Arnold vs. Sergio; Haney vs. Gaspari; Coleman vs. Cutler…
…The Mr. Olympia contest has experienced some great rivalries in which clashes of physiques and personalities add spice and excitement to the greatest bodybuilding show on earth. As the dust settles from the 2012 event, there now exists the promise of a collision (to use an old wrestling cliché) between the irresistible force and the immovable object! I am of course, talking about the unique physical configurations of Phil Heath and Kai Greene.
As I waited up like a kid at Christmas, watching the live streaming of the show, direct from Las Vegas to the sleepy countryside of south Cheshire, under the threat of my girlfriend Amy who was laying asleep next to me and did NOT want to be woken, no matter how excited I got as the action unfolded. From the outset, it was clear that Phil and Kai were the two best bodybuilders on view this year. Such is their excellence it is likely they will push each other to new heights in future battles for supremacy. Indeed a re-invented Greene in his best ever shape was probably pushed to this new and better look by the reality that a champ with the aesthetics of Phil Heath can only be beaten by someone offering credentials along somewhat similar lines. With that in mind the native of Brooklyn,New Yorkand his contest prep advisor George Farah seemingly put aside Kai’s mass monster mentality and decided that in order to knock the champ out you have to dance to his game…and we all know Kai knows how to dance!!
After his stunning performance of 2011, when he ousted Jay Cutler from the Olympia throne, many (including myself) expected Phil Heath to be even better this time around. Well, as I’m sure Bodybuilding Warehouse’s own Kieran Fisher will agree, it’s difficult to improve on a suped up Ferrari ;-) …and so it proved at Friday night’s prejudging as Heath walked out bigger, but not necessarily better.
Still, in the first five man callout of the evening, with himself, Greene, newcomer Shaun Rhoden, Branch Warren and Dexter Jackson) he appeared to have things in hand as he seemed to have been top dog in that segment of action. However, from here ‘The Gift’ seemed to relax, almost coasting through his poses, where Kai on the other hand, was as focused as his namesake ‘The Predator’ stalking his prey. All year he had kept a low profile, not competing in the early season for the first time since he turned pro in 2005. He had also kept lean, and the fruits of that strategy were startlingly revealed at the prejudging with a physique that now had a streamlined midsection that many thought was not anatomically possible and one that was no longer a collection of freaky body parts looking for tie-ins…but one that flowed.
It was a fantastic scrap for the title of ‘Best Bodybuilder on the planet’, the two men battled hard pose for pose and held off all comers, it had become a two horse race between these two warriors, but when the dust settled and the smoke cleared, it was Phil Heath Standing victorious, collecting his second Sandow trophy, displaying a world beating physique and a heart warming smile!
After such a close call, I can only believe that Phil Heath will go back to Denver,Colorado, working harder than ever, so to not feel Kai breathing down his neck in the same way at next year’s Olympia! Saying this, it may be more interesting and exciting to see what improvements the irrepressible Greene can make in order to unlock that Olympia door in 2013. He may have lost the contest but he won a lot of friends with his new look and his good-natured attitude on-stage. Whatever the case, it seems the Heath vs. Greene rivalry will be the main talking point in the countdown to the quest for the next instalment of the Olympia extravaganza and may define and dominate the contest for the next few years. Just don’t tell Jay Cutler, who is set to return to action and reclaim his title in 2013!!