2004 Olympia: Six-time Mr. O winner Ronnie Coleman looked absolutely unstoppable going into 2004. With almost nothing but wins under his belt since 1998 (save his single second place finish to Gunter Schlierkamp in 2002), it seemed that every contest Coleman entered was a guaranteed victory, and 2004 looked to be no different. Off-season pictures showed the champion huge and strong, and though Jay Cutler had appeared an incredibly strong competitor with his consistent runner-up finishes at the Olympia and Arnold Classic wins, Coleman seemed unstoppable.
Pre-judging 2004 Olympia revealed that everyone’s preconceptions regarding the competition were correct- first and second place were practically predetermined, leaving the remainder of the field to fight over the scraps left by the frontrunners. With Coleman in first on every judge’s scorecard and Cutler in second on the same, a close contest between Gustavo Badell and Dexter Jackson for third and fourth began. With two inches and fifteen pounds on Dexter Jackson, the “Freakin’ Rican” Gustavo Badell managed to edge out the smaller man. Both men had extremely complete, aesthetic physiques that compared favorably against one another, even if they were completely outsized by Cutler and Coleman.
In fifth stood the massive German, Markus Rühl. Dubbed the German Nightmare, Rühl’s freaky size dominated the stage, and he was awarded the Muscular Development Freakazoid award for his combination of size, density, condition, and detail. Rounding out the final six was Rühl’s fellow German mass monster, Gunter Schlierkamp, who again was unable to recapture his 2002 Show of Strength form that had allowed him to best Coleman.
With seven wins under his belt, Ronnie Coleman now stood as the second winningest Mr. Olympia in history, besting both Arnold Schwarzenegger and Dorian Yates, whose wins stood at six apiece, and just behind eight-time winner Lee Haney. With that in mind, Coleman set his sights on the 2005 Olympia and his goal of being the greatest bodybuilder of all time. Read about 2004 Olympia.