Mr. Olympia is the title awarded to the winner of the professional men's bodybuilding contest at Joe Weider's Olympia Fitness & Performance Weekend—an international bodybuilding competition that is held annually by the International Federation of BodyBuilding & Fitness (IFBB).[1] Joe Weider created the contest to enable the Mr. Universe winners to continue competing and to earn money. The first Mr. Olympia was held on September 18, 1965, at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, New York City, with Larry Scott winning his first of two straight titles.[2]

Mr. Olympia
250px
The Mr. Olympia stage in 2008
LocationUnited States

The record number of wins is eight each by Lee Haney (1984–1991) and Ronnie Coleman (1998–2005).[3] Big Ramy currently holds the title.

The film Pumping Iron (1977) featured the buildup to the 1975 Mr. Olympia in Pretoria, South Africa, and helped launch the acting careers of Arnold Schwarzenegger, Lou Ferrigno, and Franco Columbu[4]

There is also a female bodybuilder crowned, Ms. Olympia, as well as winners of Fitness Olympia and Figure Olympia for fitness and figure competitors. All four contests occur during the same weekend. From 1994 to 2003, and again in 2012, a Masters Olympia was also crowned.[5] Globally,[6] a version with amateur competitors is also presented, the Mr. Olympia Amateur.[7]

HistoryEdit

1960sEdit

The 1965 and 1966 Mr. Olympia were won by Larry Scott, a famous bodybuilder of the time. Scott subsequently retired after his 1966 victory, and to date is the only Mr. Olympia champion to have never lost a Mr. Olympia competition.[8]

Harold Poole holds two Mr. Olympia distinctions : one is that he is the youngest ever competitor to have participated in the Olympia—in 1965 he competed in the first Mr. Olympia at the age of 21;[9] the other is that he was the only man to compete in all three of the initial Mr. Olympia contests.[10]

The 1967 Mr. Olympia, won by Sergio Oliva, heralded a new era in bodybuilding competition. At 5 ft 10 ins and 240 lbs[11] Oliva, nicknamed "The Myth",[8] displayed an unforeseen level of muscle mass and definition, including a "V" shape of a large and a well-formed upper-body that tapered down to a narrow waist.[12]

Oliva would go on to win the Mr. Olympia competition in 1967, 1968 (uncontested),[8] and 1969—where he would defeat Arnold Schwarzenegger four to three,[8] marking Schwarzenegger's only loss in a Mr. Olympia competition.[13]

1970sEdit

Schwarzenegger defeated Oliva at the 1970 Mr. Olympia after finishing second the year before, and also won in 1971 (being the only competitor). He defeated Oliva again in 1972, and went on to win the next three Mr. Olympia competitions, including the 1975 edition, which was highlighted in the 1977 docudrama Pumping Iron and featured other notable bodybuilders such as Lou Ferrigno, Serge Nubret, and Franco Columbu, who would go on to win the 1976 and 1981 competitions.[4]

From 1974 until 1979, a dual weight division system was used, splitting competitors into two categories: "Heavyweights" (over 200lbs) and "Lightweights" (under 200lbs). The winners of each division would then compete against each other to decide an overall champion.

After winning the 1975 competition, Schwarzenegger announced his retirement from competitive bodybuilding; this was also depicted in Pumping Iron.[14]

Frank Zane won the 1977, 1978, and 1979 competitions.[8] 1976 was the first year the Sandow trophy was awarded.[8]

1980sEdit

In 1980, Schwarzenegger came out of retirement to win the Olympia yet again, after a five-year hiatus. Schwarzenegger (who was supposedly training for his "Conan" movie) had been a late entry into the competition, and his competitors did not know of his intentions to compete. This seventh victory was especially controversial, as most fellow competitors and observers felt that he lacked both muscle mass and conditioning, and shouldn't have won over Chris Dickerson or Mike Mentzer. Several athletes vowed to boycott the contest the following year, and Mentzer retired for good.[15]

The following year, Franco Columbu was victorious for the second time. Chris Dickerson won his only title in 1982, making him the first openly gay Mr. Olympia,[2] and Samir Bannout won his only title in 1983.[16] Then in 1984 Lee Haney won the first of 8 straight Mr. Olympia titles.[17]

