Myron Mielke's 2008 Olympia Review!

The 2008 Mr. Olympia is now history and the symmetry lovers in world of bodybuilding are celebrating because Dexter Jackson dethroned two-time defending champ, Jay Cutler! A new era in IFBB Pro Bodybuilding has arrived!

The 2008 Mr. Olympia is now history and the symmetry lovers in world of bodybuilding are celebrating because Dexter Jackson dethroned two-time defending champ, Jay Cutler! A new era in IFBB Pro Bodybuilding has arrived!

It was a shocking and surprising moment in the history of the Mr. Olympia when Bob Cicherillo announced Dexter Jackson as the winner of the 2008 Mr. Olympia. The crowd erupted into raucous cheers as Dexter knelt down in disbelief and was overcome with emotions.

The Mr. Olympia theme song began playing throughout the Orleans Arena and it seemed unreal and dreamlike when Cutler exited the stage and Dexter remained clutching his Sandow trophy tightly.


Dexter Jackson walked down the hallway of the Orelans hotel in a tailor-made suit and he looked the sharpest and happiest I've ever seen him. His gait was one of confidence as his fiancé walked next to him proudly. Dexter was on his way to the Mardi Gras Room where the Olympia Gala was being held - in his honor!

Most of the people in attendance had already eaten and the Flex Magazine achievement awards had already been given out, but everyone was very forgiving of the tardiness when the sharply dressed new Mr. Olympia - our next ambassador for pro bodybuilding- entered the room to celebrate his victory. A moment of silence and the show must go on.

The 2008 Mr. Olympia was dedicated to Steve Stone, who suddenly died Friday afternoon at the Las Vegas Convention Center during the Olympia Expo. After a moment of silence, his wife, Andrea, was accompanied to the stage by Steve Weinberger and Jim Manion near the beginning of the Saturday night show. Andrea accepted a lifetime achievement award from the IFBB on Steve's behalf.

2008 Olympia
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Myron Mielke & Dexter
Jackson Outside The Gala.

The night began with encouraging messages from Joe and Ben Weider to all the people in our world of bodybuilding. It was good to see Joe walking on stage again after his back surgery a couple years ago. David Pecker was introduced and he had an exciting announcement for everyone.

The Joe Weider World Cup, with an Expo to be held in conjunction with it, will be held Berlin in October of 2009, which is one week after next year's Mr. Olympia. The competition will be the largest of its kind ever promoted in Europe.

Because there were fewer competitors than the last few years, each competitor came out to perform their individual routines. (If there are more than 20 competitors in the competition, the field is narrowed to the top fifteen and only those athletes perform their routines.)

Final Standings

Top Ten Physique Critique

dot Gustavo Badell: 10th Place dot

    Gustavo had a host of fans cheering for him. Sporting a new hairstyle that gave him a touch of blond only on the top of his head and his bangs, Badell did his classic power posing mixed with some funky dance moves.

    Gustavo always looks like a real competitor as he moves around the stage with an intense look on his face. I'm sure he was hoping to place higher than he did, but I think 10th was a gift. This is probably the worst I've seen him and I was surprised Darrem Charles was not ahead of him in the final placings.

dot Moe Elmoussawi: 9th Place dot

    Moe Elmoussawi brought back the conditioning he exhibited at this year's Iron Man in Los Angeles. I think he might have been just a bit sharper at the Iron Man but that might have been due to John Balik's excellent lighting at that event.

    Mo definitely deserved his 9th place finish and really made a good showing at his first Olympia. Later in the evening he won the Most Improved Athlete award by Flex Magazine at the Olympia Gala.

dot Dennis James: 8th Place dot

    It was good to see Dennis on stage at the Olympia again. I missed him last year. He's always big and he was in very good condition. Although his waist was down, I thought he still had some trouble controlling his midsection. His most muscular is still a sight to behold.

dot Silvio Samuel: 7th Place dot

    Silvio is always in great condition and nothing changed at the Olympia. He was in great shape again. He just looks tiny compared to the other guys at the Big "O". He still needs to be bigger, a thicker back, and wider and fuller delts to crack the top six.

dot Melvin Anthony: 6th Place dot

    Anthony again solidified himself as one of the world's best bodybuilders with another top-six finish at the Mr. Olympia. Fresh off his Atlantic City win, Melvin was ready to mix it up with the big boys. His posing routine was a big hit with the crowd.

