The ad for the 2016 Olympia states "Where Legends Are Made" and man, was that the truth.

The Orleans Arena was packed, the cameras were flashing, fans were cheering and there were a few surprises to be unveiled, starting with AMI Chairman, President and CEO, David Pecker, announcing that he was upping the women's figure division prize money by $100,000. The division has become increasingly competitive every year, so to see the money follow suit was a great indication of things to come.

Next the top ten bodybuilders in the world took to the stage for the first round of judging, and there was plenty of cheers to go around as these massive athletes were shuffled around as they stood at the front of the stage, sweating heavily as they went through pose after pose for the judges. After this round, it was clear who the top five were, a group which included reigning Mr. O, Phil Heath, Shawn Rhoden, Dexter Jackson, Mamdouh "Big Ramy" Elssbiay and rising star William Bonac (although I feel that Bonac and fan favorite Roelly Winklaar could have easily swapped places as Winklaar was in great shape). After positions 10 through 6 were named and awarded, we were left with the aforementioned top 5, a group which proceeded to leave the stage and pose down on the floor amongst the fans, the luckiest of whom were able to take selfies with the athletes.

After returning to the stage, the next two positions were revealed, with Bonac taking fifth and "Big Ramy" taking fourth, leaving us with the final three.

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Photo credit: Clear Scope Media


Like last year's event, fans saw Dexter, Shawn and Phil stand as the three finalists on stage. And similar to last year, the competition was extremely close. Fans screamed and chanted the names of their favorite bodybuilder, some booing when Dexter was announced as the third place finisher, down a spot from last year's second place finish. You could see the disappointment on his face as he walked up to accept the trophy and check for $100,000, leaving Shawn and Phil as the last men standing.

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Photo credit: Clear Scope Media


So then there were two, and of course you knew Olympia host, Bob Cicherillo, was going to make them, and all of us in attendance, sweat it out for a minute or two. But in the end, after a very close contest, Phil defended his title and took home the trophy and $400,000 for his sixth consecutive Mr. Olympia victory. Rhoden had a great showing, taking second for the first time in his six Olympia appearances. He also received a check for $150,000 after pushing the champ to the very end. Shawn was in great shape and appeared to stand a very good chance of taking his first title. But, like in previous years, when Phil hits that most muscular pose, it just seems to seal the deal every time.

Heath, with his sixth consecutive Sandow trophy, is now one victory away from becoming the first bodybuilder to win seven consecutive titles since the legendary Ronnie Coleman did it twelve years ago in 2004, and he is now two victories away from tying the all time consecutive victories record shared by legends Coleman and Lee Haney.

Other reigning champions defended their Olympia titles, including Flex Lewis, who took home his fifth consecutive title in the 212 division, and Latorya Watts, who defended her title in the Women's Figure division for her second consecutive title. Both were tightly contested races that the reigning champs appeared to have won narrowly, showcasing the true competitive nature of the sport and proving that the sport continues to grow.

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Photo credit: Clear Scope Media


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Photo credit: Clear Scope Media


It was another incredible night, one that was topped off by The Rock making an appearance earlier in the night to announce that, through his Seven Bucks Productions, he was bringing the 2017 Olympia to CBS Sports, giving current and future fans what they want- a nationally broadcast Olympia contest.

The 2016 Olympia had us gassed up already, but with the event coming to national TV next year, we can't wait for 2017!

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Photo credit: Clear Scope Media