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Muscle Sport Magazine

2009: One Helluva Year in Bodybuilding

12 months ago, Dexter Jackson fans had no complaints. ‘The Blade’ was coming off a four-for-four sweep of all the contests that he entered, most importantly the Arnold Classic and Mr. Olympia. He dominated the professional bodybuilding ranks and was easily the sport’s MVP.

But 2009 was a totally different one, in that two great stories culminating in championships were as different as they can be. Jackson chose not to defend his Arnold title and train a full year to concentrate on winning another Sandow, so the field was wide open.

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Many of the big names made the same decision as Jackson, such as Jay Cutler, Dennis Wolf and Phil Heath. That meant that three men who had to sit out the 2008 Olympia due to injury would be making their comeback at the Veteran’s Memorial in Columbus, Ohio.

Kai Greene blew everyone away with a posing routine that is hard to describe in words, and deservingly took home the crystal trophy. The runner-up was Victor Martinez, while third place winner Branch Warren won the ‘Most Muscular’ award. This set up one of the deepest line-ups in Olympia history.

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Cutler came into Las Vegas looking phenomenal and could not be denied his third O. It was quite an accomplishment after being dethroned by Jackson a year earlier, coupled with all the criticism that he received from the fans due to his thick body shape. Warren looked even better than he did at the Arnold and finished second, while Jackson fell to third. Greene placed fourth and definitely looked less sharp than he did a few months earlier. Heath dropped two places from his ’08 finish while Martinez made the top six despite going through a personal family tragedy leading up to the show.

Perhaps the biggest surprise was Wolf not even placing. For a guy who was being spoken of as a possible favorite the last two years, this was quite a drop off.

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As exciting as 2009 was, bodybuilding fans can only imagine what the upcoming year has in store. Greene will defend his Arnold title while Jackson, Heath and Warren will look to knock him off. That will give us a good indication of what’s in store for September and the Super Bowl of bodybuilding.

Photo by Franciso Pillari

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