2018 Mr. Olympia Report – The Men’s Classes

From Wayne Gallasch, Olympia camera team.

Pro Men

Shawn Rhoden becomes the 14th Mr Olympia winner as he stunningly took home the top prize. Phil Heath has held the title for the last 7 years, but on the big night this year, it was not to be his record-equalling victory #8.

It was quite an upset, but the finely conditioned and superbly proportioned Shawn Rhoden clearly brought the best package to the stage. Originally from Jamaica, and now aged 43, Shawn has been working towards this goal for many years. This was his 8th Olympia. It was an extremely popular victory. I know the Mr Olympia is much more than “best abs” but Shawn’s midsection was quite outstanding and separated him from the rest.

Chris Dickerson won the Mr Olympia title in London in 1982 at the age of 43, and Shawn and Chris hold the record for the oldest Mr Olympia winners.

A few comments on the other top guys: 

Big Ramy was huge but a bit disappointing, and his condition and midsection were not going to help him place high this year.

Phil Heath – so much has been said and written about his control of his midsection, or lack thereof. Phil was still pretty damn good such that nobody disputed his second-place finish. Condition probably was the biggest letdown.

William Bonac – seemed to be about 5 lbs too heavy this time, taking away his crisp definition and superb condition of the recent past. Looked much better when he won the Arnold Classic earlier this year.

Roelly Winklaar – the most improved Olympian for 2018, taking 3rd place, his best ever finish. Could be a future winner with the huge size he has achieved, and now needs to keep on refining it. Was the Arnold Classic Australia winner for 2018.

Brandon Curry – a real surprise package and presented a great physique with excellent size and condition.

212 Class Pro Men

In the 212 Class which really should be officially called the 212 Olympia, Flex Lewis reigned supreme for 212 title #7. Not only was it a very clear victory, it was the best I have ever seen Flex look in any of his 7 victories. He has now retired from this class and will in future compete in the Open Class. Flex is talking about waiting 2 years, but he is ready in my opinion to place top 3 in the 2019 Mr Olympia. It is also my feeling that he could have placed top 4 in this year’s Olympia. Such was his size, quality and condition.

Flex does not need to gain much more size and weight, he simply needs to bring his amazing symmetry and condition and pretty much bring the package he presented next year. To gain much more weight could easily take away his best weapons, shape and condition. His posing is good, but it could easily be taken to another level.

In second place in the 212 class was the young and broad shouldered American, Derek Lunsford, and he was good when he was fully flexed.  I observed him up close in the pump room, where he looked as though he was still carrying fluid. But the judges liked him a lot, as his victory over Kamal was clear-cut. Kamal from Libya and a resident and gym owner in England could count himself a touch unlucky not to have received the second-place medal. He was the new guy to many of the judges, assuming he was judged by different guys when he won the Arnold Classic 212 this year.

Derek had impact due to his great shoulder width and it was in the front double biceps pose where he was superior to Kamal. On the other hand, Kamal had the better abs and legs, sharper condition, as well as his usual great shape and symmetry, and superior posing. With a different set of judges those 2 positions could easily have been reversed.

Next in 4th place was the impressive Ahmad Ashkanani. Good overall but not quite up to the quality of the top 3 in this class.

Rounding out the other 2 men’s classes at the Olympia was Classic Physique repeat winner Breon Ansley of USA, narrowly over Chris Bumstead of Canada. I could easily see this reversing next time.

In the Men’s Physique Class, it was an outstanding new winner in Brandon Hendrickson over Raymont Edmonds, both of USA. Defending champion Jeremy Buendia had to settle for 4th place.

The Women’s Classes deserve a second report – later.

You can see the PRO MEN & 212 RESULTS here. https://gmvbodybuilding.com/2018-mr-olympia-results/

THE AMATEUR MEN – https://gmvbodybuilding.com/2018-amateur-olympia-mens-results/
THE AMATEUR WOMEN – https://gmvbodybuilding.com/2018-amateur-olympia-womens-results/

VIDEO FILES of the individual classes from the AMATEUR OLYMPIA MAY BE ORDERED, and will be supplied via email. Contact tina@gmv.com.au for more details.