They stood in the same spot on the Orleans Arena stage as they did a year ago, but on this evening it was Phil Heath who heard his name called as the winner. “The Gift” brought an incredible package to the stage and was able to knock out the champ – and his best friend – Jay Cutler, who was gracious in defeat.
“I’m actually happy right now,” Cutler said with a smile as he congratulated Heath on the win.
Overcome with emotion, Heath reveled in being congratulated by the other nine finalists and then brought up a story when he first met Cutler backstage at a local bodybuilding show. “I was playing college basketball back then…all scrawny and I saw (Cutler) walk by and I thought to myself, ‘That’s one big dude,'” recalled Heath.
Heath becomes the 13th man to win the Sandow and prevented Cutler from joining an elite group with five or more titles (Lee Haney, Dorian Yates, Ron Coleman).
Rounding out the top 10 were Kai Greene, Victor Martinez, Dennis Wolf, Dexter Jackson, Toney Freeman, Brandon Curry, Ronny Rockel and Hidetada Yamagishi.
Nicole Wilkins reclaimed the Figure Olympia title she lost to Erin Stern in 2010, with Stern taking the runner-up spot and Ava Cowan placing third.
OFFICIAL RESULTS – MEN’S OPEN