THE HEIR APPARENT

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I asked, "Is this your year?" Jay Cutler smiled broadly, winked, and answered, "We'll see." He weighed 269 at Wednesday's competitors' meeting, on his way down to a target weight of 265-268 at Saturday's Olympia.

If the contest had been held Wednesday in shorts and short-sleeved shirts, Cutler would've won, as he made the biggest impression at the meeting, virtually dwarfing the slimmer Markus Ruhl seated next to him. "This year I diet for 17 weeks," Cutler said. "Last year I did about eight weeks. I've attained my best conditioning, mass and balance. Hopefully, it's enough to win."

In contrast to some surly sorts, he was nearly beaming with confidence. "The Olympia is my destiny," he pronounced. "It's the peak. It's what I started training for at 18. It's getting to be one of those things where if I win the Mr. Olympia my destiny is fulfilled."

We'll all find out on Saturday, October 15, if the heir apparent, presumed in the shape of his life, finally unseats King Coleman.

Athletes Meeting Gallery

Joe Weider's 2005 Olympia Weekend promises to be the most sensation bodybuilding festival ever. To book your ringside seat go to: www.2005olympia.com, www.flexonline.com or www.muscleandfitness.com for full details about Joe Weider's 2005 Olympia Weekend.

Or check your PPV provider for local details.

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