2016 Olympia Press Conference Pose Down
By Raymond Shipley
Amidst all the controversies in politics and such in today's world, it is nice to sometimes simply ignore it all and focus on a sporting event to take one's mind away from the chaos. That isn't to advise becoming a mindless robot that only cares about sports, but rather take a break from the conundrum that has become our Western world. But I digress...
Now that the Mr. Olympia press conference is in the books a few things can be reasonably assumed in terms of what shall occur on stage. The confidence Phil Heath exudes leads one to believe this year, as in the past five years, he is full and conditioned, and poised to defend his title from all would-be takers. Nothing less should be expected of Mr. Olympia, so no surprises there.
Shawn Rhoden has yet to reveal what condition he has brought this year, but he, as usual, remains calm, cool and collected. As long as his "bubble gut" failure from last year doesn't rear it's head on stage in 2016 he should very easily place top 3.
In contrast to Rhoden's calm and respectful demeanor, Dexter Jackson reveals himself to be the arrogant and ghetto minded bodybuilder this author has long been told he is. For a great many years it has been said Jackson is a self-centred, racist jerk, but one never wants to believe the hype. Although this author has been told of Jackson's dislike and distrust of white people by reputable sources, it can neither be confirmed nor denied at this point. However, it is apparent from the video footage of the conference that he is anything but humble, and remains bitter about having only won a single Sandow. With all that said, never has this author seen Jackson out of shape, and it is all but guaranteed Dexter will bring his A game as always. Top 5 for sure.
Kevin Levrone is, and rightfully should be, the focus of any bodybuilding fan at this point. Having retired from competition 13 years ago, only to decide a little over six months ago to compete this year, his is a tale to be told. An open challenge was given by Levrone at the conference to pose down like old times, and Cedric McMillan and Josh Lenartowicz took him up on the offer, posing for fans and for fun. Although looking grainy and conditioned, Levrone needs to fill out with carbs and apply the tan before it is really known how he stacks up against the competition. A top 6 finish would be an amazing feat.
It will soon be known who places where, and who will be Mr. Olympia 2016. Phil Heath has already proven he is a worthy champion as far as training and peaking, so the rest of the bunch have their work cut out for them.