Dorian Yates shares his reaction to the moment Ronnie Coleman soared past Yates’ Mr. Olympia streak.


When it comes to heavy hitters in the history of Mr. Olympia, there is only a small number of athletes who hit the mark for high number of Sandow trophies. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Phil Heath, Lee Haney, and Ronnie Coleman come to mind. Then of course there’s also Dorian Yates who landed a total of six Olympia wins. Immediately after Yates stepped down, Ronnie Coleman went on to earn himself eight Sandow trophies tying for the world record set by Lee Haney. In our latest GI Exclusive Vault interview, Dorian Yates reflects on the moment Ronnie Coleman surpassed Yates’ record.

During the filming of Ronnie Coleman: The King, we spoke to a wide variety of legendary bodybuilders. Dorian Yates was one such bodybuilder, the reigning champ just before Ronnie rose up to the occasion. Like all films, not everything was able to fit into the final cut. That’s why we’re pulling out this extended interview from the cutting room floor featuring Dorian Yates.

Though Lee Haney had already reached eight Mr. Olympia wins (setting the world record) before Dorian Yates – it doesn’t take away from the high level of excellence Yates achieved with his six wins. It placed him as one of the most winningest Mr. Olympia athletes of all time – would another competitor be able to match up moving forward?

Ultimately the answer to this was answered immediately after Dorian Yates’ reign. It came in the form of Ronnie Coleman who is now often considered one of the greatest bodybuilders to ever live. Of course, there was no way of 100% knowing that while Yates was still competing. Ronnie still had a lot of improvements to make and it wasn’t clear if he had the mentality to bring him up to the next level.

Of course, we all know what happened next. Ronnie Coleman seemingly transformed overnight and became a sensation. He earned himself eight Mr. Olympia wins and tied for the world record. No one has been able to match it since.

So how did Dorian Yates react once his streak had be bested? At this point, Yates had already retired due to injuries. There was no way for him to bring his best as we had saw during his prime. But there’s no denying that any of these top athletes have a true hunger and competitive spirit. Did Ronnie’s high level of success make Yates wonder “what if?”

During our sit down interview Dorian Yates didn’t seem too bothered by it at all. He’s come to terms with the fact that there was already an athlete who achieved eight wins before him. He also seemed to come to terms with his injuries and retirement. He’s even more recently said his injury was a blessing in disguise.

That being said, Dorian Yates is still a proud man. He makes a point to reference that his six wins were during a much more competitive era of the sport – at least in his opinion. He makes a brief argument that perhaps his six wins are worth more than Ronnie Coleman’s eight.

There’s no statistical way to really prove such a thing. If anything, it’s good to know that Yates still has some competitive spirit left in him. He’s proud of those wins. He stands by them. If only we could have seen these two athletes compete against each other both in their prime.

You can watch Dorian Yates’ full comments from our extended GI Exclusive Vault interview above. You can also watch Ronnie Coleman: The King on digital today. Click here or the banner below to stream or download!

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Derek Dufour
Derek Dufour has been managing all digital operations on the Generation Iron Network for over six years. He currently manages a team of editors, writers, and designers to provide up-to-date content across the GI Network.