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The 2015 Olympia Weekend has arrived

The World Cup of bodybuilding has arrived, but not without controversy.

kevin
Kevin Grech
18 September 2015, 10:34am
The press conference of the 2015 Mr. Olympia. Photo by eastlabs.sk
The press conference of the 2015 Mr. Olympia. Photo by eastlabs.sk
The 2015 Olympia Weekend has arrived, it officially stared on Thursday with the athletes check-in and as well the famous Mr. Olympia press conference in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Last year, we had the confrontation between runner-up Kai Greene and Mr. Olympia Phil Heath during the press conference. This was not something the bodybuilding fans were used to seeing during a press conference.

Controversy has hit the 2015 Olympia Weekend like a lightning bolt this year when Kai Greene (the number 1 contender for the crown) did not sign his contract to enter the show.

Many athletes and fans thought he would leave the signing of the contract till the last minute, but it did not happen and he was a no-show.

In the meantime, Kai Greene released a video on his social media explaining that events behind the scenes have prevented him from making it to the contest, but the other competitors and the show promoter Robin Chang saw this as an excuse.

As the situation was not enough, NPC and IFBB Pro League judge, Lee Thompson decided to break away from both organisations and launch his own federation called NPC Global.

In a video made by Lee Thompson on his social media he explained the reasons for the new federation, but also mentioned the Kai Greene fiasco. Many are linking Kai Greene’s absence from the 2015 Olympia to the new federation.

Getting back to the competitors that have decided to be available for the weekend events, 4X Mr. Olympia Phil Heath still looks to be the favorite to win the title making it five in a row.

With Kai Greene not competing, the number two spot looks to have veteran and former Mr. Olympia winner Dexter Jackson and Shawn Rhoden fighting for this spot. This edition of the Mr. Olympia will be Dexter Jackson’s 16th appearance. At the age of 45, the 5X Arnold Classic winner and 2008 Mr. Olympia winner is the most consistent bodybuilder in the history of the sport as with this weekend included, Dexter will have competed in over 70 IFBB Pro shows and placing in the top-ten in all of them.

4X Mr. Olympia was all smiles during the press conference. Photo by Muscular Development
4X Mr. Olympia was all smiles during the press conference. Photo by Muscular Development
Mamdouh "Big Ramy" Elssbiay will be the biggest bodybuilder on the stage, weighing approximately 144kg (316 pounds). If he presents a well-defined physique, he can easily crack the top three or even win with his size. Dennis Wolf is also a favorite to crack the top three. He placed third in 2013 and fourth in 2014.

We must not forget Cedric McMillan, he has one of the most aesthetic physiques in the sport, but he never manages to present himself with the condition to win. If Cedric does come to the show in his best ever shape, he can easily with the title with his perfect proportions. 7X Mr. Olympia winner Arnold Schwarzenegger is a big fan of Cedric and he has been using him, as the example of what bodybuilding should be today.

Some comments during the press conference refering to the Kai Greene fiasco:

Dexter Jackson: "No Kai... More money for me".

Phil Heath: "Kai Greene could sign all those Olympia posters claiming to be Mr. Olympia… but he was not able to sign the contract”

 

Watch the entire press conference HERE

Moving towards the 212 class, it can be said that James ‘Flex’ Lewis is the firm favorite. Jose Raymond, David Henry, Guy Cisternino and Hidetada Yamagishi can all cause problems to Flex Lewis. The 212 showdown has always been a close competition making it hard for the judges to do their job. Bodybuilders from Korea such as Kim Jun Ho and Kyung Won Kang can also cause problems to the big names of the sport.

In the Men’s Physique class, Sadik Hadzovic is the man looking to take the title away from Jeremy Buendia. Hadzovic placed second behind Jeremy last year and it is going to be an exciting encounter between these two. The Men’s Physique has become one of the most popular divisions in the sport today.

Ashley Kaltwasser will be looking to defend her Bikini Olympia title this weekend. Photo by NPC News Online
Ashley Kaltwasser will be looking to defend her Bikini Olympia title this weekend. Photo by NPC News Online
In the Women’s Fitness category all eyes will be on Oksana Grishina to see if she retains her title.

The popular Women’s Bikini division will have Ashley Kaltwasser trying to defend her Olympia title for the third time. She will have stiff competition from India Paulino, Stacey Alexander and last years runner-up Janet Layug.

In the Women’s Figure Olympia, Nicole Wilkins is the firm favorite to retain her title.

The Women’s Physique division has Juliana Malacarne as the firm favorite. Last year’s second place finisher Dana Linn Bailey decided not to compete. A similar situation is happening in this class as the Men’s Open class, leaving a big question mark on who will me the main contender. Last year Tycie Coppett placed third and she hopes to do much better this year and take the title away from Juliana.

Keep up-to-date with all the latest news, photos and videos of the 2015 Olympia Weekend on www.evolutionofbodybuilding.net or on their Facebook page

kevin
Kevin Grech is MaltaToday's sports editor. He has been the designer of MaltaToday's print ...
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