The question of the hour in bodybuilding circles, revolving around the planet’s best-built man to reach the half-century mark, has been answered. VINCE TAYLOR has signed a contract to compete at the 2006 Mr. Olympia, putting yet another bona fide threat to take the crown into an already loaded lineup.

The five-time Masters Olympia champ last threw his hat into the Olympia ring in 2001, where he finished 13th. However, don’t let that placing throw you — Taylor was extremely sharp in taking third at the Australian Grand Prix earlier this year, proving he can still get into the condition needed to battle at the highest level of the sport.

“I decided to make a comeback in Australia in large part for business reasons,” Taylor says. “I’m working on releasing a new equipment line and could do a better job of promoting it as an active competitor than as a former pro. Plus, I’d love to be able to work with a supplement company again. There’re a lot of opportunities out there for me if I make myself available to them, so that’s what I’m doing by competing again.”

Taylor isn’t just entering the fray for the sake of standing on a stage, happy just to be there, however. He is as fiery a competitor as ever and wants to prove that he still has the physique, and the gumption, to make some noise in the IFBB once again. “My goal is to look the best I can look while keeping my health,” he says of the Olympia. “I feel great right now, and at nearly 50 am not willing to compromise it. So I may not be the biggest guy onstage, but that doesn’t mean I can’t be one of the best.”

As good as the venerable athlete looked down under in April, he assures us that it was merely a preview of things to come. “That show was a steppingstone for me in my comeback,” he says. “Everyone will get the chance to see that there’s a lot more left in the tank of this old guy.”