From a failed basketball career to bodybuilding career, Phil Heath tied Arnold Schwarzenegger for the third-most Mr. Olympia victories right after he beat Mamdouh Elssbiay on Saturday evening in Las Vegas. In order to clinch his seventh overall title in the annual physique face-off.
This weekend, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson declared Phil Heath the 2017 winner. Heath beat out Mamdouh “Big Ramy” Elssbiay for the title, ranking in $400,000 for his prize. Right after the announcement, Heath then spoke about his journey as tears rolled down his face.
Mr. Olympia 2017 Winner
“The Gift” won his seventh successive crown right since 2011 by edging out Mamdouh “Big Ramy” Elssbiay, although many might argue that this wasn’t the best physique he’s brought to the stage. While some might of us have argued that Big Ramy had some advantages in size and overall mass, there was very little arguing with Heath as a worthy victor.
“I never thought that I could win Mr. Olympia when I started my career in 2002,” Heath said on an amazon.com live-stream broadcast, according to officials report. “I just decided to dedicate myself to working hard.”
“This sport has given me so much,” Heath said “It has taught me to be strong emotionally and also physically. I have done it through hard work, and that means so much to me.”
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During the live-stream event, Heath also talked about his humble beginnings as a basketball player. After a less-than-stellar college basketball career, he then needed a new sport to take on. That time Bodybuilding became his outlet, and he then found himself working in the gym no matter what. Watch Video Below…
With his longtime rival Kai Greene absent from the billing, Heath had very fewer major contender to worry about, but his appearance in pre-judging also showed some water retention and concerns over his midriff compared to his peers. But a more tapered midsection and then a much superior-looking back greatly helped set the difference between him and Big Ramy in the end.
Heath, 37, landed his first Mr. Olympia title back in 2011, nine years after he entered into bodybuilding. He’s won the Mr. Olympia title every year ever since, making him just only one first-place title away from tying with 8-time champs Ronnie Coleman and also Lee Haney.
Heath will now turn 38 years of age in December, and there are still questions as to whether he’ll return to the Olympia next year and make an attempt to equal Ronnie Coleman and Lee Haney’s shared record of eight overall titles.
The Gift’s legacy would feel somewhat unfulfilled that if he didn’t get the opportunity to move past some of the Golden Age favourites in Mr. Olympia wins. Although he’ll hold his place in the history books irrespective of any 2018 return.
And Heath’s not stopping now. He looks forward to collecting more Olympia titles and plans to compete in 2018.