Dennis Wolf looks like a superhero onstage, I couldn't agree more. This is what a professional bodybuilder should look like!


+ Click To Enlarge.
Dennis Wolf At The 2007 Olympia.
View More Pics Of Dennis Wolf Here.

    Dennis was big and thick all over and he had a clean, tight look to his physique that was missing in some of the older competitors (like Ronnie Coleman). The one criticism of Dennis' physique is his lower lat development. Dennis has slightly high lats and he could still use some more mass in that area but his shoulder structure is so wide and his waist is so small that it is not a big liability.

    He did not look bad in his Rear Double Biceps pose and his Rear Lat Spread was one of the best in the contest. At only 28 years old, Dennis is surely a future Mr. Olympia winner. Many in the audience would have given him the crown tonight!


+ Click To Enlarge.
Dennis Wolf At The 2007 Olympia.
View More Pics Of Dennis Wolf Here.


4th Place - Ronnie Coleman:

    Ronnie Coleman was competing in his 14th Mr. Olympia contest trying to reclaim the title. If he would have won tonight, Ronnie would have won this title 9 times, making him the all-time champ. However, at 43 years old, Ronnie just does not have the same physique that he displayed when he was dominating the sport.

    His body is showing some of the wear and tear from so many years of heavy training. Although extremely massive and thick, his waist was protruding and lacking in detail and definition. His lats from the rear were a shadow of the back that used to bring audiences to their feet back in 1998-2005.


+ Click To Enlarge.
Ronnie Coleman At The 2007 Olympia.
View More Pics Of Ronnie Coleman Here.

    The reported injuries to his left lat and tricep appeared to still be evident. Even his tremendous thighs seemed to be down a little in size from the last few years. His arms were still gigantic and his most muscular pose brought down the house but most of the applause tonight was sentimental and directed toward Ronnie the Man, the Ronnie who won eight consecutive Mr. Olympia titles while training heavier and harder than any bodybuilder who ever lived.

    Ronnie posed to the same song and did the exact same routine that he used when he won his first Mr. Olympia title back in 1998. It brought back memories to me of how dominating Ronnie was back then when he destroyed the competition as a total underdog with his thick and ripped physique.


+ Click To Enlarge.
Ronnie Coleman At The 2007 Olympia.
View More Pics Of Ronnie Coleman Here.

    I really believe that if Ronnie had competed tonight with the same physique that he had in 1998 or 1999, he would have won the 2007 Mr. Olympia hands down. As it was, it was an emotional ending, with the fans giving the former champ two standing ovations.

    Ronnie gave a heartfelt speech after he was awarded fourth place and the love from the audience was overwhelming. This was one of the best moments of the night!


+ Click To Enlarge.
Ronnie Coleman At The 2007 Olympia.
View More Pics Of Ronnie Coleman Here.


3rd Place - Dexter Jackson:

    Dexter was back in the top three at the Mr. Olympia. One of the sport's most successful bodybuilders, Dexter lost his hold on the Arnold Classic this year after winning it the two previous years. Dexter is always in razor sharp condition, thus his nickname "The Blade".


+ Click To Enlarge.
Dexter Jackson At The 2007 Olympia.
View More Pics Of Dexter Jackson Here.

    He has great shape and good thickness and size but he is definitely smaller than some of the top bodybuilders like Jay Cutler, Ronnie Coleman, Victor Martinez and, this year, Dennis Wolf. It's going to be hard for Dexter to place above the big guys but this year he did beat the 8-time champ Coleman. It was a good showing for Dexter but I would have had him fourth below Dennis Wolf.


+ Click To Enlarge.
Dexter Jackson At The 2007 Olympia.
View More Pics Of Dexter Jackson Here.


2nd Place - Victor Martinez:

    Victor had a lot of momentum going into this year's Mr. Olympia after winning the prestigious Arnold Classic earlier in March. Blessed with outstanding shape and genetics, Victor has the perfect combination of size, shape and definition, which makes him extremely hard to beat.

    Ronnie Coleman himself predicted several years ago that Victor would be Mr. Olympia after Coleman retired. Tonight, Victor was in outstanding shape. With the same thickness and size he brought to his Arnold Classic victory, Victor was even harder tonight and he stole the show at the pre-judging.


+ Click To Enlarge.
Victor Martinez At The 2007 Olympia.
View More Pics Of Victor Martinez Here.

    Victor was clearly better than both Coleman (who was past his peak) and Cutler (who missed his peak) and it was clear to the audience that Victor deserved to be Mr. Olympia this year. The only other bodybuilder who could give Victor a run for his money was Dennis Wolf and, it was clear from the comparisons that the judges were asking for, that Dennis was not going to be included in the top four.

    If it was between Victor, Ronnie, Jay and Dexter, Victor was definitely the winner. At the evening show, Victor was very confident and he seemed to know that he was ahead of the reigning champ. His posing routine was improved but I waiting for him to really break out into something even more spectacular after I heard that he was working with Kai Green on his posing routine.


+ Click To Enlarge.
Victor Martinez At The 2007 Olympia.
View More Pics Of Victor Martinez Here.

    If Victor would have put on a posing display that brought the audience to their feet, I feel the judges would HAVE to give the title to Victor because he was so far ahead in the pre-judging. As it was, Victor ended up in second place a by a single vote!


+ Click To Enlarge.
Victor Martinez At The 2007 Olympia.
View More Pics Of Victor Martinez Here.


1st Place - Jay Cutler:

    Jay Cutler was very lucky to have repeated as Mr. Olympia tonight. Jay was WAY OFF at the pre-judging, holding a lot of water that blurred his condition and definition. He had tremendous size and thickness but he was off and he knew it. It was interesting to see that when he did the mandatory poses, he hit his Ab and Thigh pose so quickly, he almost skipped it.


+ Click To Enlarge.
Jay Cutler At The 2007 Olympia.
View More Pics Of Jay Cutler Here.

    What a contrast to when he almost beat Ronnie Coleman back in 2001. Back then, Jay's Ab shot was his best pose and he nearly buried Ronnie just on that pose alone. The more that Jay posed during the comparisons, the harder he got. It was obvious that his poor conditioning was due to water retention and not too much fat (like Toney Freeman) because he was hardening up as the night went on.

    By Saturday night, Jay was much, much harder and he looked like the champ again. I think Victor was still slightly harder on Saturday night but Jay was so damn big, I felt like he would probably pull off the victory and I was right. He won his second Mr. Olympia title by one slim point!


+ Click To Enlarge.
Jay Cutler At The 2007 Olympia.
View More Pics Of Jay Cutler Here.

    To Jay's credit, he is probably the most massive bodybuilder onstage. I was sitting very close to the stage and it's hard to appreciate how big he is until you see him up close. He is incredibly wide and thick with some of the best legs onstage. Jay was lucky to pull this one off tonight but he better bring his "A" game next year and be better prepared because there is some fantastic competition nipping at his heels for the title.


+ Click To Enlarge.
Jay Cutler At The 2007 Olympia.
View More Pics Of Jay Cutler Here.