By Joe Wuebben

As the wide world of fitness descended upon Las Vegas in late September for the 2008 Olympia Weekend, there were a number of questions surrounding the competitions. Could Jay Cutler win a third straight Mr. O, or would Dexter Jackson and Phil Heath unseat the champ? What would happen in the new 202-pound bodybuilding division? Would Jen Hendershott finally convince the judges she was once again worthy of the Fitness Olympia crown? Would the always-impressive Jenny Lynn keep up her streak of wins at the Figure O? And in women's bodybuilding, was there anyone who could pose a serious threat to the constantly-improving Iris Kyle?

All of these questions – and the eventual answers – made for another whey-fueled, well-muscled Olympia Weekend. Here's the Cliffs Notes.

Mr. Olympia
Dexter Jackson had been knocking on the door of bodybuilding's top prize, the Mr. Olympia title, for nearly a decade, and finally that door opened just enough to let him walk right in. Two-time Mr. O Jay Cutler brought his usual shredded, huge physique to the stage, but this time he just wasn't as crisp as in previous Olympias. Jackson, on the other hand, was as good as ever, beating Cutler handily in rounds 1 and 2 (prejudging Friday night, September 26) and fending off the champ in the Saturday night finals.

Other impressive showings came courtesy of Olympia rookie Phil Heath, who finished 3rd. Heath now projects as a future Olympia winner if he can build off the improvements he's made to his physique in the last year and a half or so. Dennis Wolf finished 4th, and in 5th place was Toney Freeman, who looked better than ever and could have easily finished higher. Melvin Anthony rounded out the top 6.

Mr. Olympia Results
September 27, 2008
Orleans Arena
Las Vegas, Nevada

1 Dexter Jackson
2 Jay Cutler
3 Phil Heath
4 Dennis Wolf
5 Toney Freeman
6 Melvin Anthony
7 Silvio Samuel
8 Dennis James
9 Moe Elmoussawi
10 Gustavo Badell
11 Darrem Charles
12 Johnnie Jackson
13 Craig Richardson
14 Ronny Rockel
15 David Henry
16 Kevin English
17 Fouad Abiad
17 Sergey Shelestov
17 Leo Ingram

202 Showdown
In a new IFBB division – made up of bodybuilders 202 pounds and under – the favorite going in, David Henry, claimed the unofficial title of "best small bodybuilder in the world." Henry brought to the stage his usual well-conditioned, symmetrical physique in beating the likes of Kevin English (runner up) and James "Flex" Lewis (3rd place), both of whom looked great as well.

202 Showdown Results
September 27, 2008
Las Vegas Convention Center
Las Vegas, Nevada

1 David Henry
2 Kevin English
3 Flex Lewis
4 Jason Arntz
5 George Farah
6 Roc Shabazz
7 Curtis Bryant
8 Charles Ray Arde
9 Jaroslav Horvath
10 Charles Dixon
11 Tricky Jackson
12 Jeff Long
13 Nathan Wonsley
14 Eric Castagnet

Fitness Olympia
After a 3rd place finish last year, Jen Hendershott matched her 2005 performance by winning the Fitness Olympia. Her Playboy bunny inspired routine was enough to outlast Tracey Greenwood and Kim Klein (2nd and 3rd place, respectively). Hendershott, who continues to cement her legacy as one of the best fitness competitors of all time, hasn't finished out of the top 5 at the Olympia since 2001, where she finished 6th.

Fitness Olympia Results
September 26, 2008
Orleans Arena
Las Vegas, Nevada

1 Jen Hendershott
2 Tracey Greenwood
3 Kim Klein
4 Julie Palmer
5 Tanji Johnson
6 Regiane Da Silva
7 Mindy O'Brien
8 Laticia Jackson
9 Trish Warren
10 Eric Riley
11 Nicole Duncan
12 Heidi Fletcher
13 Stacy Simons
NP Julie Lohre*
*Did not finish the competition due to an injury sustained in prejudging rounds.

Figure Olympia
Jenny Lynn, Mary Elizabeth Lado and Gina Aliotti may have been the biggest names going into the Figure O, but it was one of the field's smallest competitors, Jennifer Gates, who took home top prize. Gates, all of 5'1" and 110 pounds, brought a superior blend of leanness, shape and aesthetic appeal to emerge as a major force in the sport of figure. At age 31, she's actually a year older than Lado, yet Gates has a promising career ahead of her.

Figure Olympia Results
September 27, 2008
Orleans Arena
Las Vegas, Nevada

1 Jennifer Gates
2 Gina Aliotti
3 Zivile Raudoniene
4 Jenny Lynn
5 Mary Elizabeth Lado
6 Sonia Adcock
7 Kristal Richardson
8 Amy Fry
9 Nicole Wilkins
10 Heather Mae French
11 Lenay Hernandez
12 Julie Ann Kulla
13 Houng Arcinas
14 Jessica Paxson-Putnam
15 Jelena Abbou
16 Teresa Anthony
17 Jane Awad
18 Amber Littlejohn
18 Bernadette Galvan
18 Brenda Smith
18 Chastity Slone
18 Darlina Brown
18 Felicia Romero
18 Hazal Nelson
18 Kristi Tauti
18 Latisha Wilder
18 Michelle Flake
18 Paola Almerico

Ms. Olympia
Defending Ms. Olympia Iris Kyle won her fourth Olympia title overall. As usual, fierce competition came from Yaxeni Oriquen-Garcia, but this time Betty Adkins pushed her the most in finishing as a surprise runner-up.

Ms. Olympia Results
September 26, 2008
Orleans Arena
Las Vegas, Nevada

1 Iris Kyle
2 Betty Adkins
3 Yaxeni Oriquen-Garcia
4 Lisa Aukland
5 Dayana Cadeau
6 Cathy LeFrancois
7 Betty Pariso
8 Mah-Ann Mendoza
9 Jeannie Paparone
10 Jennifer Sedia
11 Nicole Ball
12 Brenda Raganot
13 Debbie Bramwell
14 Heather Armbrust
15 Rosemary Jennings
16 Sherry Smith
17 Klaudia Larson

>> For more extensive competition reports, exclusive photo galleries of each competitor and weekend wrap-ups, visit