By Dan Solomon
Bodybuilding’s biggest weekend is fast approaching and for the 20th consecutive year it’ll all go down in Vegas! After moving from city to city during its first 30+ years, Joe Weider’s Olympia Weekend has found what appears to be a permanent home in the city that’s hosted the event each year since 1999. Set for the weekend of September 13-16, the Olympia will again welcome the biggest names in muscle & entertainment, including the annual headliner appearance by Dwayne Johnson and some other celebs for which I’ve been sworn to secrecy.
On the bodybuilding front, the story lines are beginning to take shape! Here’s a few items to get you started as we begin our Olympia coverage here at DigitalMuscle.com.
A Kai Comeback? — Before you get too excited, this story still resides in the gossip mill……but its gaining some traction. A couple weeks ago Kai Greene’s business partner Aaron Singerman called upon his followers to ramp up a #ComeBackKai campaign on social media. According to various sources, some high level conversations have taken place aimed at getting the 2-time Olympia runner-up back to the contest. It’s been 4 years since Kai competed at the Olympia so there’s no telling how his body might look at this point in his career, but the curiosity is enough to get die-hard fans excited about the promise of another showdown on the sport’s greatest stage. We’ll continue to follow this…more to come.
Heath on the Brink of History! – In the world of professional bodybuilding, there’s perhaps no number that means more than the #8. Back in 2005 Ronnie Coleman was crowned Mr. Olympia for the 8th time, equaling the mark set in 1991 when Lee Haney eclipsed Arnold’s mark. With Coleman and Haney knotted atop the all-time leader board, Phil Heath will join them with a win in September. After last year’s close-call, all the buzz has been positive surrounding Heath after a few successful procedures to repair ailments that were said to have been causing issues with his 2017 prep. It’s now full speed ahead for Heath as he looks to fend off a host of challengers and cement his name among the all-time greats.
Flex Lewis Announces He’s Done! — Well, not exactly. But after months of speculation, the reigning king of the Olympia’s “Under 212lb” division recently told Flex Magazine that his days of competing in the lighter division will come to an end in September when he looks to run his streak to 7. For years, many of us, including his trainer Neil Hill, have wondered how high Flex could fly if he wasn’t held down by the limitations of a division that deprives his body of the freedom to grow. There are some who feel he would already be a Top 6 finisher in the main event if he crossed over. Flex has hinted that he will take an extended break from competing before announcing any plans for the next phase in his competitive career. – Personally, I wish he made this decision sooner. It’s not getting any easier for the champ as a new crop of ultra-conditioned challengers make their way toward the top of the division. The path to victory is no longer as clear as it once was. I’ll be rooting for Flex as he looks to exit the 212 division on his own terms. — More story lines are coming in every day….check back soon for all the latest.
Jay Cutler Talks “Business” with Aaron Singerman
Tickets & Schedule info for Olympia Weekend are now available at www.MrOlympia.com.
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.