    The ladies in front of me were cheering and hootin' and hollerin'. When he did his trademark limbo pose, they screamed wildly. The ladies just love Melvin.

dot Toney Freeman: 5th Place dot

    The Mr. Olympia began when competitor number one, Toney Freeman, presented his posing routine. Sometimes being the first competitor has its disadvantages because the crowd hasn't warmed up yet. Toney took care of that immediately by wowing the spectators with his best Olympia package ever.

    Toney was in fabulous shape and he knew it. The crowd knew it right away. He had the crowd eating out of his hand from the beginning of his routine. The fans at the Orleans Arena loved the X-Man.

    Freeman absolutely looked nothing like he did last year - except for being the same height maybe. Toney was shredded and he looked like he was on his way to a top-five finish without seeing any of the other competitors.

    His high-protein, high-fat, zero-carb diet seems to be working miraculously. I think we'll be seeing many more people consuming tubs of natural peanut butter very soon in their attempt to get X-Man-like results!

dot Dennis Wolf: 4th Place dot

    Dennis Wolf filled out since the judging the night before and looked much better. He didn't look as drawn; the fullness helped. He said he ate cheese bread to carb up and fill out.

    I'm not really sure what cheese bread is but I thought it must be close to pizza, so I had a huge slice of ham and pineapple pizza at the Olympia Gala to make sure I didn't look depleted after running around covering all the events for this weekend.

    I was a little disappointed with the way Dennis looked. Don't get me wrong. I thought he looked great. He made improvements. His conditioning was scary, but like I said before, he looked over-dieted and tired. Listening to Chad Nichols on PBW, I expected to see the most incredible sight ever to step on an Olympia stage.

    Another few years of training and continued work on his weak areas will make him a contender for the title. In the mean time, I'm looking forward to seeing the Wolf howl on the Arnold Classic stage next March.

dot Phil Heath: 3rd Place dot

    The Gift took third place in his first Mr. Olympia. Flex Wheeler took 2nd place in his first Mr. Olympia back in 1993. Many people have stated that Flex Wheeler has the best physique never to win an Olympia. If for some reason Phil Heath never wins an Olympia, he will become the holder of "the best physique never to win an Olympia" title.

    But in all fairness, if he stays injury-free, he will win one. Give him another year or two to keep on growing and filling out, and no one will beat him. I don't think Victor would have beat Heath at the 2008 Olympia had he competed.

dot Jay Cutler: 2nd Place dot

    I thought Jay looked sharper at the finals than he did the night before at the judging, but I thought he looked a little flat, especially his chest. And it was flat the night before. He actually showed a couple striations in his upper glutes but I think the extra depletion made his legs deflate a bit, especially his right leg.

    It looked noticeably smaller. I've heard people's critique on Jay's physique and they mention the symmetry issue with his legs. I've never really noticed it that much, but for some reason it was apparent to me because the difference in size just seemed to pop out.

    Since Jay came down a bit and was a bit sharper, I assumed we would have a repeat of last year. Jay would retain his title by being the biggest despite his inferior conditioning compared to a few of the other competitors.

    When Dexter's name was called out as Mr. Olympia, which meant Jay was second, I think everyone's heart skipped a beat - including mine. It happened. It really happened. He got beat. Jay lost. Dexter won.

dot Dexter Jackson: Mr. Olympia dot

    Many of the fans walking around the Orleans voiced there approval of Dexter Jackson's showing after the prejudging. Many said they thought he deserved to win but thought he wouldn't due to the champ-having-to-be-knocked-out principle. My buddy, Mike Harris, was grilling everybody on what they thought the outcome would be.

