The One Hit Wonder Mr. O’s

The One Hit Wonder: Whenever Mr. Olympias are discussed, lots of attention is granted the long-runners.  The guys who won year after year. The unstoppable forces. The immovable objects. Yates, Coleman, Haney, Heath, and Arnold.  But what about the guys who only managed to grab the brass ring once? Hardly anyone knows their names.

But they should.

The one-off Mr. Olympias are as follows: Chris Dickerson, Samir Bannout, Dexter Jackson, Shawn Rhoden, and now, Brandon Curry.  Of those, there isn’t a single one who isn’t a badass bodybuilder, though they’re treated as pikers because they were only able to grab the brass ring once.  They were the best bodybuilder on the planet for a year, yet they’re treated like they never did a thing, which is wrong, for the following reasons:

Chris Dickerson: the first openly gay winner of the Mr. Olympia contest, Dickerson was the training partner of bodybuilding legend Bill Pearl.  At 5’6” 190lbs, he was tiny by today’s standards, but in the 1980s he was one of the most put together specimens who ever strutted across that stage.  He retired after winning the Masters Olympia at 56, and though he no longer rocks 18” arms, he still trains clients and lives the life.

Samir Bannout: The Lebanaese Lion was another fixture in the Mr. Olympia, competing in it from 1980 to 1994.  Standing 5’8” 208, he had one of the shapliest physiques on the planet, housing one of the most maniacal brains ever to hit the O stage. Brash, opinionated, and abrasive, Bannout never counted reps- he just piled on the weight and repped until his eyes bled.

Dexter Jackson: Dex is as timeless as ageless Albert Beckles (a dude who was so old competing no one even knew his age, but his condition was always ridiculous) and far, far bigger.  When Dex started competing he was still human-sized- 5’6” and 2015lbs. Since then, he’s grown to hulkish proportions, going from the little shredded aesthete to a mass monster who tipped the scales at just under 250 in his last show.  At age 49, Dex took 4th at the Olympia, 27 years after his first show, looking amazing in one of the most exciting and interesting Olympia contests ever.

Shawn Rhoden: After turning pro in 2010, Shawn Ehoden stated threatening reigning Mr. O Phil Heath almost immediately.  After placing in the top five repeatedly, Rhoden finally unseated Heath in 2018. Unfortunately, Rhoden then ran into some serious legal trouble that he seems to be treating rather lightheartedly, so his future in the competition remains uncertain.

Brandon Curry: The new kid on the block, Curry took the Mr. O title in a wild 2019 competition that saw the first Olympia appearance of Iranian phenom Hadi Chopan.  Curry’s aethetic 5’7” 217lb physique marks a serious departure from the mass wars seen in previous Olympias, and it will be interesting to see how he fares should much larger athletes like Kai Greene, Shawn Rhoden, and Phil Heath return to the stage next year.

Article by Jamie Lewis. Read more about The One Hit Wonder.

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