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At the upcoming Mr. Olympia, fans in attendance will have the chance to vote and influence the results.
At the pre-judging on Friday, Sept. 14, and at the following day’s finals, those at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas will be given access, via their mobile devices, to enable them to vote on the outcome of the contest. Their votes will count toward the official decision. Collectively the fans will be included as an additional judge on the voting panel. If they choose a different winner than the other judges, that competitor will be awarded the honor of becoming the inaugural People’s Champion. (To get your tickets and become part of Olympia history, go to mrolympia.com.)
Throughout the years, certain competitors, for various reasons, have held the mantle of the People’s Champion long before it became an official title. Shawn Ray is one of the outstanding competitors who has unofficially been given the People’s Champ accolade by the masses.
As the ’90s progressed with 260-pound Dorian Yates taking six successive Olympia titles, there was a greater focus on mass. This disturbed those who considered the sport as being more about symmetry. Backed up by his astonishing Olympia record of 12 consecutive (1990–2001) top five placements, Shawn Ray at around 210 pounds represented this school of thought. His immaculate physique and his propensity to be outspoken endeared him to fans. In the April 2003 edition of FLEX, he was voted the “Best Bodybuilder Never to Win the Mr. Olympia.”