    Most thought Dexter SHOULD win but felt Jay WOULD win. Seeing Dexter overcome with joy, relief and the feeling of accomplishment when his name was announced as Mr. Olympia was incredible. You could see it hit him and then, immediately, he knew what it meant to be Mr. Olympia.

    When I saw him walking down the hall to his victory banquet, there was a certain presence he had. He had that look of a new Mr. Olympia wanting to represent the sport well. I patted him on the shoulder and told him he deserved it. And he did.


I was very excited as the placements were announced. Both in my preview article and my judging recap, I had predicted Freeman or Melvin would be fifth. Wolf would take fourth. Heath would be third. I thought to myself, "Oh yeah. I know my stuff.

This is going to be great!" And then Big Bob goes and announces Dexter Jackson as the winner and wrecks everything. Seriously, I was very happy for Dexter and the final results. It was one of the best things that could have happened for our sport.


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2008 Olympia Predictions!
Two big questions are being asked about the 2008 Mr. Olympia. Can Jay win his third Mr. Olympia title by defeating Dexter Jackson?
Myron Mielke

So what was different this year? Personally, I thought Jay was in decent enough shape to win. He wasn't as bad as last year, but not as good as 2006 and nowhere near the phenomenal shape he was in at the 2001 Olympia. People are still raving about his conditioning at that show.

Not to take anything away from Dexter, but I think one small contributing factor was not having big Ronnie Coleman in the show this year. Ronnie got so big that he was nearing the 300-pound mark and Jay started chasing him to try and play Ronnie's game.

Jay seemed to be the only guy who was able to play that game and eventually won - twice! But this year, Ronnie wasn't there and Cutler's physique looked, well, almost out of place.

2008 Olympia
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Cutler's Physique Looked Out Of Place.

Melvin Anthony, with his tiny wasp-like waist was in the top six and so was Toney Freeman whose nickname is the X-man because of his symmetrical x-frame. Dennis Wolf looks like a powerful superhero on stage and then there was "The Gift" who has been blessed with an absolutely beautiful structure.

The last guy in the group was Dexter Jackson and he had won every pro show (except the Olympia) because of his superior shape and conditioning. In this group Cutler looked huge, really huge. He seemed actually too big this year and his conditioning wasn't exactly stunning either.

2008 Olympia
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Dexter Jackson Had Won Every Pro Show
Because Of His Superior Shape & Conditioning.

Jay looked "okay" and the judges picked up on that. If he would have looked like he did in 2006 for the Olympia in 2007 and then again in 2008, Jay might have had three wins, but two off years wasn't allowable in the eyes of the judges - especially since Dexter looked so darn good.

I also thought Phil Heath looked really good. He has a great God-given structure and he's done his part by putting in lots of hard work to chisel his body to near perfection. Since I thought Jay was going to win, I was going back and forth thinking that Phil might place second in front of Dexter who would then take third.

2008 Olympia
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Phil Heath Has Done His Part
By Putting In Lots Of Hard Work.

I thought it was very close between the two. After the show I started thinking, "Why did Dexter place ahead of Jay and Phil did not?" What was the reason for that? The similarity in the style of those physique can't be denied.

After all, many people were wondering before the show if Phil might place ahead of Dexter. I happened to see John Balik before the Gala and asked him who he liked in the show and his pick was Phil Heath. Just his opinion he said. So apparently I'm not the only person with this question.

Next year

Dexter will most likely defend his title next year. It will not be an easy defense because of Phil Heath's strong third-place finish at his first Mr. Olympia. Don't forget Victor Martinez. He will be back, but he will need to re-qualify for the 2008 Mr. Olympia. Victor has defeated Dexter in the past and has the potential to do it again.

Imagine an Olympia with Dexter, Phil and Victor. That would be like an Olympia with Flex, Shawn and Kevin without Dorian. Oh wait. Cutler's probably still thinking about getting that third Sandow trophy for his office podium. I don't know about you, but I can't wait for the 2009 Mr. Olympia. Man, this is gonna be good!

2008 Olympia Posing Routines