Every Winner of the Mr. Olympia Bodybuilding Competition

We list every man to win the O, where the event was held, and the podium finishers at every Olympia since the show's inception in 1965.

There is no greater accomplishment in the sport of bodybuilding than winning the Mr. Olympia title. In 1965, Joe Weider and his brother Ben debuted the Mr. Olympia competition to establish a true world champion. Fast forward to today, and there’s now a whole weekend dedicated to the Olympia, which includes a fan expo and competitions for 10 divisions — five men and five women. The Mr. Olympia, however, remains the center of the event. 

The accomplishment of hoisting the Eugen Sandow trophy is amplified by the fact that only 16 men have done so in the contest’s rich 56-year history. Each man to be crowned Mr. Olympia has left a legacy in their wake. Larry Scott, the first man to win, set a new physical standard. Arnold Schwarzenegger, arguably the most famous bodybuilder to ever compete, ushered the sport into the mainstream. And Dorian Yates, who captured six O titles, was the first legitimate mass monster. Every Mr. O — whether they won once or reigned for years — has left a unique mark on the sport of bodybuilding. 

Below, we’ve compiled this list of every Mr. Olympia. Each man on this list deserves recognition for the work it takes to win bodybuilding’s ultimate prize. 

Every Mr. Olympia Winner

Larry Scott (1965-1966)

“Golden Boy” Larry Scott competed in the first-ever Mr. Olmypia, won, competed in one more, and then retired on top. Compared to the bodybuilders of today, Scott boasted a relatively slender 200-pound physique. Though, his arm development, even by today’s standards, was extraordinary. Ever hear of the preacher curl? It was, and still sometimes is, called the Scott curl because Larry performed it so often that it became his namesake. To be the first Mr. Olympia and have a biceps exercise named after you? That’s a legacy twofer.

1965, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Brooklyn, NY

  • First — Larry Scott     
  • Second — Harold Poole
  • Third — Earl Maynard                 

1966, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Brooklyn, NY                     

  • First — Larry Scott     
  • Second — Harold Poole
  • Third — Chuck Sipes

Sergio Oliva (1967-1969) 

The later years of the ’60s belonged to Sergio Oliva, who became known as “The Myth.” Oliva, who also served as a police officer in Chicago, went unopposed in the 1968 contest. (The other competitors withdrew due to other commitments.) A young Austrian named Schwarzenegger was Oliva’s only opponent in 1969, though he was bested by the Cuban competitor. He would make a comeback in 1984, placing eighth overall. Sergio, who died in 2012, has a son, Sergio Oliva Jr., also a successful competitive bodybuilder. 

1967, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Brooklyn, NY  

  • First — Sergio Oliva
  • Second — Chuck Sipes 
  • Third — Harold Poole

1968, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Brooklyn, NY  

  • Oliva won and was unopposed 

1969, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Brooklyn, NY  

  • First — Sergio Oliva
  • Second — Arnold Schwarzenegger

Arnold Schwarzenegger (1970-1975, 1980)

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Though others were on stage in the 1970 Mr. Olympia, this contest was very much between Schwarzenegger and Oliva. That win over the most dominant champ at that point in time set The Austrian Oak up to win six consecutive Mr. Olympias. Then, he would come back and win more for a then-record seven wins. Schwarzenegger’s most notable O is probably the 1975 contest, which was the focus of the 1977 film Pumping Iron — a docudrama that, thanks to Arnold’s charismatic performance, is credited with introducing bodybuilding into the mainstream. Of course, Arnold would go on to be not just a world-famous bodybuilder, but an actor, Governor, and activist. 

1970, The Town Hall, New York, NY

  • First — Arnold Schwarzenegger    
  • Second — Sergio Oliva                          
  • Third — Reg Lewis

1971,  Maison de la Mutualité Paris, France

  • Schwarzenegger won and was unopposed.

1972, The Handelshof, Essen, West Germany

  • First — Arnold Schwarzenegger      
  • Second — Sergio Oliva                          
  • Third — Serge Nubret

1973, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Brooklyn, NY

  • First — Arnold Schwarzenegger                     
  • Second — Franco Columbu                 
  • Third — Serge Nubret

1974, Felt Forum in Madison Square Garden, New York, NY*

 Over 200 Pounds

  • First and Overall winner — Arnold Schwarzenegger
  • Second — Lou Ferrigno

Under 200 Pound Winner

  • First — Franco Columbu
  • Second — Frank Zane

1975, Pretoria, South Africa (Building Unknown)

 Over 200 Pounds

  • First and Overall winner — Arnold Schwarzenegger
  • Second — Serge Nubret
  • Third — Lou Ferrigno

Under 200 Pound Winner

  • First — Franco Columbu
  • Second — Ed Corney
  • Third — Albert Beckles

1980, Sydney Opera House, Sydney, Australia

  • First — Arnold Schwarzenegger
  • Second — Chris Dickerson 
  • Third — Frank Zane

*Starting in 1974, the Olympia introduced the under 200 pounds division. There was still an overall winner for each contest. They would do away with this format in 1980. 

