By Dan Solomon
For the sixth straight year, the Sandow Trophy, awarded to the world’s top bodybuilder, will board a flight from Las Vegas to Denver. 36 year old Phil Heath, from Colorado, has won the 2016 Mr. Olympia title and there was very little question about it. Heath silenced his critics with a physique too formidable for any of the 18 men who challenged him. From the moment the comparisons begun, Heath delivered a level of overall thickness, dense muscle and stage presence – giving way to a unanimous decision. While many bodybuilding insiders (like me) spent the year questioning whether Heath’s reign would continue, the former University of Denver basketball player showed tremendous maturity, tuning out his critics.
This victory carried no controversy, no drama, and very little theatrics. It was a well-crafted and well executed “business trip” for the defending champ. The win pulls Heath even with Dorian Yates on the all-time Olympia victory list. Next year he will attempt to match Schwarzenegger’s mark of seven as he closes in on Ronnie Coleman and Lee Haney’s all-time record of eight titles.
It was a star-studded night in Las Vegas as Dwayne Johnson and Arnold Schwarzenegger joined a capacity crowd at the Orleans Arena for an evening that also featured the comeback of 90’s bodybuilding star Kevin Levrone along with an impressive group of finalists that included runner-up Shawn Rhoden and former Mr. Olympia Dexter Jackson (3rd place). Egyptian born Mamdouh “Big Ramy” Elsbiay (4th place) and the upstart William Bonac rounded out the top 5.
Congratulations to promoter Robin Chang and his entire team on another successful weekend. The event created by the late bodybuilding pioneer Joe Weider is obviously in very good hands.
Check back soon for more reports from the 2016 Olympia Weekend here at DigitalMuscle.com and be sure to Like our Facebook Page for updates from around the fitness industry. (Olympia Coverage Sponsored by Ironmag Labs)
Dan Solomon has earned a reputation as a leader in the world of fitness & bodybuilding publishing. Having conducted many of the industry’s most wide reaching interviews, Dan served annually as host and lead commentator for the Mr. Olympia contest, the Arnold Schwarzenegger Classic, also having appeared as moderator at the Olympia Press Conference. In 2018 Dan was named Chief Olympia Officer by American Media to oversee the Olympia brand and its showcase event held annually in Las Vegas. Additional Credits: Co-Executive Producer for the movie BIGGER, The Story of Joe Weider, Creator of the Pro Bodybuilding Weekly radio show (2005), a first of its kind program, for which he was awarded the IFBB’s Lifetime Achievement Medal by co-founder Ben Weider. Prior to creating Digital Muscle, served as Senior Features Editor at Muscular Development Magazine and has worked with many of the top brands in both nutrition and media. Dan’s favorite thing to talk about? Baseball.