From Shawn Ray's web site. Shawn is one of the best bodybuilders of the 1990's, with Shawn's amazing track record at the Mr. Olympia unequaled by any other. Shawn is also one of the outspoken bodybuilders in the industry, going after what he see is wrong and right in the sport of bodybuilding.
As the dust settles in the dessert sands of Las Vegas, I can now officially say we made some progress at this year's Mr. Olympia with the Press Conference getting a few things out in the open and on the record! There was a lot of talk from quite a few professionals about what all they were going to do this year and resorted to WWF Style of "Self Promotion" sadly, many of them didn't have a word to say at the highly anticipated press conference to kick things off. Just goes to show you how easy it is talking to a reporter over the phone or addressing an audience as the featured guest poser but when it comes to CENTER STAGE, there can be only ONE! I am referring to Kamali calling me out all year as he traveled the 50 states and I quote," I am gonna do the IFBB a favor and kick Shawn's Bald Ass all over the Olympia Stage and send him into retirement!" Kind of hard to do Kamali when you can even get a call out with me huh? Here's a guy I never met before in my life, back stage with a chance to clear the air and confront me MAN to MAN about his grievances, he stated, " I am gonna kick his Ass for Chad?" What, Kamali the Great Defender of grown men who have been offended by me? As I figured before I arrived at the show, the man was a Coward and to this day has yet to utter a word face to face. I have no love for disrespectful jealous, shit talkers who can't stand the fact that at 5'7 215lb I kicked his ass the way he dreamed of Kissing mine, LOSER! Now shut up and train!
Now, on to the show! As usual, the press conference kicked things into high gear. Mr. De Milia suggested to a fan that "we" professionals could get a score card with the names of the judges and their personal scores anytime we wanted, all we needed to do was ask him and he would fax it over, NOT! This got me fired up to put things in perspective so that it was on record and in front of the fans to see what "we" professional are dealing with in the form of a power that is antiquated and out dated. One thing lead to another and a Mr. Olympia Judge and District Chair Person for the state of Texas decided this would be a great time for her to tell me off and essentially tell me I haven't changed in 12 years but she'd be judging me in two days. By the time I was done with her, my colleagues were calling me "ZORRO" for slicing her to pieces with intellect, facts, figures, history and a polite kindness that should not have been reserved for her if she were not a woman. That being said, the IFBB promptly removed her from the judging panel and she continued to "WATCH" the Olympia from the sidelines, in spite of her 20 years in the industry because of her remarks and prejudice!
Kudos to the IFBB for doing the right thing!
On to the show…. 10th~ Kamali~ I had Vince Taylor in this spot at what 45 years old? Some guys get all the breaks and Kamali got his in my humble opinion. His physique was reminiscent of the Ironman and Arnold no real change but I could really see the PRONOUNCED Delts that Titus was talking about all year, kind funky looking? Wonder why. Good condition small BI's dry lower back and hams, posing routine entertaining if you like dancing not posing maybe 5 poses in a 5 minute routine.
9th~ Nasser~ I predicted this outcome immediately after last years Olympia "read my Olympia Preview" in last moths Flex magazine. It amazed me when I saw his delts, what is this veteran bodybuilding champion thinking? Can you say "SWOLLEN" Nasser may have been heavier but it certainly didn't help his cause the Back was smooth and flat as well I believe he has a torn left biceps and it looks to be enhanced with a funky solution that made his arms look unbalanced.
8th~ Dexter~ Solid as usual. High lats hurt him in this line-up. I believe he was a bit off from earlier in the year but he was very close to where he needed to be this was just the best he could do on this day. I actually had him in 6th and Orville in 8th but that's just my opinion. His time will come but needs to compete less and focus on one or two shows a year to improve.
7th~Dennis~ Something's not right come the day of the show? Looks better a week or two out every year. High lats hurt him and a shallow back. Needs to bomb the back if he plans to move up in this show. Thighs, needed more separation, display more confidence and master the front double biceps pose. Practice posing 7 mandatory's until mastered then we will see improvement. Pushing the envelope on bodyweight needs to be careful of the bloat syndrome.