Franco Columbu (1976, 1981)

Columbu would finally achieve the top title in bodybuilding in 1976. After the victory, he followed in Schwarzenegger’s footsteps and retired as well. He would also come of retirement for a one-time return to the stage. Many fans and experts felt his winning in 1981 was even more controversial than Schwarzenegger the previous year. Though they were fierce competitors, Columbu and Schwarzenggers were close friends. Tragically, Columbu died in August of 2019 at age 78 due to an accident at sea in Italy.

1976, Veteran’s Memorial Auditorium, Columbus, OH

Over 200 Pounds

  • First — Ken Waller
  • Second — Mike Katz

Under 200 Pound Winner

  • First and Overall Winner — Franco Columbu
  • Second — Frank Zane
  • Third — Ed Corney

1981, Veteran’s Memorial Auditorium, Columbus, OH

  • First — Franco Columbu
  • Second — Chris Dickerson
  • Third — Tom Platz

Frank Zane (1977-1979)

Zane’s first Mr. Olympia was symbolic because it would be the first time that the champion received the Eugen Sandown trophy, which has been given to every champion since. Frank Zane would close the 70’s with three straight titles. Many consider Zane to be the most aesthetic bodybuilder to compete and the man who popularized the vacuum pose. At a competition weight of just under 190 pounds, Zane may just be the lightest man ever to win a Mr. O title.

1977, Veteran’s Memorial Auditorium, Columbus, OH

Over 200 Pounds

  • First — Robby Robinson
  • Second — Ken Waller
  • Third — Dennis Tinerino

Under 200 Pound Winner

  • First and Overall Winner — Frank Zane
  • Second — Ed Corney
  • Third — Boyer Coe

1978, Veteran’s Memorial Auditorium, Columbus, OH

Over 200 Pounds

  • First — Robby Robinson
  • Second — Roy Callender
  • Third — Kalman Szkalak

Under 200 Pound Winner

  • First and Overall Winner — Frank Zane
  • Second — Boyer Coe
  • Third — Danny Padilla

1979, Veteran’s Memorial Auditorium, Columbus, OH 

Over 200 Pounds

  • First — Mike Mentzer
  • Second — Dennis Tinerino
  • Third — Roger Walker

Under 200 Pound Winner

  • First and Overall Winner — Frank Zane
  • Second — Boyer Coe
  • Third — Robby Robinson

Chris Dickerson (1982)

Chris Dickerson was the oldest winner of the contest when he won, at 43 years of age. In addition to being a prolific bodybuilder, Dickerson is also a trained opera singer. Dickerson is also the first openly gay Mr. Olympia.

1982, Wembley Conference Centre, London, England

  • First — Chris Dickerson
  • Second — Frank Zane
  • Third — Casey Viator

Samir Bannout (1983)

https://www.instagram.com/p/BtJ26F2nHYF/

“The Lion of Lebanon” was the sixth man to win the Mr. Olympia in a time that many consider being one of the most competitive eras in Olympia history. Case and point: After his first and only Olympia win, the next Mr. Olmypia, Lee Haney, would hold the title for eight — eight! — consecutive years. Bannout is also known for having one of the most defined backs in the sport, ever. Particularly his lower back. 

1983, Olympiahalle, Munich, Germany 

  • First — Samir Bannout
  • Second — Mohamed Makkawy
  • Third — Lee Haney

Lee Haney (1984-1991)

No one knew it at the time (well, maybe Haney did), but Lee Haney would be the last man to win the Olympia for the entire decade of the 80s. He won eight consecutive Olympia, breaking Schwarzengger’s record. To this day, only one man has tied his record — and it has yet to be beaten. 

