2018 Olympia Winner: After his narrow victory over the massive Egyptian Mamdouh “Big Ramy” Elssbiay in 2017, Phil Heath had but one barrier left to cross to put him in the creme-de-la-creme of bodybuilding’s elite- the coveted eighth title held by both Lee Haney and Ronnie Coleman. To get it however, Heath would have to duplicate his victory from the previous year, since he would be facing an almost identical field.
Replacing Kai Greene as Heath’s proverbial bridesmaid, Shawn Rhoden was considered a favorite to win the title in spite of his disappointing fifth place finish in 2017. Learning from his mistakes the previous year, “Flexatron” delivered his best package yet, managing to highlight Heath’s flaws while accentuating his own strengths in a masterful move.
The main knock against Heath’s ever-bigger physique was his bloated midsection, which when compared with guys like Winklaar or Big Ramy was not egregious, but standing next to a full and thick but wasp-waisted Rhoden looked massive and distended. It was this point, and Rhoden’s insane shoulder-to-waist ratio that likely carried the day, landing Flexatron firmly in first place.
Heath, 2018 Olympia Winner, who did not look “bad” by any stretch of the imagination, landed in second. Perhaps due to his close call against the much bigger Big Ramy the previous year, Heath sacrificed conditioning for size and ended up lacking the detail he’d had in the past. In third was the massive Roelly Winklaar, who managed to learn from his 2017 outing and arrived with a more streamlined physique and a far tighter midsection, making his insane most muscular post look even more outrageous. In fourth, William Bonac displayed what was by far and away the most aesthetic physique onstage, but he was simply outmassed in the end. Fifth place went to Brandon Curry, who improved his placing from eighth the previous year by making considerable improvements to his 5’7”, 250-lb physique, which sixth place went to last year’s runner-up, Mamdouh “Big Ramy” Elssbiay, who missed the mark entirely he’d his last year and showed up looking considerably less well conditioned. 2018 Olympia Winner