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Muscle Sport Magazine

Phil Heath on Skipping the Arnold: “I Didn’t Feel Like Doing It”

Phil Heath drove around Columbus, Ohio in style. Coming out of the airport car rental agency in a fire engine red Ford F-150, the 2010 Mr. Olympia runner-up made his way around town and was a fixture at the Muscle Tech booth at the expo. Although he looked as if he could have stepped on stage and been a factor, ‘The Gift’ had no regrets about skipping the Arnold Classic.

“I just didn’t feel like doing it,” he said when asked why he sat this one out. “I’m going to concentrate on the Olympia. A lot of people are under the misnomer that you have to win an Arnold before getting an Olympia and that’s just not so. There’s been Olympia winners that never won the Arnold and Arnold winners that never won the Olympia.”

Heath is sort of correct in that assessment. Since the first Arnold Classic in 1989, there have been 14 different winners. Only three of those men (Ronnie Coleman, Jay Cutler and Dexter Jackson) have also tasted victory at the Mr. Olympia. It remains to be seen if Branch Warren can become the fourth.

Since 1989, there have been only five different men taking home the Sandow. Besides the aforementioned three, Lee Haney and Dorian Yates finish out that short list and they have never competed at the Arnold. Taking it further, there have been two who have won both contests in the same year (Coleman in 2001 and Jackson in 2008).

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So it behooves someone to cement their place in bodybuilding history by winning an Arnold Classic en route to making an attempt at the pinnacle of the sport in Las Vegas each September. Heath is right in his statement, but the pattern has shown that one has a better chance on being named Mr. Olympia if they have an Arnold in their back pocket.

Year Arnold Classic Ms. International Fitness International Figure International
1989 Rich Gaspari Jackie Paisley
1990 Mike Ashley Laura Creavalle
1991 Shawn Ray Tonya Knight
1992 Vince Taylor Anja Schreiner
1993 Flex Wheeler Kim Chizevsky
1994 Kevin Levrone Laura Creavalle
1995 Mike Francois Laura Creavalle
1996 Kevin Levrone Kim Chizevsky
1997 Flex Wheeler Yolanda Hughes Carol Semple-Marzetta
1998 Flex Wheeler Yolanda Hughes Susie Curry
1999 Nasser El Sonbaty Vickie Gates Susie Curry
2000 Flex Wheeler Vickie Gates Kelly Ryan
2001 Ronnie Coleman Vickie Gates Jenny Worth
2002 Jay Cutler Yaxeni Oriquen Susie Curry
2003 Jay Cutler Yaxeni Oriquen Susie Curry Jenny Lynn
2004 Jay Cutler Iris Kyle Adela Garcia-Friedmansky Jenny Lynn
2005 Dexter Jackson Yaxeni Oriquen Jen Hendershott Jenny Lynn
2006 Dexter Jackson Iris Kyle Adela Garcia Mary Elizabeth Lado
2007 Victor Martinez Iris Kyle Kim Klein Mary Elizabeth Lado
2008 Dexter Jackson Yaxeni Oriquen Kim Klein Gina Aliotti
2009 Kai Greene Iris Kyle Jen Hendershott Zivile Raudoniene
2010 Kai Greene Iris Kyle Adela Garcia Nicole Wilkins-Lee
2011 Branch Warren

MR. OLYMPIA

Year Winner Venue
1965 Flag of the United States.svg Larry Scott New York CityNew YorkUnited States
1966 Flag of the United States.svg Larry Scott New York CityNew YorkUnited States
1967 Flag of Cuba.svg Sergio Oliva New York CityNew YorkUnited States
1968 Flag of Cuba.svg Sergio Oliva New York CityNew YorkUnited States
1969 Flag of Cuba.svg Sergio Oliva New York CityNew YorkUnited States
1970 Flag of Austria.svg Arnold Schwarzenegger New York CityNew YorkUnited States
1971 Flag of Austria.svg Arnold Schwarzenegger ParisFrance
1972 Flag of Austria.svg Arnold Schwarzenegger EssenNorth Rhine-WestphaliaGermany
1973 Flag of Austria.svg Arnold Schwarzenegger New York CityNew YorkUnited States
1974 Flag of Austria.svg Arnold Schwarzenegger New York CityNew YorkUnited States
1975 Flag of Austria.svg Arnold Schwarzenegger PretoriaGautengSouth Africa
1976 Flag of Italy.svg Franco Columbu ColumbusOhioUnited States
1977 Flag of the United States.svg Frank Zane ColumbusOhioUnited States
1978 Flag of the United States.svg Frank Zane ColumbusOhioUnited States
1979 Flag of the United States.svg Frank Zane ColumbusOhioUnited States
1980 Flag of Austria.svg Arnold Schwarzenegger SydneyNew South WalesAustralia
1981 Flag of Italy.svg Franco Columbu ColumbusOhioUnited States
1982 Flag of the United States.svg Chris Dickerson LondonEnglandUnited Kingdom
1983 Flag of Lebanon.svg Samir Bannout MunichBavariaGermany
1984 Flag of the United States.svg Lee Haney New York CityNew YorkUnited States
1985 Flag of the United States.svg Lee Haney BrusselsBelgium
1986 Flag of the United States.svg Lee Haney ColumbusOhioUnited States
1987 Flag of the United States.svg Lee Haney GothenburgSweden
1988 Flag of the United States.svg Lee Haney Los AngelesCaliforniaUnited States
1989 Flag of the United States.svg Lee Haney RiminiEmilia-RomagnaItaly
1990 Flag of the United States.svg Lee Haney ChicagoIllinoisUnited States
1991 Flag of the United States.svg Lee Haney OrlandoFloridaUnited States
1992 Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Dorian Yates HelsinkiFinland
1993 Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Dorian Yates AtlantaGeorgiaUnited States
1994 Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Dorian Yates AtlantaGeorgiaUnited States
1995 Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Dorian Yates AtlantaGeorgiaUnited States
1996 Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Dorian Yates ChicagoIllinoisUnited States
1997 Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Dorian Yates Long BeachCaliforniaUnited States
1998 Flag of the United States.svg Ronnie Coleman New York CityNew YorkUnited States
1999 Flag of the United States.svg Ronnie Coleman Las VegasNevadaUnited States
2000 Flag of the United States.svg Ronnie Coleman Las VegasNevadaUnited States
2001 Flag of the United States.svg Ronnie Coleman Las VegasNevadaUnited States
2002 Flag of the United States.svg Ronnie Coleman Las VegasNevadaUnited States
2003 Flag of the United States.svg Ronnie Coleman Las VegasNevadaUnited States
2004 Flag of the United States.svg Ronnie Coleman Las VegasNevadaUnited States
2005 Flag of the United States.svg Ronnie Coleman Las VegasNevadaUnited States
2006 Flag of the United States.svg Jay Cutler Las VegasNevadaUnited States
2007 Flag of the United States.svg Jay Cutler Las VegasNevadaUnited States
2008 Flag of the United States.svg Dexter Jackson Las VegasNevadaUnited States
2009 Flag of the United States.svg Jay Cutler Las VegasNevadaUnited States
2010 Flag of the United States.svg Jay Cutler Las VegasNevadaUnited States

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