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No-Win Situation For IFBB at Arnold Classic
- Updated: March 4, 2016
The IFBB is in a quandary for the 2016 Arnold Classic. Besides the usual issues of deciding who has the best physique, the judges will also be wrestling with a few different political agendas that have been hanging over the industry’s shoulder since last year. And when it’s broken down, they are really in a lose-lose situation no matter who wins the show on Saturday night in Columbus, Ohio.
The favorite to leave with the trophy is Kai Greene, but there are a few things going against him. The practical reasons are his age – 40 – and potential rustiness due to not having competed since finishing as Phil Heath’s runner-up at the 2014 Mr. Olympia.
But the first elephant in the room is if the judges will punish Greene for his antics leading up to last September’s Olympia. Will he get slapped for all of that strange behavior and not competing in Las Vegas? If he is in shape, we’ll find out. Because The Predator is a huge fan favorite and has won this show twice (2009, 2010), so if he is on point (or at least close enough for the majority of the audience to feel that he is), then the boos will drown out the name of the winner.
Speaking about who that may just end up being is the second elephant in the room and Cedric McMillan is surely set up to win his first Arnold. He did look very impressive last weekend in Poland and has the momentum coming in by winning the Kevin Levrone Classic. But more importantly, McMillan also has the ultimate backer and that is Arnold Schwarzenegger himself. Last March at his seminar, The Austrian Oak named McMillan as someone who should place higher due to his aesthetic look.
Schwarzenegger’s rant about the wide waistlines in bodybuilding set of a firestorm of initial criticism from the likes of Phil Heath, Jay Cutler and Bob Cicherillo (who was sitting next to Schwarzenegger and interviewing him when these statements were made and said absolutely nothing to either challenge him or ask a follow up). Later on, the NPC and IFBB announced that a new division would be launched in 2016 called men’s classic physique and that it would concentrate on aesthetics and symmetry and not size.
So now with so much attention being paid to the big guts on the bodybuilders, how convenient would it be for the judges to award first place to not only someone who has always been complimented for his aesthetic look, but the same guy who Schwarzenegger pointed out as the type of physique that should be awarded on the scorecards?
If Greene takes the stage with a championship-caliber physique and wins, he appears to have skated on his head scratching actions and the Arnold-style isn’t rewarded in the first litmus test. (Greene’s waist has not exactly been svelte over the years.) Greene being off and McMillan being on is the perfect scenario for the judges, but there will still be a contingent that complains the former was being punished.
Photos by Andrzej Jaworski/AJ JAWA Photo