Olympia Storyline Seven: Can Cutler Make History?
by Allan Donnelly
September 23, 2009
He can't come in condition. He's washed up. He's lost it.
Jay Cutler heard it all last year, after losing his Olympia title to Dexter Jackson. And, for a while, he nearly believed it himself.
But that was for a week, tops. Since then, Cutler has been doing what he's always done - training, eating, sleeping, and, in all likelihood, outworking nearly every one of his contemporaries as he prepares to do what no competitor in the 44-year history of the Olympia has ever done before: reclaim the Sandow.
Four men have tried, all four have failed. The list is legendary. Sergio Oliva. Frank Zane. Samir Bannout. Ronnie Coleman. Giants among giants. So why can Cutler do what none has been able to do before? Why should we believe he is capable of shedding his now two-year slump, which extends back to a controversial victory over Victor Martinez in 2007, and show up in condition on the Olympia's first day?
Well we may, or we may not believe. But the bottom line is, if Cutler is capable of regaining his 2006 form - or better - the Olympia could very well be his once again. No one is bigger. No one is more overpowering. It's almost pointless to talk about any other competitors here, because the only person capable of standing in the way of title No. 3 is Cutler himself. He is his own biggest rival, his own worst enemy.
This year, all accounts have Cutler on track - big, full, round and hard - and ready to accomplish what has previously been impossible. Still, up until a week out last year, Cutler was well on his way to his third straight Olympia victory. In his own words, it was likely the best he had ever been leading up to a competition ... all the way up until three days out. But a miscalculation changed everything, and Cutler turned up at the Friday prejudging holding too much water, especially in his lower back and hamstrings, to distance himself from the pack. That error gave Jackson all the room he needed to build an insurmountable lead after the contest's first day. Despite Cutler's heroic attempts to hold onto his title, when he lost 14 pounds overnight for the Saturday night finals, the title was lost.
So all the talk about how good Cutler can be, and how good he currently is, is just that. Until he shows up on the Orleans Arena stage sometime around 9 pm PST on Friday, all doubts will remain as to whether Cutler can come in condition, if he is washed up, if he has lost it. And no one knows this more than Cutler himself.
If he can do it, if he can manage to pull it off, it would be not only the greatest storyline for this year's Olympia, but arguably in the history of the sport.