The Top 10 Uncrowned Mr. Olympia In Bodybuilding History


Mr. Olympia is the pinnacle of success for a professional bodybuilder. The title has been held by some of the greatest athletes in history including Arnold Schwarzenegger Ronnie Coleman and Phil Heath. But there are a few athletes who have had tremendous success in their careers but have never won the Mr. Olympia title. Here is the top10 uncrowned Mr. Olympias.

Mike Mentzer

Mike Mentzer was an American IFBB professional bodybuilder. He was notable for his philosophy of "heavy-duty training" which advocated training fewer days per week and lifting heavier weights. This approach is now known as the Mentzer method. Mentzer won the Mr. America and Mr. Universe titles in 1976 and was a two-time Mr. Olympia runner-up. He died in 2001 at the age of 49.

Mentzer never claimed he should have won the 1980 Mr. Olympia - where he placed behind Arnold, Chris Dickerson, and Frank Zane. However, Mentzer asserts that Arnold didn’t deserve to win. He was the first man to get a perfect 300 score in the Mr. Universe competition and his Heavy Duty training philosophies revolutionized the sport. Next to Dorian Mentzer was perhaps the most influential thinker in our sport's history.

Rich Gaspari

Rich Gaspari is an American former professional bodybuilder. He was born on December 15th, 1963 in New Jersey. After winning several amateur titles he turned professional in 1985 and went on to win the Mr. America Mr. Universe and Mr. Olympia titles. He retired from professional bodybuilding in 1997. Gaspari is also a successful businessman and has his own supplement company Gaspari Nutrition.

Although he wasn’t the first bodybuilder to achieve this look Rich Gaspari is widely recognized as the man who popularized shredded glutes. He competed in an era filled with legendary legacies such as Lee Haney and Dorian Yates. His impact on the bodybuilding community is mainly due to his role in starting the shredded-glute trend.

Kevin Levrone

Kevin Levrone is an American retired professional bodybuilder. He competed in the Mr. Olympia contest a record 22 times placing 2nd in 1992 and 3rd in 1993. He is also a successful businessman and entrepreneur owning companies in the supplement real estate and apparel industries. In 2019 he was inducted into the IFBB Hall of Fame.

Although he was a perennial contender Kevin Levrone never won the Mr. Olympia title. His failure can be attributed to two factors- work issues and his lack of dedication. From 1992 until 2003 Dorian and Ronnie Levrone went head-to-head with two 6+-time Mr. Olympians. Dorian and Ronnie had the training and experience advantage which ultimately led to their victory. Levrone only trained 16 weeks out of the year focusing most of his time on his rock band Fullblown. If Levrone had taken his training more seriously Dorian might never have won one of the Sandow Awards (the predecessor to Mr. Olympia).

Flex Wheeler

Flex Wheeler is an American IFBB professional bodybuilder. He is a four-time Mr. Olympia runner-up and has won many other titles throughout his career. Flex Wheeler was born in Fresno California on August 23, 1965. His mother was a teenage mother and his father was not present in his life. Flex Wheeler began lifting weights when he was just 11 years old. By the time he was 17, he had already won the Mr. Teenage America title. After winning several other competitions Flex Wheeler turned pro in 1992. He has since gone on to become one of the most successful bodybuilders in history.

Even though he was known for his cocky and arrogant demeanor Flex Wheeler was also a talented athlete. From competing in numerous shows and winning them all to his premature end because of a genetic kidney disorder Flex Wheeler was definitely an impressive figure. After a car accident left him incapacitated he attempted another comeback but it was too late. We will never know how great he could have been if his career hadn't been cut short.

Kai Greene

Kai Greene is an American professional bodybuilder. Greene was born in Brooklyn New York and began lifting weights at the age of 15. He has won a number of competitions including the Arnold Classic Mr. Olympia and Ironman Pro Invitational. Greene is known for his intense training regimen and his unique approach to bodybuilding.

Kai Greene is a three-time Arnold Classic winner and a fan favorite. From my personal experience, Kai is one of the nicest guys you'll ever meet. Known for his Striated Quads Low-Inserting Lats and Slabs of Muscle Kai wows fans with every pose. He was also known for his unparalleled posing skills taking entertainment and presentation to the next level. In a heated showdown in the movie "Generation Iron," Kai lost by slim margins. This video portrayed Phil in a negative light and Kai as the underdog. From here his popularity skyrocketed. Some argue his losses were due in large part to some questionable videos he did early in his career but from my perspective, Kai was just competing against a once

Nasser El Sonbaty

Nasser “The Professor” El Sonbaty was an IFBB professional bodybuilder who lived in Costa Mesa, California. He is remembered today as one of the biggest and most symmetrical professional bodybuilders of all time. Standing at 5'11″ and weighing 310lbs, he was truly a sight to behold onstage. Unfortunately, Nasser passed away at the age of 48.

Nasser will always be remembered as one of the greats in the sport of professional bodybuilding. His massive size and incredible symmetry made him a fan favorite whenever he stepped onstage. He will be truly missed by the bodybuilding community.

Over his 16-year professional bodybuilding career, Nasser placed no lower than third in 50% of his 66 shows. He also won six professional contests and placed in the Mr. Olympia top 5 six times – finishing his career with a win at the 1999 Arnold Classic.

Lou Ferrigno

It’s impossible to deny that Lou Ferrigno was a talented individual. Standing at 6’4” tall, his height was unparalleled for bodybuilding. With his muscular build, Ferrigno had the potential to be one of the greatest champions in history. Had he stuck with bodybuilding throughout his career, it’s likely he would never have been included on this list and would be considered one of the sport’s greatest legends.

Victor Martinez

Another bodybuilder who should have won the Olympia title in 2007 was Dominican Martinez. Jay Cutler, who was off his game that year, was up against Martinez, but many believed he should’ve taken home the win. The judges saw it differently however and Martinez’s career legal troubles would further hinder him. With this improvement in 2014, we’re eager to see if he can recapture the level of talent he once had so close in his grasp.

Shawn Ray

Ray had a finely-striated and complete physique, and many considered him to be one of the greatest bodybuilders of all time. His potential was fully realized, but unfortunately, bad luck prevented him from becoming a world champion. His symmetrical and chiseled physique was a major contributing factor.

Dennis Wolf
The “Big Bad Wolf”, who has been competing since 1999, has had some successful years. In 2013, his best Mr. Olympia ranking was 3rd place, which is significant considering that the two-time reigning champion Phil Heath and perennial “People’s Champ” Kai Greene are currently at their best.

Did we miss anyone? Who do you think should have made the list? Let us know in the comments below.

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