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Muscle Sport Magazine

Phil Heath Raises the Bar

Finishing Third in Maiden Olympia a Huge Accomplishment

Heading into the 2008 Mr. Olympia contest, the one name being tossed around as a wild card was Phil Heath. The man known as the Gift was making his first appearance on the Olympia stage, but has had a very productive year. Winning the IFBB Iron Man and finishing second to Dexter Jackson at the Arnold Classic had the 28 year-old in line for a good finish in Las Vegas.

Two days before the Olympia, Heath remained humble about his chances. “Any time that you have the opportunity to be mentioned like that, it is a privilege,” he said. “Especially being a rookie, with the build up, to be in my position (being picked as) in the top six going in, for me, it’s an honor and a privilege.”

Sneaking into the top six became more likely once three solid competitors had to drop out due to injuries, including the runner-up last year, Victor Martinez. Although he acknowledged their capabilities, Heath felt confident enough to believe that he would finish high either way.

“I did beat Branch (Warren),” he said. “I did beat Kai (Green) this year already. It definitely makes it a more competitive battle. They’ll be terribly missed. I think they would have definitely changed the outcome.”

As Bob Cicherillo introduced Heath at the after party, he made a short statement that seemed to sound like a prediction. “Phil Heath will win this thing before too long.”

Finishing in the second runner-up position on his first attempt, that seems to be a good possibility.

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