1984, Felt Forum inside Madison Square Garden, New York, NY

  • First — Lee Haney
  • Second — Mohamed Makkawy
  • Third — Jusop Wilkosz

1985, Forest National Theatre, Brussels, Belgium

  • First — Lee Haney
  • Second — Albert Beckles
  • Third — Rich Gaspari

1986, Veteran’s Memorial Auditorium, Columbus, OH

  • First — Lee Haney
  • Second — Rich Gaspari
  • Third — Mike Christian

1987, Scandinavium, Gothenburg, Sweden

  • First — Lee Haney
  • Second — Rich Gaspari
  • Third — Lee Labrada

1988, Universal Amphitheatre, Los Angeles, CA

  • First — Lee Haney
  • Second — Rich Gaspari
  • Third — Barry DeMey

1989, Sala del Congressi, Rimini, Italy

  • First — Lee Haney
  • Second — Lee Labrada
  • Third — Vince Taylor

1990, Arie Crown Theater, Chicago, IL

  • First — Lee Haney
  • Second — Lee Labrada
  • Third — Shawn Ray

1991, Orlando, FL (Building Unknown)

  • Firest — Lee Haney
  • Second —Dorian Yates
  • Third — Vince Taylor

Dorian Yates (1992-1997)

In 1992, British bodybuilder Dorian Yates — who placed second the year prior — stepped on stage sporting a combination of mass and conditioning that had yet to be seen. He was so lean and so large that his skin looked almost like plastic wrap around the muscle. You could see the fibers of the muscles, which led to a new descriptor in the world of bodybuilding — “grainy.”  Yates was also known for his high-intensity training style, which saw him lifting the heaviest amount of weight possible for only a handful of reps. He’d perform just six sets per body part, which was very few compared to the two-a-day training styles of bodybuilders of the past like Arnold. 

1992, Helsinki Ice Hall, Helsinki, Finland

  • First — Dorian Yates
  • Second — Kevin Levrone
  • Third — Lee Labrada

1993, Atlanta Civic Center, Atlanta, GA

  • First — Dorian Yates
  • Second — Flex Wheeler
  • Third — Shawn Ray

1994, Atlanta Civic Center, Atlanta, GA

  • First — Dorian Yates
  • Second — Shawn Ray
  • Third — Kevin Levrone

1995, Atlanta Civic Center, Atlanta, GA

  • First — Dorian Yates
  • Second — Kevin Levrone
  • Third — Nasser El Sonbaty

1996, Arie Crown Theater, Chicago, IL

  • First — Dorian Yates
  • Second — Shawn Ray
  • Third — Kevin Levrone

1997, Terrace Theater, Long Beach, CA

  • First — Dorian Yates
  • Second — Nasser El Sonbaty
  • Third — Shawn Ray

Ronnie Coleman (1998-2005)

Coleman’s jump from ninth place in 1997 to 1st in 1998 was the greatest leap to a title in the history of the Olympia. He shocked bodybuilding fans with his victory in Madison Square Garden. Coleman would tie Haney’s record of eight straight wins before being defeated by Jay Cutler in 2006. (Note: female bodybuilder Iris Kyle has won 10 overall Ms. Olympia titles.) He was renowned for his size and strength by the end of his run. In 2004, he competed onstage at prejudging at 296 pounds, the heaviest any champion has weighed in competition.

1998, Madison Square Garden, New York, NY

  • First — Ronnie Coleman
  • Second — Flex Wheeler
  • Third — Nasser El Sonbaty

1999, Mandalay Bay Arena, Las Vegas, NV

  • First — Ronnie Coleman
  • Second — Flex Wheeler
  • Third — Chris Cormier

2000, Mandalay Bay Arena, Las Vegas, NV

  • First — Ronnie Coleman
  • Second — Kevin Levrone
  • Third — Flex Wheeler

2001, Mandalay Bay Arena, Las Vegas, NV

  • First — Ronnie Coleman
  • Second — Jay Cutler
  • Third — Kevin Levrone

2002, Mandalay Bay Arena, Las Vegas, NV

  • First — Ronnie Coleman
  • Second — Kevin Levrone
  • Third — Chris Cormier

2003,  Mandalay Bay Arena, Las Vegas, NV

  • First — Ronnie Coleman
  • Second — Jay Cutler
  • Third — Dexter Jackson

2004, Mandalay Bay Arena, Las Vegas, NV

  • First — Ronnie Coleman
  • Second — Jay Cutler
  • Third — Gustavo Badell

2005, Orleans Arena, Las Vegas, NV

  • First — Ronnie Coleman
  • Second — Jay Cutler
  • Third — Gustavo Badell

Jay Cutler (2006-07, 2009, 2010)

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Cutler would finally defeat Coleman in 2006 after four second-place finishes. He would repeat in 2007 by a narrow margin on the scorecards over Victor Martinez (which was Martinez’s best showing to date). He would lose the title in a major upset to Dexter Jackson in 2008. Cutler would be the first man to regain the title after losing it onstage in 2009. Many consider his appearance that year to be the best he ever looked. He would win the following year again before losing to Heath.