1990sEdit

Haney retired from competitive bodybuilding after his last Mr. Olympia victory in 1991.[18] Having placed second to Haney the previous year, Dorian Yates won the competition six straight times from 1992 until 1997. Dorian is given credit for revolutionizing the sport during his reign as Mr. Olympia by combining larger mass than seen before with what was dubbed "granite hardness".[19]

In the 1990s, the use of growth hormones by bodybuilders was reported, and they started to appear in competitions with an increasing physical size. Writing for Men's Health in 2016, journalist Lou Schuler questioned whether Mr. Olympia Ronnie Coleman competed "naturally" or used hormones.[20]

Yates retired from competitive bodybuilding after his 1997 victory, having accumulated several injuries. Ronnie Coleman, who placed 9th in 1997, surprised everyone with a much improved physique in 1998, winning the first of 8 consecutive titles.[8]

In 1994, a separate Masters Olympia competition for professional bodybuilders was created, to compete at the highest levels in their later years.[21]

2000sEdit

Ronnie Coleman won the Mr. Olympia competition eight consecutive times,[8] tying the record set by Lee Haney. Coleman, nicknamed "The King", is widely regarded as the greatest body-builder in Olympia history and began the mass monster era. Coleman returned in 2006 to try to beat the record for Olympia wins but was unable even to defend his title, instead placed second to Jay Cutler, who won his first title after four consecutive years of finishing second to Coleman. Cutler successfully defended his title in 2007. Coleman came in fourth place and announced his retirement from competition,[22] ending one of the biggest rivalries in the competition's history.

In 2008, Dexter Jackson defeated Jay Cutler and became Mr. Olympia.[8] In 2009, Jay Cutler returned and regained the title.[23]

2010sEdit

In 2010, Cutler returned to claim his fourth Mr. Olympia title, becoming the fifth competitor in Olympia history to win the title more than three times. In 2011, Phil Heath defeated Cutler for the title, beginning a winning streak that lasted until 2018.[8] From 2012 to 2014, the Olympia was dominated by the rivalry between Kai Greene and Heath, with Heath winning all three and Greene placing second.

Starting in 2016, a new division called Classic Physique was introduced. Danny Hester was the inaugural champion in Classic Physique division.[24]

Heath won his seventh-consecutive Mr. Olympia in 2017,[8] with Mamdouh "Big Ramy" Elssbiay taking second. With his 2017 win, Heath tied Arnold Schwarzenegger for second most Olympia victories, behind Lee Haney and Ronnie Coleman who won eight.[8]

Shawn Rhoden defeated Phil Heath in 2018, snapping Heath's streak of seven victories.[8] The 2019 Mr. Olympia was won by Brandon Curry.[8]

Starting in 2018, a new division called Wheelchair Olympia was added.[25]

2020sEdit

In 2020 Phil Heath returned to try to win a record-tying eighth title,[26] but Big Ramy won the Olympia for his first title.[27] Big Ramy won for the second time in 2021.[28]

QualifyingEdit

The IFBB selects Olympia contestants from among the highest-placed competitors at various qualifying competitions, collectively referred to as the Olympia Qualifying Season. The qualifying season for each Olympia runs for a year, and ends a few months before the competition. Under updated qualifying rules announced by the IFBB in 2019, to qualify for most divisions at the Olympia an IFBB athlete must meet one of the following criteria:[29]

  • Place in the top five in their division at the previous Olympia
  • Win any of the IFBB qualifying contests
  • Rank among the top three in total points awarded for second through fifth place at qualifying competitions

For certain divisions with more than 25 qualifying competitions, slightly different rules are used: The previous Olympia winner is automatically qualified, plus the winner of each qualifying competition and the top five in total points.

The IFBB Professional League also has the discretion to extend special invitations to other competitors.

