Muscle Sport Magazine

Roelly Winklaar – Our Olympia Pick

Brian Landis

Looking at the line-up for the 2019 Mr. Olympia from afar, it does appear on the scant side. But that does not mean that the show will be without excitement. Quite the contrary, this year’s race for the Sandow will be one of the more cerebral in recent memory. Confused? Let us explain…

With the absence of some of the more marquee names such as seven-time winner Phil Heath, defending champion Shawn Rhoden, perennial runner-up Kai Greene and the massive Mamdouh “Big Ramy” Ellsbiay, the bodybuilders who will take the stage at The Orleans Arena have some big shoes to fill.

The story lines are aplenty and intertwine between the ones who will be present and those who will not. No, we will not get to witness a rematch between Rhoden and Heath, but the past few years have not had one of the better rivalries (Heath and Greene), either, and those contests were highly-anticipated and did not disappoint.

Dexter Jackson is looking for redemption after placing a disappointing seventh 12 months ago after finishing in the top six every year since 2006, including a win (2008) and runner-up (2015). The ageless wonder has had some great battles over the years with the likes of Jay Cutler and Heath and cannot be overlooked, even at 49 years of age. “The Blade” looked as sharp as ever in a recent win at the IFBB Tampa Pro.

In our opinion, Jackson will come close but get edged out by Roelly Winklaar, who took third in 2018 and is not only the highest-placing IFBB pro competing, but also the winner of what appears to be a ‘one-and-done’ People’s Champion, the person that the fans in attendance voted online for as their favorite.

The 42-year-old Curacaoan has always had the freaky mass, but has had some issues with conditioning and keeping his waist in. It almost appears as if his timing is always a little off and photos posted on social media in the days leading up to the show appear to be when Winklaar looks his best. The dreaded spill over seems to be haunting him and Winklaar would be the largest winner since Cutler in 2010 if he can capture the top spot.

Another name who has been bantered about as a potential winner is Brandon Curry, who finished in the top five in the last Olympia and appears to have had a very successful offseason. Round muscle bellies with an aesthetic physique is a trait that put Rhoden in the winner’s circle and Curry can be considered a poor man’s “Flexatron,” albeit with more quality size. Is “The Prodigy” ready for the big time? Perhaps, but we feel that his time will come later rather than sooner.


The man who placed one spot ahead of Curry – William Bonac – has not had an easy time off the stage. His very public and social media-driven tirades against YouTuber Lui Marco and his former coach Neil Hill haven’t exactly made him look good as far as perception goes. And although his physique is one of the better ones out there, intangibles may work against Bonac in Las Vegas.

And herein lies the big picture – whoever is crowned champion on September 14 needs to be someone who is not only a fan favorite, but a marketable personality, as well. This is a business and all things considered, a tiebreaker of sorts – if the top competitors are all in shape, of course, and it’s a close call – may be the best person to carry the baton and become the new face of the franchise.

Winklaar passed the litmus test with the People’s Champion award and has a very electric personality. He carries himself with just the right amount of swagger and is built like a brick shithouse. If he can contain his midsection, this show is his to win.

Here are our top six, prediction-wise:

1 – Roelly Winklaar

2 – Dexter Jackson

3 – Brandon Curry

4 – William Bonac

5- Juan Morel

6 – Hadi Choopan

Be sure to join us in Sin City for live broadcasts, MSTV videos and MuscleSport Magazine photos. All our coverage of the 2019 Olympia is brought to you by Titan Medical Center.

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