Photos by Per Bernal
Bodybuilding breeds dynasties. Over the past 32 years, there have been only six Olympia champions, five of whom collected 31 Sandows. Only four times since 1984 has the reigning champ lost the title. In this game of thrones, there can be only one king, and someone needs to decisively defeat him to seize the crown. Phil Heath has been on top for five years. Some argue he’s lucky to have avoided the 22 years during which Lee Haney, Dorian Yates, and Ronnie Coleman dominated. But Heath had to dethrone one Mr. O, Jay Cutler, and fend off another, Dexter Jackson. Now he’s on a roll. Who can realistically defeat the Gift on Sept. 16 and 17 and deny him his sixth Sandow? And if the Heath dynasty continues, who will succeed him?
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