Reported October 1, 2002
Coleman Set to Defend Mr. O Title
Insider sources tell me defending Mr. Olympia Ronnie Coleman is dialing it in and will be in great shape when he steps onstage at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas on October 19 . Coleman, seeking his fifth consecutive Sandow, was weighing around 274 at the end of September. One source feels that the Big Nasty will be in his best condition ever and that he will win but will be disqualifiedfor testing positive as an alien.
Sources also say that Ken Flex Wheeler is down to around 230 pounds and looks very good. Wheeler, a three-time runner-up to Coleman, unretired after missing last seasons show and is taking dead aim at the crown.
Another major Coleman competitor, Chris Cormier, guest posed at the Tournament of Champions in Culver City, California, on September 28 and looked big and full, at least in the photos Ive seen. Look for Cormier, who has been training at Golds Gym in Redondo Beach, California, rather than his customary stand at Golds, Venice, to be on the money come game time and battle seriously for the title after last years disappointing fifth-place finish.
First-time Olympia performer Bob Cicherillo, on hand to pass out trophies, also gave the crowd at the TOC a look at his physique package. Bob appears to be in terrific shape and should be at his all-time best in Vegas.
For updates on the Olympia, keep checking the Hot News.
The IRONMAN Pro Invitational, which is set for February 15 at the El Camino Center for the Arts in Torrance, California, will have a new addition next season: an NPC figure competition. IM Publisher John Balik has also announced that Bill Pearl will receive the Perry Rader Lifetime Achievement Award and Wayne Gallash will be honored with the Art Zeller Award for Artistic Achievement. Additionally, a sculpture for the Most Muscular bodybuilder will be given away as well, courtesy of living legend Robby Robinson, who is throwing in the $1,000 cash prize…. The 03 Arnold Fitness Weekend will be held in Columbus, Ohio, on February 28March 2. The festivities will include the 15th Annual Arnold Classic, where Jay Cutler will defend his crown, the Ms. International, the Fitness International and the first ever-pro figure event, the International Figure Championship. The Arnold Strongest Man Contest, a major hit with the fans last year, is also on tap…. The 03 San Francisco Pro Grand Prix and Expo will be held on March 8 at the Zellerbach Theater in Berkeley, California. The NPC Bay Area Figure Extravaganza, which made its debut last year, also returns to the Giorgio Tsoukalos production.