As noted in other posts, I am a fan of many sports/games that are somewhat outside the mainstream. One of them is bodybuilding. It is a sport that requires exceptional work and dedication. While I lift, I am nowhere in the shape of some of these guys, although I have lost 27 lbs since may 23, and no longer am a shoo-in to win my audition to play the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man in the next Ghostbusters Movie…
There is a stunning resemblance…but I smile and I don’t own a sailors hat…
But this weekend Las Vegas will host Olympia 2007, the Super Bowl of bodybuilding. Preliminary judging is on Friday, with the finals on Saturday. This year will be a showdown between reigning champion Jay Cutler and 8-time winner Ronnie Coleman. Cutler defeated Coleman in 2006, and plans to do it again. Coleman intends to be the first man to lose and then regain the Olympia title. Doing will give him the career record for Olympia wins at nine, pushing him ahead of Lee Haney (8). Both are ahead of Arnold Schwarzenegger (7).
Muscle and Fitness offers analysis and handicapping, and if reflects the uncertainty surrounding the event. Cutler won in an upset last year after four second place finishes behind Coleman…will Cutler get the Champ’s benefit of the doubt from the judges, or will there be a sentiment to send Ronnie out a winner? Coleman announced his retirement from competitive bodybuilding earlier this month. On the other hand, Coleman has said he thought he was robbed last year, and that the triceps injuries cited for the loss were not major problems.
My thoughts? My prediction? Coleman wins.
Why? Keep in mind this is a sport based on subjective judging. Bodybuilding is in constant need of someone or something to keep the sport alive and pumping, and keep folks buying equipment, supplements, etc. Some still say that need is why Weider backed Schwarzenegger over Oliva in 1970, and again why he wanted Arnold to win in 1980 to overcome the fitness theories propounded by Mike Metzger.
The sport needs some controversy to fire up talk, participation, excitement and the commitment purchase of goods, services, and supplements. If Cutler wins, then the status quo reigns. If Coleman wins, you have short term publicity plus the range of stories about which supplements, equipment, techniques he used to regain the title. This leads to Olympia 2008, where you will have an “empty stage” with no reigning champion following Coleman’s retirement…and no matter who wins gives you the same increase in short term publicity about supplements, equipment, etc.
Plus, a lot of folks will want Coleman to go out on top…
Obviously, this is not a sure shot. Coleman is 43, and if he is not over the hill then he can certainly see the peak from where he stands. He wants to go out on top, not on second. Cutler, having already finished behind Coleman four times, wants to start his own string.
I just have a hunch that the two of them are going to be r-e-a-a-a-a-l-l-l-l-l-l-l-y-y-y close in the judging, and for the reasons listed above I think the subjective judging will nudge over to Coleman.
We shall see!