Kai Greene gets second; Flex Lewis tops Henry to Win 212
For those who paid attention, I watched the Olympia Weekend from the best seat in the house--my home office. Yup, missed the festivities for the first time in 21 years; decided to view the webcast produced by Bodybuilding.com and tweet and post on my Facebook page in blow by blow reports. Since all my comments are still there for your viewing pleasure, will not repeat what I wrote. You'll just have to check it out yourself. And, while your at it, check out the results, and Roland Balik photos, on this site.
On the subject of the webcast, thumbs up to the crew that headed up the production; first rate to say the least. The picture was clear, and the angles plentiful.
Now, back to the show. You all know by now Phil Heath won his second Sandow in a row, taking home a check for 250K. I didn't think Heath was better than 2011; he looked to be a tad heavier, and not quite as sharp. That said, a 95% Heath is still an amazingly "gifted" bodybuilder. And, according to the judging panel, a fairly easy winner with straight ones. Although Kai Greene returned to the form that won him back to back Arnold Classic titles in 2009 and 2010, Phil's superior "flow" of his body (best arms in the game to start with, great calves, matching thighs, back width, et al) was more than enough to prevent the upset, although I do think this battle was, as they say, closer than the score indicated. Thumbs up to Greene for making a legit run at the champ. A champ, by the way, who, at 32, could rack up several more Sandow's before he hangs up the posing trunks. Oh, by the way--as you know, I did pick Heath to go one-two in my pre-Olympia predictions. Thank you, thank you very much.
The two biggest surprises of the contest were Shawn Rhoden, the new age Flex Wheeler, who moved all the way up to third (I pegged him for fifth in my Olympia preview), and almost-43-year-old Dexter Jackson, who looked his best since winning this show four years ago en route to a fourth place finish. The Blade, who copped the Masters Olympia a year ago, becomes even a bigger favorite to repeat in Miami Beach in December. The biggest disappointment--at least aocording to the prognosticators, was Branch Warren, who fell all the way to fifth after winning his second consecutive ASC in March. Branch gets a chance to redeem himself, againsst basically the same field, this weekend in India at the Sheru Classic. I'll go with Heath again, with Rhoden possibly moving up a slot into second if Kai doesn't come in the same shape he did in Las Vegas.
In the 212, David Henry returned from a year's deployment to look great. Just not great enough to take the title away from James "Flex" Lewis, a guy I felt should have won this division a year ago. I remember meeting Lewis at World Gym, Marina del Rey, several years back. Bill Comstock filmed us going calf against calf. I lost. Now Lewis is doing likewise against people like Henry, Eduardo Correa and Jose Raymond. And still winning. You've come a long way, baby.