by Christian Duque
When Brandon Curry won the Arnold Classic in 2019, William Bonac, who won the 2018 event, spoke to his fans and asked them to congratulate the new champion with him. Curry and Bonac fought to the wire, it was a very competitive win for Curry and a very close defeat for Bonac. It would have been very easy for Bonac not to nod, to have (hardly) robbed Curry's hand on stage, then to go on social media and do all the bodybuilding shows that ruined him.
Understanding the judges misunderstood and / or saying he was robbed and playing the victim. It would have been so easy to snoop around, whine and act like a spoiled, lazy little kid. To varying degrees, that was more or less the number of champions that have acted in the past. When William Brandon not only recognized Columbus, but continued to recognize him in post-competition interviews and then spoke directly to his fans, it was just something unknown. I really owe it to William that he helped create the mood of the current era that we all love so much.
If you think about the Mr. Olympia 2014 dispute, where Phil Heath and Kai Greene almost hit on stage, it becomes clear why NBC probably didn't want to broadcast this year's event. It also speaks volumes about where bodybuilding was then.
When Ronnie Coleman said Jay Cutler smoked crack if he thought he could beat him, it also speaks for the uncertainties that fueled competition rhetoric. But it's not all athletes' fault, the media certainly didn't have clean hands then (or today). When you asked Ronnie who the next Mr. Olympia would be, take Ronnie as Cutler still ranks 2nd. When Coleman instinctively (and passionately) said Victor Martinez, it seemed so brutal. He absolutely didn't mention the guy who wanted more than anyone. No question Jay Cutler came to mind. Was that Ronnies and / or the media's intent? Who knows? The fact is that the sport has not grown, it has only created hostility and drama. Negativity destroys nothing.
If you see Brandon Curry and Shawn Rhoden today, two Mr. Olympias, both at the height of their careers, who are on Instagram LIVE that speaks volumes. They are both great champions and they are both very safe champions. In fact, they are so sure that they can have meaningful friendship while they are actively competing with each other.
Could you imagine Phil doing this? Can you imagine Phil and his new best friend Kai Greene doing that? I don't want to knock Heath, but he has blocked me and countless others for the most trivial reasons. I was told by him (on Twitter) that my support for Rhoden was too loud and that I was essentially too loud and he had blocked me for it. That speaks for the uncertainty that plagued this industry. Even the man at the top of the world simply couldn't accept criticism, let alone that fans thought someone else could beat him.
The whole world testified that Heath chastised Greene for signing a poster in 2014 and that the whole world repeated it in 2017 when Pro Supps launched an advertising campaign that only suggested that Heath could be beaten – and he was turned around that too. Or after winning, the first thing Phil did was go on his phone and say to a YouTube personality, "I told you." If that's not insecurity, I don't know what it is.
Back to Instagram LIVEs: Bodybuilding fans only had a great pleasure last week when in 2008 Mr. Olympia Dexter Jackson joined incumbent Mr. Olympia Brandon Curry for an IG LIVE. The great thing about this LIVE was how close the two champions are. Their families were involved, they talked about life and they had some good laughs. There were no film teams, they weren't paid, there were no lines to memorize, or things that they could or could not say. This is growing bodybuilding; That makes this whole sport and whole industry more than just lifting weights and chugging protein shakes.
Relationships are real, love of sport is real, and that has a profound impact on how the media report on sport, how fans act on social media, and how many other companies are interested in advertising (e.g. B. contract athletes), buy stands at trade fairs, advertise at competitions) than ever before !!
Just yesterday I had a great Instagram LIVE with the reigning Mr. Olympia Brandon Curry; I also interviewed him after winning Mr. Olympia in Las Vegas, NV. I also had the honor of interviewing Mr. Olympia Shawn "Flexatron" Rhoden in 2018 and Mr. Olympia Dexter Jackson in 2008. These guys really care about the fans; They treat us better than any other champion. I tell us because I'm a fan. I can write articles here in Iron Magazine, report competitions across the country, and be interviewed in programs myself, but I'm a fan.
It says so much about Brandon, Shawn, and Dexter that they would take the time to speak to a fan-based site. Phil would never have done that. And Jay, as much as I like you, every time I speak to it, it never happens. It's not against anyone, it's just a different time now. Times don't make the champions, but the champions make the times.
It's a different time. People like Ronnie and Jay were great for their fans and I don't want to question that at all. These guys stayed until the last fan in line got an autograph or picture or could chat with them for a few seconds. The difference, however, is that the gap between superstar and fan is practically nonexistent. These guys make fans feel like friends today, and when they act, they should get a Grammy because it's a feeling that seems extremely real. There are still trolls, haters and bums who don't love sports among fans, but when a real fan meets someone like Dexter, Brandon, Roelly or Big Ramy, there is simply no gap. It's a different era, but probably the best era bodybuilding has ever known.
The 2020 NPC & IFBB Pro League competition seasons may have a late start, but expect big things !! The 2020 NPC Teen, Collegiate, Masters Nationals will be one for the record books – I'll be there, right? The universe, Jr. Nats, Nationals and North Americans will not be out of this world !! And the crown jewel, the Super Bowl of Bodybuilding, the 2020 Mr. Olympia will be absolutely fantastic !! Led by Jake Wood from Wings of Strength and led by Dan Solomon, heaven is the limit for the most important and prestigious bodybuilding event in the world.
I hope you enjoyed reading this article here in Iron Magazine. I am looking forward to read your comments. Please don't forget to use the discount code IML15 to save 15% at IronMagLabs.com – iincluding the new CBD Gummies !!!