2006, Orleans Arena, Las Vegas, NV

  • First — Jay Cutler
  • Second — Ronnie Coleman
  • Third — Victor Martinez

2007, Orleans Arena, Las Vegas, NV

  • First — Jay Cutler
  • Second — Victor Martinez
  • Third — Dexter Jackson

2009, Orleans Arena, Las Vegas, NV

  • First — Jay Cutler
  • Second — Branch Warren
  • Third — Dexter Jackson

2010, Orleans Arena, Las Vegas, NV 

  • First — Jay Cutler
  • Second — Phil Heath
  • Third — Branch Warren

Dexter Jackson (2008)

Jackson would have the greatest single-season in bodybuilding history. He became the second man to win the Arnold Classic and the Mr. Olympia, in addition to three other shows. He upset Cutler to take the title but would lose it back to him in 2009. Fast forward to the present day (2020), and at 51 years old, “The Blade” is not only still competing but a mainstay in the top five.

2008, Orleans Arena, Las Vegas, NV

  • First — Dexter Jackson
  • Second — Jay Cutler
  • Third — Phil Heath

Phil Heath (2011-2017)

Heath would become the third man to win the title seven straight times and the fourth man overall to win seven total. (Though, Flex Lewis has won seven straight 212 Olympia titles.) His most dominant win was in 2013 when the judges had him go back in line during prejudging to determine second place. He would face numerous challenges over the years, including opponents like Kai Greene, Jackson, Mamdouh “Big Ramy” Elssbiay, and Shawn Rhoden — who would defeat him in 2018, after Heath suffered a hernia injury before the competition.

2011, Orleans Arena, Las Vegas, NV

  • First — Phil Heath
  • Second — Jay Cutler
  • Third — Kai Greene

2012, Orleans Arena, Las Vegas, NV

  • First — Phil Heath
  • Second — Kai Greene
  • Third — Shawn Rhoden

2013, Orleans Arena, Las Vegas, NV

  • First — Phil Heath
  • Second — Kai Greene
  • Third — Dennis Wolf

2014, Orleans Arena, Las Vegas, NV

  • First — Phil Heath
  • Second — Kai Greene
  • Third — Shawn Rhoden

2015, Orleans Arena, Las Vegas, NV

  • First — Phil Heath
  • Second — Dexter Jackson
  • Third — Shawn Rhoden

2016, Orleans Arena, Las Vegas, NV

  • First — Phil Heath
  • Second — Shawn Rhoden
  • Third — Dexter Jackson

2017, Orleans Arena, Las Vegas, NV

  • First — Phil Heath
  • Second — Mamdouh Elssbiay
  • Third — William Bonac

Shawn Rhoden (2018)

Rhoden would upset Heath to become the 14th Mr. Olympia in 2018. However, due to facing charges of sexual assault, he was not permitted to return to competition until the matters were resolved. As of this writing, his victory at this contest is Rhoden’s last onstage appearance.

2018, Orleans Arena, Las Vegas, NV

Brandon Curry (2019)

 

 
 
 
 
 
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In 2019, Brandon Curry became the third man to win both the Arnold Classic and Mr. Olympia in the same calendar year. He is the 15th champion and heads to the 2020 contest to defend that title against former champions Heath and Jackson and two-time Arnold Classic Champion William Bonac, among other contenders.

2019, Orleans Arena, Las Vegas, NV

  • First — Brandon Curry
  • Second — William Bonac
  • Third — Hadi Choopan

Mamdouh “Big Ramy” Elssbiay (2020)

 

 
 
 
 
 
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2020, Orange County Convention Center, Orlando, FL

Sitting at over 300 pounds, Mamdouh Elssbiay exploded onto the bodybuilding scene in the early 2010s, making his Mr. Olympia debut in 2013. He placed eighth. and slowly progressed over the years, though, he could never seem to nail his package. He would come in either too big and soft or too light and flat. In 2017, Big Ramy managed to get second, and showed people that he had true Mr. O potential. 

And after teaming up with IFBB Pro bodybuilding legend Dennis James, Ramy realized his true potential three years later by winning the 2020 Olympia. It was the best he ever looked, and he won against a stacked lineup — including the 2019 champ, Brandon Curry, and seven-time Olympia winner Phil Heath. 

  • First — Mamdouh “Big Ramy” Elssbiay
  • Second — Brandon Curry
  • Third — Phil Heath

Featured image (left to right): All images sourced from @mrolympiallc on Instagram; photos by Per Bernal and Charles Lowthian.