09/20/2007 OLYMPIA COUNTDOWN Part 4

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Leading up to the 2007 Mr. Olympia September 28-29 in Las Vegas, FLEX will be bringing you interviews with the combatants. Today, 2007 Montreal Pro champ Darrem Charles and 2007 Europa Super Show runner-up Will Harris.

DARREM CHARLES: “This year is one of the toughest lineups, but I’m giving it my best shot. Just to crack the top 10 will be extremely difficult for everybody, but I’m going to focus and come right in and keep my fingers crossed. Just this last weekend, I won the Montreal Pro Show, and you always think that such a victory this close to the Olympia will get you a better look, but for some strange reason, it never works that way with me in the bigger shows. I’m not bitter or anything; that’s just the way it is. Nonetheless, I don’t go in there thinking nothing will happen. I’m always confident, and I always do the best I can. “I’ve told people, and people have told me, that this will be my best showing in at least a couple of years. I know that from what I’ve seen going on in my body. I did a couple of different things this year, and I had thought that, come Saturday morning (September 8) at the Montreal show, if it works, I’m going to be in extremely great shape. It did work. Some people told me it was my best shape ever. Others said it was my best shape in a long, long time. That’s what I’m planning to bring to the Olympia.

“Predictions, though, are difficult. We’re all so good that one slip can be the difference between finishing third and finishing ninth. If I have to make predictions, I’ll say that Jay and Ronnie are shoo-ins, but either could win it. I believe Dexter will be in the top five, but after that, I don’t know which Victor will show up, I don’t know if Freeman will be in there, and I don’t know if I should make a big, drastic jump and throw Dennis Wolf in there. There are too many different other guys. We do know, though, that those first three are going to come in ready. They’re always consistent. After that, it’s fair game for everybody else.”

WILL HARRIS: “I think I’m the only athlete going into the show without being sponsored, so it’s a good thing I’m not a ‘leave-and-give-up’ person. I’ve recently added seven pounds of solid muscle, which will put me at about 260 on stage, so I’ll be vying for one of the top spots. Whoever is not in the top three, I’ll be right there. The more they compare me, the more they’ll realize a lot of other guys’ faults. I’d say it’ll be Jay Cutler and Victor Martinez for the first two, but Ronnie Coleman, I can’t say. It all depends upon how he recovers from his back injury. Last year, it was so blatant that I don’t see how you can cure that. It’s like a pec tear: I don’t see how you can put it back and make it look better. Ronnie is known for his lat spread, but if he can’t hit it, there’s a problem; but that would be the only thing that would keep me from putting him there. As for the others, I don’t think I have anything that Victor doesn’t have, but this is a show where everybody has to bring his A-game. It’s a year where lots of X-factors are coming in, so it’s going to be one of the most exciting Olympias ever. You have Jay, who’s defending an outstanding win; you don’t know how Ronnie is going to recover from his injury; Victor, who they say could be the man this year; Dexter Jackson, who’s looking quite bigger and better for Dexter; and all those other guys who are always in the top five. Plus, you now have guys like Toney Freeman and Dennis Wolf, and I’m throwing myself in right there. It’s going to be fun. I’m loving this. I’m having a great time getting ready, and I’m going to ride it all the way to the Super Bowl of bodybuilding. Look for me in the big time.”

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