Dexter Jackson Wins the 2008 Mr. Olympia!
by Kevin Carbone, FitnessSource1.com
In a surprising upset decision Dexter Jackson dethroned two-time reigning champion Jay Cutler to capture the 2008 Mr. Olympia on Saturday night, Sept. 27, at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas, NV. Generally, the tradition of the Olympia judges was to reward the Mr. Olympia to the current champ and for the last twenty years it was also based heavily on mass and size.
This year the old traditions of judging were thrown out the window as 39 year old Dexter Jackson at 5' 6" and 235 pounds of balanced, shredded and symmetrical muscle, beat out a massive 35 year old Jay Cutler at 5' 8" and 270 pounds. Although Jay looked in better condition than last year he was still not in peak condition for the pre-judging on Friday night as he was retaining water. However, Jay came back the next night for the finals looking much better after shedding 10 pounds of water in 24 hours! Many thought that Jay had done enough to keep his title but he was still somewhat flat in appearance.
When Bob Cicherillo announced Dexter Jackson the new Mr. Olympia, the crowd went wild and Dexter seemed more shocked than anyone as he knelt down in disbelief and took a while to compose himself.
"I was praying." Jackson said, "I was undecided on if I would actually win tonight. I knew I deserved to win but I didn't think I would. This sport is full of surprises. I'm just in shock right now. I've been dreaming about this moment since I started bodybuilding. I never thought it would happen."
"I feel a little sad but I have to be happy for Dexter because I know what it's like to win." Cutler said. "He didn't believe he could win when we were standing there. You win some you lose some. He looked better than me last night and I obviously had too much ground to cover tonight. It makes the Olympia a little more interesting, we've had those years where its the same guys winning all the time. It just sucks that I have to be the guy who gets defeated so quickly. But that's what makes me who I am.
This was a big year for Dexter as he began the year winning his third Arnold Classic and now winning the Mr. Olympia in his best ever form. His physique is not only symmetrical but also massive and ripped. Only time will tell if this new trend toward less distorted mass and more all around proportionate size will continue with the judges.
Taking third place was Phil Heath who many thought could have been the winner. Phil has terrific arms and shoulders and at 28 years old has youth on his side. Many predict that he will eventually be Mr. Olympia.
In fourth place was Dennis Wolf who although looked good, did not create the excitement of last year and did not quite live up to the "hype" that surrounded him this year. Dennis has enormous potential and probably had the widest physique onstage, yet he was smaller in overall size than last year. Many feel that given some time, Dennis will mature into definite Mr. O material.
In fifth place was Toney Freeman who is called "The X-Man" because of his wide shoulders, small waist and sweeping thighs. After finishing 14th last year, Toney made some major improvements with more shredded mass especially to his chest and thighs, plus the best overall conditioning of his career. Also, as part of the same weekend of events a new division was added, the Pro 202 and Under which featured contestants 202 pounds and less. David Henry captured the number one spot.
The ladies of the muscle world competed for the Ms. Olympia, Ms. Figure Olympia, and Ms. Fitness Olympia. Iris Kyle once again won the Ms. Olympia (her fifth!), Jennifer Gates won the Ms. Figure Olympia, and Jen Hendershott took the Ms. Fitness Olympia.
Once again this year's Mr. Olympia weekend was broadcast free on Bodybuilding.com. Check out the video replays for all aspects of the event.