Phil Heath is the new Mr. Olympia

September 17, 2001

By Dave Lee


Call it a changing of the guard. In a mirror image of last year’s final, Phil Heath and Jay Cutler were the last men standing, waiting for the announcement that would declare one as the next Mr. Olympia. Tonight, in a reversal of roles, it was Heath’s turn to hold the Sandow and the $200,000 first-place check.

Heath has grown by leaps and bounds since winning his first two contests in his rookie year in 2006 and those years of effort unveiled a work (that is still in progress!) that had legends such as Chris Cormier and Flex Wheeler speechless the moment he stepped onstage at last night’s prejudging. At this evening’s finals, it was more of the same as his ridiculously full muscle bellies and miniscule joints created an image that can only be described as cartoonish – a term that seems to have grown in usage since last night. Add to that, great proportions, improved v-taper (the word narrow no longer applies), stellar separation and 3-D muscle that jumps to life with each pose and you have what many are already labeling as one of the greatest physiques ever. Heath is now the thirteenth man to wear the title of greatest bodybuilder ever in the Olympia’s 47-year history. The scary thing is that he’s not even close to reaching his prime and with his desire to take his physique even further, the sky is the limit for the 31-year old known as The Gift.

Jay Cutler, off from the size and condition that won him Sandow number four last year, simply didn’t have an answer for the Heath arsenal this day. Still, he fought to the end and carried himself with the poise and dignity of a true champion, giving a heartfelt speech that ended with Cutler proclaiming Heath, “the new king.”

Kai Greene finished third and his combination of size and detail had many wanting more direct comparisons with Heath. The Predator has finally gotten the Olympia monkey off his back (fourth in ’09 and seventh last year) and promises to be even better next year.

A much-improved Victor Martinez placed fourth, with a rejuvenated Dennis Wolf in fifth and a sharper Dexter “The Blade” Jackson in sixth. Seventh place finisher Toney “The X-Man” Freeman continues to go strong and Brandon Curry, who placed eighth in his rookie O appearance, shows great promise for the future. Ronny Rockel and Hidetada Yamagishi rounded out the ninth and tenth spots, respectively.

Joe Weider’s 2011 Olympia concludes and Phil Heath is the new Mr. Olympia, Iris Kyle is a seven-time Ms. Olympia, Nicole Wilkins wins her second Figure Olympia title, Adela Garcia is a six-time Fitness Olympia champion and Nicole Nagrani is the new Bikini Olympia champion.