The 2006 Olympia: KNOCKED OUT!!!


By Terry Goodlad

Lou couldn’t do it and neither could Rich Gaspari or Shawn Ray. It’s just the way it is. You can’t just be as good as the champ, and a few years back Jay Cutler found out that being slightly better may not do it either. If you want to de-throne the Mr. Olympia champ you can’t just bloody his nose, you gotta knock him out! After 8 straight years of dropping to his knees and giving thanks to the lord above for one another Sandow, Ronnie Coleman found himself surrounded by the usual compliment of officials, well wishers, and dignitaries that were joyously congratulating the Olympia Champion, but this time it wasn’t him in the spotlight, it was Jay Cutler. He didn’t just win the Olympia, that’s an absolutely incredible feat that lifetimes are spent persuing. He knocked out a multiple consecutive Olympia champion to earn his Mr. Olympia title and no man has done that in the history of the sport.

This Olympia championship marked the end of an era. Yes, Ronnie will have to be content with only 8 Sandows on his mantle and taking his place in history along side the legendary Lee Haney as one of the two men with the most consecutive Mr. Olympia titles. For a moment you have to feel sad for Ronnie coming so close to a record setting 9 Olympia wins, just to have it ripped from his hands at the last second after a very long year. Then reality hits as you consider how hard it is to win just one Sandow and regardless of whether he won 8 or 9, he will always be remembered as one of the greatest bodybuilders that ever lived.

coleman1 The 2006 Olympia: KNOCKED OUT!!!What also ended was one of the best rivalries in bodybuilding history. One is left to ponder what the bodybuilding magazines will write about now with only a champion but no relentless contender nipping at his Achilles. A pack of hyena’s is never as impressive as one underdog super-hero so they’ll have a year to come up with some hard-charger with an eye to dethrone the new king of bodybuilding, filling Cutler’s former role so the cycle can continue.

In the mean time the void will be filled with that same rivalry between Jay and Ronnie until a new one replaces theirs but with a twist. Now the bodybuilding world will be debating who should have won and why with one camp polarizing around Ronnie and how he got screwed and the other around Jay and how he has finally come of age. As usual there will be plenty of creative conspiracy theories that undoubtedly will involve some hint of devious backroom dealings, the word “politics” will fill many sentences, and in this case you can bet race will come into it somewhere.

If you were at the show and were able to do the near impossible job of looking at Jay and Ronnie with unbiased eyes and judge their bodies on their own merits, then Jay Cutler simply beat Ronnie Coleman. He had a better balanced physique, had a better all round package, had better detail and conditioning. In the past everyone focused on Ronnie’s glutes and this contest they were dry and tight, but so were Jay’s and where Ronnie was weak, Jay wasn’t. The pictures tell it all. Jay was more separated with more striations through his entire body. Ronnie looked like he was holding a slight bit of water and Jay was bone dry. Ronnie used to dwarf Jay in some poses but this time Jay made Ronnie look human and while their sizes were comparable, Jay was tighter and more detailed. When they stood side by side and started trading shots the party was over as Jay seemed to get better and better with each pose. Even if you wanted Ronnie to win a record 9th Olympia title, it became increasingly evident he simply didn’t deserve it this time.

cutlercoleman1 The 2006 Olympia: KNOCKED OUT!!! By the night show Ronnie was a little sharper but even with the improvements he didn’t have a better body than Jay did. It became a matter of whether not they would do what’s right and give the win to the best bodybuilder that day, or give Ronnie the win this one last time so he could go home with the record. Was it going to be a contest, or an insult to the intelligence of fans, writers, and the guys that worked so hard to be on that stage?

It was tense–and given the job of making the historic announcement, Bob Chicherillo milked it perfectly. As it came down to the last two men, everything seemed to move in slow motion. Filling time, Jay and Ronnie were asked to move closer together on the stage for the big announcement and for a moment both men’s personalities were revealed. Ronnie stood his ground, seemingly feeling superior and perhaps believing that any movement from him would be seen as a sign of weakness. Gentleman Jay just humbly did what needed to be done and slowly walked closer toward Ronnie as he had been asked to do. Papers were shuffled, nervous glances were directed backstage, and muted conversations away from the microphone were had. All of it befitting the announcement of a new pope. Yes–the names on the paper were in the right order so realizing he had stretched it as long as he could within the confines of good taste and showmanship, Bob addressed the crowd. They would find out who their champion was going to be but adding a twist to the proceedings, Bob made it very clear that the name that was heard next was the new Olympia champion and second place would be deduced from that.