6th~ Burke~ Surprise #1. I think even Orville surprised himself with this one. Up from 10th last year to the final posedown. Genuinely happy guy, two pro wins this year and a top 6 at the Mr. O, Dreams do come true! Orville said he killed himself for this show and was rewarded for it. Still needs better control over the mid section, thick skin, work on posing, drop a few pounds for better muscle control and separation. He has the kind of body the judges are rewarding along the lines of Coleman & Culter weight wise and height wise.
5th~ Cormier~ The Dennis Rodman of bodybuilding! How does he do it? Cormier a victim of too many shows, traveling and lack of commitment to the BIG ONE! Chris was heavy as I predicted in my Flex Preview of the Olympia. Seemed to be in his own little world, very laid back and chilled out. In a word, "SMOOTH". Chris got caught sleeping on the job and if he focused could have beaten Cutler and myself. Goes to show you what focus and commitment play when you talk about the Mr. Olympia and not the Ironman, Arnold and others. This was Chris' 2nd time ever in the Top 5 of the Mr. Olympia. To keep things in perspective with his 7th try at the title. What do I know, I'm short, old and on my way out, right Chris?
4th~Ray~ 211lbs. 2lbs lighter than last year. I worked mostly on back, shoulders and reducing my thighs. I felt a little flat at prejudging, missed my warm up call by about 5 mins. By night show filled out nicely added some H2O and felt I hit my peak better. From my stand point I thought I had Kevin whom eventually beat me by 4pts. What would I change? Nothing, I am pleased with my look and happy with my condition 3rd or 4th is what? Apples & Oranges, right Ronnie?
3rd~Levrone~ The fact that Kevin was even allowed to compete stunned the rest of the athletes. Kevin had not paid for his IFBB Pro card which was due in Dec 2000. Kevin had not even signed the Olympia Contract to compete due in July! The IFBB ruled as late as Sunday, October 20th, that Kevin would not be allowed to compete for these reasons. Apparently Kevin was to hold a 'NO Holds Barred' Press Conference at the Mr. O and suddenly Weider allowed Kevin entrance into the show which the IFBB said they would impose the largest fine ever in this sport of $25,000.00! Kevin would compete, slight off his best of last year. Legs were considerably down, abs still good, back not thick but detailed, calves non-existent. Posing routine entertaining and a crowd favorite.
2nd~ Cutler~ 2nd surprise of the night. Crowd favorite, much heavier and muscular than the previous two Olympia's where he was last and 8th place respectively. In his 3rd Olympia being one of the younger guys, Jason has positioned himself as the man to beat next year, as the crowd was thoroughly disappointed he didn't win this year. Still blocky by my standards, soft but cut. Needs more confidence and aggression to be taken seriously. Hopefully will not add more bodyweight as this would ruin what shape he has. 3 Cheers for Jay, the most improved on stage from last year!
1St~Coleman ~ 4 Times Mr. Olympia, only 3 guys with more titles Arnold, Haney and Yates! Coleman was no different than last year, said he was the same bodyweight 264lbs. back and arms best body parts, stomach bloated and protruding most of the night but could tighten it when needed. Still overall better balance and shape than Jason. Ronnie needs to drop the extra water and bloat by coming in lighter which is still bigger than the rest of the field. Trailing by 6pts going into the night show and then winning by 4pts is unheard of, not anymore. I guess in this night as with the Masters Olympia, the judges decided the posing round would actually count and determine the outcome of the two biggest shows we have. Things that make you go,"HHHHhhmmmmmm"
Overview: The show in spite of our heightened security, was a success. People from Russia, South Africa, Poland, Hungary, England, Germany and Japan turned out to support us and that says a lot about our fan base, thank you! Through the cheers for Curtler and the Boo's for Ronnie, the auditorium echo with the resounding chorus of boo's regarding Markus Ruel. I really didn't see much of Markus but the crowd let the judges know they were non-too happy with him out of the top 10!
Next year Wayne De Melia promised to have the judges present at the press conference. For all you fans, this is your chance for hard ball questions that may help change the direction of the sport and break up a few monopolies that we feel exist among the panel.
11 guys went home with no prize money. Before I am finished with bodybuilding, my goal is to make sure that the last place guy has at least $5,000.00 to show for his efforts, support and completion of this great event.
I feel this is the least of my contribution back to the sport that I can foreseeably achieve and ensure!
Until next time, Stay Hungry!