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Written By: Team Flex
Date: Friday 21 October, 2005
How about Gustavo Badell? We can't say enough good things about the Puerto Rican juggernaut, who repeated his third place finish of the 2004 Mr. O at this year’s bash. Earlier in the year his name was mentioned loudly and frequently when discussion turned to the IFBB's belly ban advisory.

Well, apparently he heard everyone loud and clear and decided that he would not become its first casualty. Gustavo reduced his midsection considerably from the one he sported at the season's early shows. Plus, he added quality mass where it counted. In short, he looked sensational.

Oddly, Badell never got a callout with Ronnie Coleman or Jay Cutler. Not once, except in the Challenge Round, which may in the end be the biggest reason to support this oft-criticized Olympia addition. When finally given the chance to go head-to-head with the Ronster in the Challenge Round posedown, Badell was judged by the former Mr. Olympia winners (Larry Scott, Sergio Oliva, Frank Zane, Samir Bannout and Dorian Yates) who were doing the judging to be the better man. So, if nothing else, Gustavo Badell can claim the title of Mr. Old School Physique.

So it would have been more than interesting -- maybe even history making -- if the Latin Hercules would have had a formal call out with Ronnie Coleman.

Okay, now let's talk Alexander Fedorov. We've been accused of hyping this guy up and down for the past year or so. Guilty as charged. Did he live up to the hype? No! He was not the same bodybuilder that stormed into prominence at the 2003 European Championships and 2003 Russian Grand Prix shows.

But does this mean we should drop the guy as fast as Ronnie dropped to his knees Saturday night? No way. The potential is still there. The kid's only 27, making him the show's youngest competitor, and he admitted that his pec tear became more of a hindrance to his training than originally anticipated.

He's not giving up though, despite his disappointing finish. He's made of sterner stuff than that. As mentioned, we will not be giving up on the Russian prodigy any time soon. Look for updates on Alex in the coming months on the pages of FLEX.


At Thursday’s press conference Badell challenged Coleman to an impromptu posedown, but as the far from shy Puerto Rican stripped down to his skivvies and began hitting shots, Ronnie kept the threads on. In the Challenge Round Gustavo challenged Ronnie to a side triceps and won, and then lost to the reigning Mr. O when the latter called for a rear double biceps comparison. At the end of the Challenge Round Gustavo and Ronnie were tied, and then in the tiebreaker (which constituted a free-for-all posedown) Gustavo bested the reigning Mr. O.

In the end the scores were right in line with their preferences. Badell's win was fair and square. But it wasn't a unanimous victory. A 3-2 majority ruled in the form of Messer's Scott, Zane and Bannout, who showed a preference to the aesthetics of Gustavo. Messers Oliva and Yates, the "mass monsters" of their respective eras, understandably favored Ronnie's physique

Like we said before, would have been great if Gustavo could have got a crack at Ronnie in the Olympia proper.

Now to Gene Rychlak. Believe it or not, the big fella who suffered that scary bench press miss with 1015 pounds at Saturday’s Mr. O finals is doing just fine. Just before he tried to lock out with the 1015 (1015? Are ya kidding me?) his right arm gave way and the bar smashed into his ribs. Incredibly, not only did he suffer only minor bruising, he is planning on competing again in the near future! What looked as if it might have become the Olympia's biggest tragedy turns out to be its most rousing story of resilience! Note to Triple H: It looks like Gene is back in bench press mode.

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