WinnersEdit

ChronologicallyEdit

# Year Winner(s)[a] Award[30] Venue
1 1965   Larry Scott[31] $1,000   New York, United States
2 1966
3 1967   Sergio Oliva[32]
4 1968
5 1969
6 1970   Arnold Schwarzenegger[32]
7 1971   Paris, France
8 1972   Essen, West Germany
9 1973   New York, United States
10 1974
 
  Arnold Schwarzenegger[32]
(Heavyweight & Overall)
  Franco Columbu
(Lightweight)
11 1975
 
$2,500   Pretoria, South Africa
12 1976
 
  Franco Columbu[32]
(Lightweight & Overall)
  Ken Waller
(Heavyweight)
$5,000   Columbus, United States
13 1977
 
  Frank Zane[32]
(Lightweight & Overall)
  Robby Robinson
(Heavyweight)
14 1978
 
$15,000
15 1979
 
  Mike Mentzer
(Heavyweight)
$25,000
16 1980   Arnold Schwarzenegger[32]   Sydney, Australia
17 1981   Franco Columbu[32]   Columbus, United States
18 1982   Chris Dickerson[32]   London, United Kingdom
19 1983   Samir Bannout[32]   Munich, West Germany
20 1984   Lee Haney[32] $50,000   New York, United States
21 1985   Brussels, Belgium
22 1986 $55,000   Columbus, United States
23 1987   Gothenburg, Sweden
24 1988 Unknown   Los Angeles, United States
25 1989   Rimini, Italy
26 1990 $100,000   Chicago, United States
27 1991   Orlando, United States
28 1992   Dorian Yates[32]   Helsinki, Finland
29 1993   Atlanta, United States
30 1994
31 1995 $110,000
32 1996   Chicago, United States
33 1997   Los Angeles, United States
34 1998   Ronnie Coleman[32]   New York, United States
35 1999   Las Vegas, United States
36 2000
37 2001
38 2002
39 2003
40 2004 $120,000
41 2005 $150,000
42 2006   Jay Cutler[32] $155,000
43 2007
44 2008   Dexter Jackson[32]
45 2009   Jay Cutler[32] $200,000
46 2010
47 2011   Phil Heath[32]
48 2012 $250,000
49 2013
50 2014 $275,000
51 2015 $400,000
52 2016
53 2017
54 2018   Shawn Rhoden[33]
55 2019   Brandon Curry[34]
56 2020   Mamdouh "Big Ramy" Elssbiay[35]   Orlando, United States
57 2021
  1. ^ Competition was split into two weight classes from 1974 through 1979, with one division winner then named the Overall champion.

Number of overall winsEdit

Rank Mr. Olympia champion Year(s) Number of wins
Overall Heavyweight Lightweight
1   Lee Haney 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, and 1991 8 0 0
  Ronnie Coleman 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, and 2005 8 0 0
2   Arnold Schwarzenegger 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974 (overall & heavyweight), 1975 (overall & heavyweight), and 1980 7 2 0
  Phil Heath 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017 7 0 0
3   Dorian Yates 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, and 1997 6 0 0
4   Jay Cutler 2006, 2007, 2009, and 2010 4 0 0
5   Frank Zane 1977 (overall & lightweight), 1978 (overall & lightweight), 1979 (overall & lightweight) 3 0 3
  Sergio Oliva 1967, 1968, and 1969 3 0 0
6   Franco Columbu 1974 (lightweight), 1975 (lightweight), 1976 (overall & lightweight), and 1981 2 0 3
  Mamdouh "Big Ramy" Elssbiay 2020 and 2021 2 0 0
  Larry Scott 1965 and 1966 2 0 0
7   Chris Dickerson 1982 1 0 0
  Samir Bannout 1983 1 0 0
  Dexter Jackson 2008 1 0 0
  Shawn Rhoden 2018 1 0 0
  Brandon Curry 2019 1 0 0
8   Robby Robinson 1977 (heavyweight) and 1978 (heavyweight) 0 2 0
  Kenny Waller 1976 (heavyweight) 0 1 0
  Mike Mentzer 1979 (heavyweight) 0 1 0

Number of consecutive winsEdit

Rank Mr. Olympia champion Years Number of consecutive wins
Overall Heavyweight Lightweight
1   Lee Haney 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990 and 1991 8 0 0
  Ronnie Coleman 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2005 8 0 0
2   Phil Heath 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017 7 0 0
3   Arnold Schwarzenegger 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974 and 1975 6 2 0
  Dorian Yates 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996 and 1997 6 0 0
4   Frank Zane 1977, 1978 and 1979 3 0 3
  Sergio Oliva 1967, 1968 and 1969 3 0 0
5   Jay Cutler 2006 and 2007, 2009 and 2010 2 (twice) 0 0
6   Larry Scott 1965 and 1966 2 0 0
  Mamdouh "Big Ramy" Elssbiay 2020 and 2021 2 0 0

