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AMI/FLEX Causing Kai Greene to Skip Olympia Again?
- Updated: July 1, 2016
One thing is certain and that is that nothing is certain when it comes to Kai Greene. The Brooklyn, New York native is known for his speaking in riddles as much as he is for his wide rear lat spread so one has to read between the lines to decipher his response to even the most direct of questions.
It appears that “The Predator” will skip the Olympia for the second consecutive year and the drama surrounding why has been brought up again. Greene is widely considered the second best bodybuilder on the current IFBB pro circuit next to five-time Olympia winner Phil Heath. He is also the clear cut fan favorite amongst the two behemoths. Greene has also had a very successful year so far, winning the three Arnold Classic shows that he competed in around the globe. So it would seem like a perfect scenario for him to finally break through and win that elusive Sandow trophy.
The two main parties involved in making this a reality – Greene himself and the promoters of the Olympia, AMI/FLEX, who just happen to be his former employer – apparently have not been able to see eye-to-eye since last summer. And now that Greene is once again working for FLEX’s main competitor Muscular Development magazine, there seems to be a major stumbling block between them that are causing some bad blood to flow and keeping him away from Las Vegas.
“There are some larger powers that be that operate behind the scenes that have worked very, ver hard to complicate things more than they needed to be,” Greene said in a video Skype interview with Bob Cicherillo posted on Muscular Development’s website. “Not trying to (throw) anyone under the bus or give anyone a black eye.”
When asked directly by Cicherillo if not competing at the Olympia was his decision, Greene did his usual talkative tap dance with, “It’s one of those things where someone can say it’s your decision, but I’ve now made it so that you can’t go right, you can’t go left, you can’t go forward if you’re going to still do this under my watch. When you find yourself in a position like that, the truth is to realize that you’re not a victim. You can make another choice. The choices that you make are not the ones that are forced on you. Sometimes you just have to expand your vision a little bit larger to consider how you can achieve your goals and still not be held hostage to the limitations that another governing body want to impose on you.”
Greene did say that the IFBB was not the reason for him foregoing the Olympia but when Cicherillo mentioned that no particular person is preventing him from entering the Olympia, Greene did not fully agree with that. “It’s a decision that we had to come to based on the information that was presented to us. In a way that’s not trying to act in a way that’s disrespectful, sometimes you have to be more creative in how you respond accordingly and still attain your larger goals. Sometimes you just have to be responsible and I’m not going to rain on anyone’s parade.”
A year ago, Greene – in a roundabout way – made it sound as if he did not have any issue with the IFBB, but there were other behind-the-scenes issues that could not be resolved. Now we are (sort of) hearing the same thing if the ‘translation’ of Greene’s statements are correct. That narrows it down to AMI being Greene’s issue then and now.
MuscleSport Magazine requested a comment from Robin Chang, Vice President at AMI and promoter of Olympia Weekend, who did not respond as of this writing.
So without clarification from Chang, we have taken the liberty of drawing our own conclusions on this subject. Greene is clearly comfortable competing when Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jim Lormier are promoting the contests and could have easily lost one or more of the shows in 2016 if there was an existing problem with the IFBB and its hierarchy. It was basically a toss up between him and Cedric McMillan in Columbus.
Greene not having his athlete contract renewed by FLEX in 2015 was the obvious start of the trouble between the two parties and that same company running the industry’s most prestigious event put him in an awkward position. The three-time Olympia runner-up later became part of Generation Iron’s line-up and in a twist or irony, became a part of Muscular Development again when they and the video producing giant began working together.
The marketing plan of the Olympia obviously felt that Greene would in fact compete and they even posted a page on their official website with a counter and the tag line, “Will Kai sign?” accompanied by an image of his Olympia contract. The ‘soft’ deadline on May 13 came and went and so did the horrible idea of a promotion, although it is still running with a negative timer at this point. That is akin to having an open casket for an ISIS beheading victim’s funeral.
No Greene at the Olympia is not a PR disaster, but his presence would have certainly been a boost to the disappointing one a year ago and would have made the upcoming show an epic one. With Heath being one win away from matching Dorian Yates’ mark and the comeback of Kevin Levrone, the 2016 edition of the O has a few interesting story lines that would have been enhanced with the presence of Greene.
But that will not be the case and it is becoming more and more apparent that Greene will never take the Olympia stage ever again, just as we theorized earlier.
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