Flex Flex UK - January 2018 - Page 42

T hey used to call it “chasing Arnold.” Back in the 1970s in Venice, CA, bodybuilders destined to never win the Olympia did what Arnold Schwarzenegger did. They trained the way he trained and where he trained, they ate what he ate and when he ate, and they basked in the glow of his presence, all with the desperate dream that they could be like Arnold—look like Arnold, feel like Arnold, win like Arnold. They chased and they chased, but they never caught up to him. Like a horizon, he was too far beyond, always. For a year, since he won his sixth Sandow, Phil Heath chased Arnold, the seven-time Mr. Olympia. On Sept. 16, he caught him. PRESS CONFERENCE The 53rd annual Mr. Olympia officially began Sept. 14 at 12:23 p.m. in Orleans Arena, when this question was asked at the opening press conference: “Where will Ramy be this year?” And Mamdouh Elssbiay, who moved from eighth to seventh to fifth to fourth over his first four Olympias, predicted his biggest leap yet by holding up one finger. “I promise I’ll bring something new, never been seen before,” Ramy elaborated. At first Phil Heath said that he welcomed the challenge of a ripped 300-pound “Fourth Pyramid,” but then he U-turned: “Aw, hell, he ain’t gonna do that shit. I’m gonna win. I’m the dream killer. I get it. There’s no disrespect. I expect everyone to feel they can beat my ass. But you think it’s the first time I heard someone say they’re gonna beat me? Hell, Kai Greene used to say that, and he’s a lot better than people up here, and I beat his ass.” It took a while for the audience’s 40 FLEX | JANUARY 2018