Classic PhysiqueEdit

# Year Winner Venue
1 2016   Danny Hester[36]   Las Vegas, United States
2 2017   Breon Ansley[37][38]
3 2018
4 2019   Chris Bumstead[39][40]
5 2020   Orlando, United States
6 2021

Men's 212 divisionEdit

# Year Winner Venue
1 2012   Flex Lewis   Las Vegas, United States[41]
2 2013
3 2014
4 2015
5 2016
6 2017
7 2018
8 2019   Kamal Elgargni
9 2020   Shaun Clarida   Orlando, United States[41]
10 2021   Derek Lunsford

Men's PhysiqueEdit

# Year Winner Venue
1 2013   Mark Anthony Wingson   Las Vegas, United States[42]
2 2014   Jeremy Buendia[42]
3 2015
4 2016
5 2017
6 2018   Brandon Hendrickson[42]
7 2019   Raymont Edmonds[42]
8 2020   Brandon Hendrickson   Orlando, United States[42]
9 2021

Mr. Olympia AmateurEdit

Mr. Olympia Amateur is a competition that globally awards the best amateur competitors with a IFBB Pro Card,[43] bringing them closer to competing in the main Mr. Olympia.[7] It currently takes place at Beijing , Spain, Brazil, Korea, UK, Shanghai, India, Japan, Portugal, USA, South America, Egypt and Tunisia.[6]

