2002 Olympia Winner: In the aftermath of the 2001 Mr. Olympia, it was understood that Ronnie Coleman was indeed beatable, as many in the crowd believed that Jay Cutler had been robbed in that contest. After one of the closest cards between first and second place in Olympia history, Jay Cutler destroyed his competition at the 2002 Arnold Classic, but instead of competing in that year’s Olympia, he opted to take a full year off to pack on mass so that he could dominate Ronnie at the ‘03 Olympia. With Cutler out of the way, the rest of the Olympia field believed they might have a shot at the title if they just brought enough mass to the stage to get the judges notice.
A literal arms race ensued. Chris Cormier and Dexter Jackson, who’d taken second and third in the Arnold Classic, had placed fifth and eighth at the previous Olympia and had made significant gains in the offseason. Third place finisher from the ‘01 Olympia, Kevin Levrone, had finished fifth, but believed he could pile on enough mass in the intervening months to challenge the champion, and had far more symmetry and polish to his physique. 2002 Olympia Winner.
When they arrived at the 2002 Mr. O, Ronnie’s competition knew they might have some trouble on their hands- though he’d showed up absolutely massive in 2001 and without the condition of previous years, the 5’11” best had actually lost 10 pounds and honed his physique to a razor’s edge. It did, however, provide the rest of the field to compete with a man whose mass didn’t blot out the sun as it had in the past. At 5’11” and 240lbs, Levrone was no longer completely outmassed, and at 5’10” and 250, Chris Cormier matched the champ for mass.
Though close, the finals were not quite as close as they had been the year prior. An incredibly full and aesthetic Levrone placed a relatively close second to the champ, with Cormier twenty-one points behind the top two finishers. Though Cormier had the champ from the front, and Levrone’s delts and arms outshined Coleman’s, a Mr. Olympia is built on the strength of his back, and neither man could hold a candle to the champ when viewed from behind. A far smaller but aesthetic Dex placed a distant fourth, with mass monster Günter Schlierkamp in fifth and Lee Priest again in sixth. Read about 2002 Olympia Winner.