Backstage after his third Mr. Olympia victory, Phil Heath had a few things to get of his chest regarding his rivalry with two-time runner-up Kai Greene...
“Kai’s an amazing person. As far as bodybuilding is concerned, he’s an awesome champion. He’s just not a Mr. Olympia champion. And I feel like he’s a guy who wants what I have, and I’m standing in his way. I’m standing in his way just like Jay [Cutler] had Ronnie [Coleman] in his way. And it’s a war. So I don’t feel sorry for him at all. I’m trying to win. This is my title.”
“I don’t hate the dude. I just want him to respect me. Because I never disrespected him. He disrespected me first. As a champ you should never be disrespected by someone who isn’t the champ. You ain’t cocky if you complete the task. If I say I’m going to win and then I win, that’s not cocky. That’s just telling it like it is. I refuse to let anyone discredit my hard work and talent. I refuse to do that any more. I’m a three-time Mr. Olympia. I deserve his respect.”
“I just think he has the wrong idea about me. I think that he thinks it’s all about gifts and bullsh—t. But at the end of the day, hard work beats talent if talent doesn’t work hard. And I worked my ass of to be where I am in this world, and he cannot discredit that any more after what he saw tonight and last night [on the Mr. Olympia stage].”
“No one has gone through what I went through this year, period.” [This is a reference to his family health concerns, especially his wife’s breast cancer.] “And Kai has been able to tell his story about his hardships in life. But he’s not the only person. And I think the way I’ve been portrayed is as if Phil has this easy-ass life. They didn’t know what I went through at 3 years old, having a broken home and stuff like that, because that’s not for them to know about. That’s my personal life. I just feel like sometimes [Kai] plays the victim. And people will come up to me and say, ‘Why do you have animosity toward him?’ And I don’t have animosity toward anyone. It’s just that he’s not the only person who goes through stuff.”
“He disrespected me by signing that poster as Mr. Olympia [at the Athletes’ Meeting], and he’s been signing his autograph all weekend saying he’s the 2013 Mr. Olympia...If I were to do that, people would say Phil Heath is cocky. When did I ever do that? I never signed Mr. Olympia until I was Mr. Olympia. I never touched a Sandow until I was able to touch my own. So that’s the respect I’ve had for this sport.”
“When did I ever come after him? Never. He always came after me and said I was gifted as if I didn’t have to work to be Mr. Olympia. He should know that I worked my ass of just like him. And I’m just better than him, and he can’t accept it. These are facts."