See alsoEdit

Further readingEdit

  • Wayne, Rick (1985). Muscle Wars: The Behind-the-Scenes Story of Competitive Bodybuilding. New York: St. Martin's Press. pp. 93, 95, 250, 257. ISBN 0-312-55353-6. OCLC 12107650.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "IFBB.com - History of Mr. Olympia". Archived from the original on 2012-11-22. Retrieved 2012-12-06.
  2. ^ a b "Every Winner of the Mr. Olympia Bodybuilding Competition". Barbend. December 20, 2020. Retrieved July 25, 2021.
  3. ^ "Phil Heath Confirms He Will Compete In Mr. Olympia 2020". Generation Iron. 7 August 2020. Retrieved July 25, 2021.
  4. ^ a b "Why the 1980 Mr. Olympia Bodybuilding Contest Was So Controversial". Barbend. April 10, 2021. Retrieved July 24, 2021.
  5. ^ "IFBB 2012 MASTERS OLYMPIA". Muscle and Fitness. Retrieved July 25, 2021.
  6. ^ a b "Home". Olympia Amateur. Retrieved July 26, 2021.
  7. ^ a b "We Give You The Lowdown On The Mr. Olympia Amateur That's Happening In India This Year". Mens Xp. 8 September 2017. Retrieved July 26, 2021.
  8. ^ "10 FUN FACTS ABOUT MR. OLYMPIA". Muscle and Fitness. 3 September 2019. Retrieved July 23, 2021.
  9. ^ "Every Winner of the Mr. Olympia Bodybuilding Competition". Bafbend. 17 December 2020. Retrieved July 23, 2021.
  10. ^ "Mr Olympia: Through the Years". Protein Hunter. 2016-04-30. Retrieved 2016-06-09.
  11. ^ Merritt, Greg (21 April 2016). "THE PHYSIQUES AND JOURNEYS OF SERGIO OLIVA SR. AND JR". Muscle and Fitness. Retrieved July 23, 2021. In all of bodybuilding’s long and rich history there is no pose more associated with one person than Sergio Oliva’s victory pose. It’s his. Standing tall and straight with colossal arms overhead, fists balled and turned outward, and lats flaring above his wispy waist, his upper body formed a V for victory atop a base of abundant legs. His rendition at the ’72 Olympia is our sport’s most indelible image. The victory pose is so associated with the Myth and so difficult for even the best bodybuilders to pull off that few have even attempted it.
  12. ^ "Retired Chicago cop dies, only bodybuilder to beat Schwarzenegger". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved July 23, 2021.
  13. ^ "THE ULTIMATE ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER TRAINING GUIDE". Muscle and Fitness. 26 October 2020. Retrieved July 24, 2021.
  14. ^ Hansen, John. "The 1980 Mr. Olympia Controversy | Iron Man Magazine". www.ironmanmagazine.com. Retrieved 2019-02-03.
  15. ^ "OLYMPIA LEGEND: SAMIR BANNOUT". Muscle and Fitness. August 2018. Retrieved July 23, 2021.
  16. ^ "8X MR. OLYMPIA LEE HANEY SHARES HIS SECRET TO QUALITY MUSCLE". Muscle and Fitness. 27 June 2019. Retrieved July 23, 2021.
  17. ^ "IS IT WORTH IT?". Muscle and Fitness. 20 July 2016. Retrieved July 24, 2021.
  18. ^ Dorian Yates Addresses The Rumours 1 / 2. Carter (YouTube).
  19. ^ "See the Dramatic Changes In Bodybuilders' Physiques Over the Past 125 Years". Mens Health. 12 May 2016. Retrieved July 23, 2021.
  20. ^ "ED CORNEY ROLLS BACK THE YEARS AT THE MASTERS OLYMPIA". Muscular Development. Retrieved July 24, 2021.
  21. ^ "RONNIE COLEMAN WORKED OUT WITH A HERNIATED DISC FOR 10 YEARS". Muscle and Fitness. 15 June 2020. Retrieved July 24, 2021.
  22. ^ "THE GREATEST OLYMPIA COMEBACKS EVER". Muscle and Fitness. 21 July 2020. Retrieved July 24, 2021.
  23. ^ "Danny Hester wins the first ever Classic Physique Olympia". Evolution Bodybuilding. 18 September 2016. Retrieved July 25, 2021.
  24. ^ "Wheelchair Olympia". Mr. Olympia. Retrieved July 25, 2021.
  25. ^ "The Historical Significance of Phil Heath and the 2020 Mr. Olympia". Barbend. 8 August 2020. Retrieved July 23, 2021.
  26. ^ "Mamdouh "Big Ramy" Elssbiay Wins the 2020 Mr. Olympia". Barbend. 20 December 2020. Retrieved July 23, 2021.
  27. ^ "Mr. Olympia prize money breakdown: How much do the winners make in 2021?".
  28. ^ IFBB Pro League Staff (August 20, 2019). "2020 Olympia Qualification System". IFBB Professional League. Retrieved 2020-12-25.
  29. ^ "Mr. Olympia gets a pay raise over last 60 years". The Chive. 2016-08-01. Retrieved 2020-12-22.
  30. ^ Slotnik, Daniel E. (17 March 2014). "Larry Scott, Bodybuilder Who Inspired Schwarzenegger, Dies at 75". The New York Times. Retrieved July 23, 2021.
  31. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p "These Are All the Winners of the Mr. Olympia Competition". Men's Health. December 20, 2019. Retrieved July 25, 2021.
  32. ^ "Bodybuilder Shawn Rhoden Banned from Olympia". Barbend. 15 July 2019. Retrieved July 23, 2021.
  33. ^ "Brandon Curry Wins 2019 Mr. Olympia Bodybuilding Title". Barbend. 15 September 2019. Retrieved July 23, 2021.
  34. ^ "Mamdouh "Big Ramy" Elssbiay Wins the 2020 Mr. Olympia". Barbend. 20 December 2020. Retrieved July 23, 2021.
  35. ^ "Danny Hester". Greatest Physiques. Retrieved July 25, 2021.
  36. ^ "RESULTS: Breon Ansley wins the 2017 Classic Physique Olympia". Evolution of Bodybuilding. 16 September 2017. Retrieved July 25, 2021.
  37. ^ "RESULTS: Breon Ansley wins the Classic Physique 2018 Olympia". Evolution of Bodybuilding. 15 September 2018. Retrieved July 25, 2021.
  38. ^ "Canada's Chris Bumstead wins 2019 Classic Physique Olympia". Barbend. 20 December 2020. Retrieved July 25, 2021.
  39. ^ "Chris Bumstead 2019 Classic Physique Olympia Win Draws Serious Drama". Fitness Volt. 18 September 2019. Retrieved July 25, 2021.
  40. ^ a b "212 Division". Mr Olympia. Retrieved July 25, 2021.
  41. ^ a b c d e "Men's Physique". Mr. Olympia. Retrieved July 25, 2021.
  42. ^ "IFBB PRO™ CARD WINNERS 2019". NPC News Online. 19 November 2019. Retrieved July 26, 2021.

External linksEdit