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Eighth Wonder of the World
Written by: Michael Berg, Flex Executive Editor
Date: Sunday 16 October, 2005
For the first time since Ronnie Coleman won the Sandow in 1998, a competitor caught him from behind. That man was Jay Cutler, and whenever the two went mano-a-mano in a back pose, it was evident how far Cutler had come in his development. In a feat many thought would never happen, Coleman, he of the freaky mass and stunning detail in his lats, mid-back and traps, was far from a shoo-in on this pose.
However, in the end, even that wasn't enough to stop the reign of Coleman, who made it eight in a row, tying him with Lee Haney for the Olympia record.

All told, this Olympia had more than its share of trauma, drama and controversy. From the opening segment of the night show, when powerlifter Gene Rychalik took the stage to attempt to break his all-time bench press record and press 1,015 pounds, only to end up broken himself under the bar as his try went awry, it was a crazy night. There were disgruntled athletes backstage, crying foul over the supposed "belly ban" that didn't seem to alter the scores in any way. You had wasp-waisted David Henry and Kris Dim out of the top 10, the most overlooked bodybuilder in the show in Darrem Charles crashing into ninth (when he just as easily could have been as high as third), and you had a top six where again the mass monsters dominated - mighty Dennis James in sixth, massive Gunter Schlierkamp in fourth, and of course Coleman and Cutler in the top two spots. (Sandwiched in between were a very happy Victor Martinez in fifth and Gustavo Badell notching third for the second year in a row, an accomplishment he should be truly proud of.)

As part of the proceedings, the second-ever Challenge Round was held, as judged by former Mr. Olympias Larry Scott, Sergio Oliva, Frank Zane, Samir Bannout and Dorian Yates. A few technical difficulties marred the round, but in the end Gustavo Badell emerged the victor, $25,000 richer for the effort. Interestingly, during the round (which didn't count in the overall standings), Coleman lost a few poses, including a side triceps to both Cutler and Badell, and the tiebreaker, which was a general pose-off between him and Badell.

Other notable finishes on this 40th anniversary of the greatest show in bodybuilding include Jordan's Mustafa Mohammad breaking into the top 10, Branch Warren maintaining his roll - he won two pro shows in the past month - by coming in eighth, and Melvin Anthony, who clocked in at No. 7. California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger also made an appearance, stepping on stage with Joe Weider, who was honored with a standing ovation after the two spoke to the capacity crowd.

While the show ended much like seven others before it - Coleman flat on the floor as the announcement of second place was made, overwhelmed by his moment of triumph - the chain of events to that point was anything but ordinary. This was a Mr. Olympia that - for better or worse - will be talked about in bodybuilding circles for a long time.


1 Ronnie Coleman
2 Jay Cutler
3 Gustavo Badell
4 Gunther Schlierkamp
5 Victor Martinez
6 Dennis James
7 Melvin Anthony
8 Branch Warren
9 Darrem Charles
10 Mustafa Mohammad
11 Johnnie Jackson
12 George Farah
13 Chris Cormier
14 David Henry
15 Markus Ruhl
Top six qualify for 2006 Mr. Olympia

Did not make top 15

Kris Dim
Alexander Fedorov
Craig Richardson
Ronny Rockell
Mike Sheridan
Quincy Taylor

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Eighth Wonder of the World
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