2000 Olympia Winner: On the heels of two consecutive Olympia wins, reigning Mr. O Ronnie Coleman had a massive target on his back. He’d unseated a man long considered to be the best Mr. Olympia to ever step onstage, Dorian Yates, as Yates’ rapidly compounding injuries made setting a record number of Olympia wins an impossibility. The men who’d been waiting in the wings for Dorian to step aside had been champing at the bit to take the crown, and Coleman’s rapid ascent to dominance was as frustrating to them as it was seemingly unfair- there had to be a way to steal the crown before Coleman’s superiority was established, right?
The man, 2000 Olympia Winner with the most to prove was Flex Wheeler. Considered by many to the be the best bodybuilder never to win the Olympia, and by Arnold to be the greatest bodybuilder he’d ever seen, Flex’s combination of mass and inhuman aesthetics had landed him runner up to Coleman twice and second and fourth to Yates. Surely, now was the time for him to ascend to the top of the podium, if there would ever be a time. Similarly, Kevin Levrone and Shawn Ray both had aspirations to the title, as Levrone had amassed a record of seven consecutive top five finishes in the Olympia, and Ray had an astonishing ten. With the previous year’s third place finisher, Chris Cormier, out with an injury, the time was ripe for someone new to take the crown.
Clearly, the reigning Mr. O had far different plans. After dominating the field in the previous two contest, Coleman filmed a documentary about his training for the 2000 Olympia called The Unbelievable. In it, Coleman hit numbers that were completely unheard of in the bodybuilding world- he deadlifted a double with 800lbs, hit twelve reps with 200lb dumbbells on the flat bench press, and front squatted an unreal 585lbs for five reps. This Olympia, he believed, would be his to lose.
Coleman was correct- he absolutely destroyed a field of mostly smaller men. Levrone’s combination of mass and aesthetics landed him a second place finish, while Flex Wheeler dropped to third. Diminutive Shawn Ray ended up in fourth and mass monster Nasser El Sonbaty found himself relegated to fifth. Rounding out the finals was Lee Priest, who found himself outmassed and outclassed in a field of much taller men, looking tiny standing next to Coleman and the others in spite of his dense musculature. Read about 2000 Olympia Winner.