There was a pause–then as loudly as possible, his voice resonating literally around the world, Bob Chicherillo announced Jay Cutler as the 2006 Olympia Champion.

The place exploded!

cutler2 The 2006 Olympia: KNOCKED OUT!!! It was deafening and it seemed to last forever as people screamed and scrambled, camera shutters clicked frantically and a smile like none before came across the 2006 Mr. Olympia champion’s face. Somewhere in the melee Ronnie was announced in second place but most people there probably never heard it. He was swallowed up by the pandemonium that surrounded Jay on stage and everyone it seemed was up there claiming a piece of the champ.

Jay took the microphone and thanked the usual suspects giving a long and heartfelt plug to the Weider brothers and Weider publications. He thanked all of the fans and friends that believed in him and stood by him when he was finishing in second. He thanked them for their support and pointed out that they were what made his win meaningful and like Jay does, he said it all in a sincere and calm voice. Jay made it clear that winning was just not for him or about him. He has always given respect and recognition to his fans and supporters first.

Jay Cutler has always been good for bodybuilding and he has always been a good bodybuilder. Now he is the best bodybuilder on the planet and with that comes a responsibility to represent the sport in a selfless and exemplary fashion so it can grow and be better when he leaves than it was when he got here. Jay Cutler has effectively done that already as a contender. It will be fun to see what he can do as the champ.

The Rest of the Top Ten
3rd place - Victor Martinez is rapidly coming of age and has both the size and genetic lines to challenge the champion so he could well be the number one contender for the Olympia title next year. Victor is always in good shape and seems to be getting better and better each season.

4th place: Dexter Jackson certainly lived up to his moniker “The Blade” as he had striations where they weren’t thought possible and looked absolutely “sick” shredded. Dexter’s genetics are phenomenal as no one in the IFBB has as much detail as he does along with the balance that he does. Judges have to look for flaws though and as perfect as Dexter is in every other area, he has and will always have problems with high lats. This was the best shape Dexter has ever been in and it was a really special experience to see him compete.

5th place: Melvin Anthony had packed on a lot of muscle since last year and still managed to maintain his trademark symmetry, conditioning and detail. That was all it took to shoot him from a placing somewhere no one remembers to a top 5 Olympia spot. Melvin is by far the most dynamic performer in men’s bodybuilding and takes the entertainment aspect of the sport to a whole new level and now he has the body to match. He is very consistent so expect him to stay in the top 5.

6th place: Gustavo Badell was exceptional last year and has what it takes to be the number one contender but he missed the mark with his conditioning this year by a long shot. Undaunted Gustavo put on a great performance for his fans showing his true professionalism and sportsmanship. He will be back and whatever happened at this show won’t happen again most likely so look for him to be back in hunt for a top 3 spot next season.

7th place: Toney Freeman is riding the crest of a wave this season as he finally filled in all that very tall real estate between his head and feet. Toney has been the bodybuilder with the most potential for years and has methodically added a few pounds of muscle each year. This year the package is almost complete and it was more than enough to earn him a top 7 spot at the Olympia. From here onward those slow steady improvements will only push him higher in the placings but rest assured he will be a permanent fixture near the top of his sport.

8th place: Markus Ruhl never intended on winning the Olympia, he just wanted to improve each time out and he has certainly done that. Instead of misshapen and unbalanced size for the sake of size alone, Markus is crafting more of a professional bodybuilders body. Still one of the most imposing figures onstage, he has started to balance his physique and the result at this show was noticeably better.

9th place: Dennis James was absolutely massive and in his pre-contest interview said he had come into the show fuller, a look her prefers. While Dennis may like when he is fuller and bigger, the judges didn’t appreciate it as much. Had he been a little sharper there is no doubt he would have made at least the top 5 but hitting his peak has always been a problem. If he ever solves that he will be a dangerous man.

10th place: Gunter Schleirkamp was in the best shape in perhaps his entire career. He was dry and tight and looking less like a mass monster and more like the new breed of top ranked bodybuilders. This was the only judging call that was questionable and the crowd agreed when he was called out in 10th place. The gentle giant took it very well and showed the grace and class he is best known for which only made him more popular amongst the countless fans that adore him.ns will have to endure the excruciating anticipation and prediction for 24 hours before the Saturday evening finals.

olymen115 The 2006 Olympia: KNOCKED OUT!!!

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