by Christian Duque
2019 was my first Mr. Olympia. After reporting on several Arnold Classics and pro shows and amateur shows across the country, I traveled to Las Vegas in 2019 for the first time with a press card and ready for interviews. I had a great time and got some great interviews, including the new Mr. Olympia Brandon Curry. I can not say enough about the competition, which has always been called "Superbowl of Bodybuilding". One reminder, however, that attracted attention was the Olympia Meet & Greet.
I remember how all the big stars of the sport gave autographs with a stand of 8 × 10 sold and (mostly) all got into the press. A bodybuilder I met was none other than David Henry. I had read about him for years in the magazines, had a lot of good contacts with him at the Arnold Classic, and was glad to see him in Vegas. Anyone familiar with bodybuilding knows that David Henry is one of the toughest hitter. He dominated the 202, dominated the 212 and had excellent placings in open bodybuilding. He is also considered by many to be one of the most legitimate giant killers of the last decade. In fact, many of the best authors in the industry have always compared their spine development with that of G.O.A.T., 8x Mr. Ronnie Coleman. However, I realized that some of the biggest names in the 212, like Ashkanani, Correa, and David Henry, were basically ignored by the media. Maybe my observations were wrong, so I asked, and that's exactly what David thought. Sure it was a matter of time, right? I thought I might have come too early, so media coverage would change later. After the Olympics, a few weeks later, I wrote a blog on the subject, and some of the guys said there was a virtual media outage. It was an interesting situation for the 212th
2018 was a very interesting Olympics as it announced the retirement of 212 Olympic showdown champion James "Flex" Lewis. The Welsh dragon had dominated the division's biggest event, and when he retired, all eyes turned to his main opponent, Derek Lunsford. Derek was due to his impressive years in 2017 and 2018 as the main opponent. Lunsford became a 17-year-old professional, scoring his first professional victory and finishing in the Top 5 at his first 212 Olympics showdown this year. In 2018, he would place Lewis second, while many, especially in the media, thought he would Fall champion. As a result of such a big year, the press has focused almost all its attention on the young rising star. Whatever attention was left was reserved for the grim possibility that the Iranian sensation, Hadi Choopan, would finally get his visa approval. When Choopan finally took advantage of this opportunity, he announced that he would participate in open bodybuilding so that the contract for the 212 was sealed. Shaun Clarida got press, but for the most part the biggest stars in the division were ignored.
I interviewed David and then wrote a blog about him because in 2019 I thought he was more threatening than ever. The fans never missed a beat either. The mere mention of David Henry on message boards or on social media is immediately noticed by the professionals of the sport. He has their interest and their respect. Why did the media overlook him?
Honestly, I think many writers have short memories and are too eager to send older competitors to the glue factory. It is as if an athlete approaching or forbidding God would be over 40 years old to retire in his thoughts. I do not know why, but there are writers who have predicted Dexter Jackson's resignation for the better part of the decade, and The Blade has continued to win major titles and fear of God among younger rivals who believe his best days are over , Any writer, expert, or news reporter who's worth the money never lets Jackson out of the predictions. Unfortunately, most media have completely ignored some of the biggest stars of the 212. Maybe it was old or maybe it was something else, but they totally ignored these great champions.
Just to illustrate: The athletes have no control over which direction the media is going. Sometimes fanfare may resemble a curse. Personally, I think that the pressure on the media on Lunsford has weighed heavily on his preparation. Derek did not want to be the obvious heir, and even if he told the press to stop, we all know that this is not the case. I'm sure he would have liked to see people like David Henry have a fair share of the press, but that just did not happen.
What's also very interesting is that David won the Legion Sports Festival Pro Show last weekend. He has now qualified for the Olympics, won California's biggest pro show and won the race in a low setup. This was not a dark contest. It was advertised by Heavy Hitters, had a big star presenter and filled the house with fans. Even a look at Henry's body says it all. Seeing just a few moments of posedown is also enough to see how much heart Henry put on stage.
The big question now is how the media can ignore it for the rest of 2019 and 2020. Will he again be considered a potential candidate for the 212 Olympic Showdown title? It must also be incredibly awkward for the experts and experts who have basically written off the legend. I hope they begin to congratulate David and offer him spots on various radio and online TV programs. This is a champion who is by no means finished. He does not want to bow or hang her in the near future. I hope that this great victory in Long Beach will help solidify your position and move forward. Nobody can guess what will happen next.
David has always done very well at the Arnold Classic, but now that the 212 is no longer offered there, he is trying out in the open air (where he was successful – both in Columbus and Vegas), he finds more 212 Shows on the calendar, or is he squatting all year to explore guest positions, work with companies, and focus on the 212 Olympics showdown? That's one of the benefits of early qualifying. While everyone else panics when the big day approaches (in the summer), the early risers who have received the worm can focus on nutrition, exercise, supplementation, and stress management. That's why I think people like David Henry, Nathan De Asha and Cedric McMillan are geniuses for making great shows before the end of 2019. This will allow them a very productive year in 2020, in which they only have to prepare for the 2020 Olympics weekend.
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