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The Item: IFBB Pro League Olympia Preview, Andrew Oye's IFBB Pro Athletes Roundup

The Scoop: Just Announced: Promoters of Joe Weider's Olympia Weekend of Fitness and Performance -- "Where Legends Are Made" -- just posted the final competitors lists of IFBB Pro League athletes that qualified to compete at the 2012 IFBB Olympia Bodybuilding Championships in Las Vegas, Nevada, this weekend (September 29). As reported in "Andrew Oye's Pro-Muscle Report," the following lists represent the final tallies of the International Federation of Bodybuilding & Fitness' newly implemented IFBB Pro Olympia Qualification Series Point System.   

Mr. Olympia - Open Division Qualified Competitors
IFBB Pro Baitollah Abbaspour, IFBB Pro Lionel Beyeke, IFBB Pro Evan Centopani, IFBB Pro Jay Cutler, IFBB Pro Jon Delarosa, IFBB Pro Toney Freeman, IFBB Pro K. Greene, IFBB Pro Phil Heath, IFBB Pro Dexter Jackson, IFBB Pro Johnnie Jackson, IFBB Pro Michael Kefalianos, IFBB Pro Victor Martinez, IFBB Pro Cedric McMillan, IFBB Pro Juan Morel, IFBB Pro Essa Obaid, IFBB Pro Ben Pakulski, IFBB Pro Shawn Rhoden, IFBB Pro Ronny Rockel, IFBB Pro Fred Smalls, IFBB Pro Branch Warren, IFBB Pro Bill Wilmore, IFBB Pro Roelly Winklaar, IFBB Pro Dennis Wolf, IFBB Pro Hidetada Yamagishi.

Olympia 212 Showdown - 212 Division Qualified Competitors
IFBB Pro Al Auguste, IFBB Pro Lyndon Belgrave, IFBB Pro Curtis Bryant, IFBB Pro Guy Cisternino, IFBB Pro Eduardo Correa, IFBB Pro Jamal Elmadawy, IFBB Pro Kevin English, IFBB Pro Derik Farnsworth, IFBB Pro David Henry, IFBB Pro Jaroslav Horvath, IFBB Pro Tricky Jackson, IFBB Pro Raul Carrasco Jimenez, IFBB Pro Flex Lewis, IFBB Pro Stan McQuay, IFBB Pro Fernando Noronha, IFBB Pro Jose Raymond, IFBB Pro Marco Rivera, IFBB Pro Shaun-Joseph Tavernier, IFBB Pro Petr Vanis, IFBB Pro Angel Rangel Vargas.

The "So What?": Reigning Mr. Olympia Phil Heath is attempting to collect his second Olympia Sandow trophy, but he will not compete against the man he took the title from last year, 4-time Mr. Olympia Jay Cutler -- who opted to skip the contest this year. Other athletes reportedly skipping the 2012 Olympia for various reasons: Cedric McMillan, first-timers Jonathan Delarosa, Fred Smalls, Baito Abbaspour and Juan Morel, as well as vet Victor Martinez (who suffered a recent injury in an arm wrestling incident in Mexico).

Due to a knee injury, reigning Showdown Champ Kevin English will not defend his Olympia 212 Showdown title. Shaun-Joseph Tavernier is reportedly also skipping the 212-Division contest. Though previously qualified in 2011, Evan Centopani makes his Olympia debut, along with Essa Obaid, in the Open Division. 212 Division Olympia debuts: Belgrave, Carrasco-Jimenez, Elmadawy, Farnswoth, Rivera, Vanis and Vargas.

Andrew Oye's Verdict: The question to be answered at the "Super Bowl of bodybuilding" is: Who will join the ranks of Mr. Olympia greats like IFBB Pro Ronnie Coleman, IFBB Pro Lee Haney, IFBB Pro Dorian Yates, IFBB Pro Arnold Schwarzenegger, IFBB Pro Frank Zane, IFBB Pro Franco Columbu, IFBB Pro Sergio Oliva, and IFBB Pro Larry Scott, among others? Phil Heath will be hard to beat as incumbents usually are. My vote for a close 2nd place is Shawn Rhoden whose physique, if peaked, is a strong representation of the criteria for an ideal Olympia physique. Is that likely? Whichever theories dictate that Greene, Warren or Wolf "should" place above him could prevent that. The battle for the top spot in the 212 Showdown will likely involve the first-ever (lightweight) 212/202 Showdown title winner from 2008 David Henry, as well as Correa, who placed 10th against Open-Division athletes at the Arnold Sports Festival's 2012 Arnold Classic Bodybuilding Championships.  

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