Well folks, the Olympia weekend has now come and gone and what a show it was! History was made, dreams were shattered and a legacy will be left with a champion going out on top. Each division brought with it an unbelievable amount of anticipation and excitement and as always, the participants did not fail to deliver. Whether you were at home like me and watching the live stream, thank you iHerb for fixing the issues from Friday night's prejudging, or you were in attendance at the Orleans Hotel in Vegas, there's no denying that what we witnessed will go down as a historic and unbelievable changing of the guard. Here's how it all went down and yes, I was off on my predictions but so was everyone else as no one expected to witness what unfolded this past Saturday night.
Men's Open Division
1st Place and NEW Mr. Olympia Champion: Shawn Rhoden
2nd Place: Phil Heath
3rd Place: Roelly Winklaar
No one had predicted Shawn Rhoden as being the winner of the 2018 Mr. Olympia competition. Yes he's come close before and some would even say he should already have a Sandow trophy on his mantle, but to dethrone a 7-time Mr. Olympia Champion is almost unheard of until now. As soon as I saw Shawn walk out during prejudging I knew everyone else was in trouble. He was in phenomenal condition and his symmetry was perfectly balanced. He looked like Mr. Olympia as soon as he stepped on that stage and maintained that right through to the finals on Saturday night earning him the crown as the New Mr. Olympia. Phil, on the other hand, seemed to struggle right from the get go. He still had issues with his gut and couldn't seem to control it while the judges worked them over through the mandatory poses. Yes he wins the back shots, but as I saw it, Shawn won everything else. Phil was very adamant about winning number 8 but he'll have to wait until next year if he does indeed decide to compete again. Rounding out the top 3 was Roelly Winklaar who also won the People's Champion award to which he humbly accepted. Roelly has more muscle on his frame than anyone else on that stage and he brought a phenomenal look this weekend earning him his highest placing yet on the Mr. Olympia stage.
Men's 212 Division
1st Place and 7-time Champion: Flex Lewis
2nd Place: Derek Lunsford
3rd Place: Kamal Elgargni
As predicted, Flex Lewis brought the house down with the successful defence of his 212 crown and title. Flex just exudes what a champion should be all about from his presentation to his on-stage demeanour to how he appreciates all of his fans. He looked better than he did last year and very quickly put all of other incredible athletes in his class in his rear view as soon as he struck his first pose. According to Flex himself, this will be the last time we see him on a 212 stage and hopefully for all of us, what that means is he's going to make the jump to the open class and take aim at that title as well; fingers crossed! In second place was up and comer Derek Lunsford. Derek has all of the potential in the world for stepping up and into that now vacant 212 Mr. Olympia first place spot next year and with a little bit more conditioning and some new muscle in certain spots, I think we could easily see him go on a title run much the same as Flex did. Finally in third place was this year's Arnold Classic winner, Kamal Elgargni. He may have had the best conditioning on stage out of all the competitors but lacked a little bit in size when compared to the champ. He looked incredible as well and definitely pushed Lunsford hard for that second spot.
Men's Classic Division
1st Place: Breon Ansley
2nd Place: Chris Bumstead
3rd Place: George Peterson
I have to admit, I was equally excited about watching this division as I was the open and the 212. I appreciate the physiques in this class and the graceful presentations that occur to showcase their talents. For the second year in a row, the top two spots were maintained by the same two athletes with Breon winning again and Bumstead settling for another silver medal. Breon's conditioning, while a little flat, was bang on. His posing and ability to display all of his physique's strengths is second to none and he was definitely deserving of the title this year. Bumstead has the best structure for this division bar none. In my eyes, he didn't make the improvements he needed to make from last year to push the champ and his conditioning also fell short of what we saw from him in 2017. I guarantee, however, in time he will own this division and everyone else will be chasing him. In the third spot was George Peterson who by himself, looks unbelievable with easily the best back in the division, but put him next to the top two and you start to see his structural downfalls. Aside from that, George was phenomenal.
Men's Physique Division
1st Place: Brandon Hendrickson
2nd Place: Raymont Edmonds
3rd Place: Ryan Terry
Unfortunately I didn't get the opportunity to watch this division live and only saw a few pictures. With that being said, I totally agree with how the judges saw it and again, much the same as the open division, we have a new Men's Physique Champion in Brandon Hendrickson. Both Raymont and Ryan looked incredible which relegated reigning champion Jeremy Buendia to fourth place which was definitely not expected.
So there it is Heyday Footwear fans, I hope you enjoyed the show as much as I did and I'm sure you all have your opinions and thoughts about how the events of the weekend transpired and what will happen next. All I know is that I'm already looking forward to next year's Mr. Olympia competition. Until then, keep checking in with us as we're dropping fresh new looks and designs on the daily and want to put you in the right footwear as you train your way to one day stepping on that Olympia stage.
Author: Dana Bushell
AST Sports Science sponsored athlete/writer, sponsored by Schiek Sports Inc.