Kai Greene reacts: Can Phil Heath defeat returning Olympia champion Brandon Curry?
In a series of unfortunate delays and cancellations of big IFBB pro bodybuilding shows, one shining light has been the Mr. Olympia 2020. While postponed, the promoters are still insisting it will move ahead in December. Even more exciting is the fact that Phil Heath officially announced he would be returning to compete at the Olympia this year. But what does his old rival Kai Greene think of the return? In our latest GI Exclusive interview, Kai Greene reacts to Phil Heath’s return and predicts what the clash between Phil and Brandon Curry will look like.
Phil Heath announcing his comeback to the Mr. Olympia 2020 is a big deal. If he should win this year, he will finally earn eight Sandow trophies putting him tied for the world record alongside Ronnie Coleman and Lee Haney. Those are some big stakes for Phil and for Phil’s fans rooting him along.
It’s also important to note that the landscape is looking very different this year than it was the last time Phil Heath competed in 2018. While some might see Phil’s break as an opportunity for him to perfect his physique to something better than ever before – it’s also possible the break has put him off his game. How will he hold up against returning champion Brandon Curry?
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This moment is the moment of why I train, sacrifice, literally go into my darkest most fiercest place to become my best and be the best in the world. Throughout my life I have embraced being above average but more importantly I was always willing to compete at the highest level. It didn’t matter if it was basketball, running track or even playing cards, board games or video games I always wanted to be number 1! Everyone talks about being their best and that is awesome, but what about when the odds are against you and no one is there to help? Do you sit there waiting or do you complain and make excuses? Oh or do you blame those who are really achieving what you want for your own shortcomings? These are aspects I have understood very early on in my life growing up in a household where my parents both worked 50-60hrs a week so that I could have a better future. I had no brothers or sisters around to push me or to tell me to do this or that as it was always me wanting to be the best student, athlete, friend and also Son. I am Mr Olympia we all know this, but what I had to do to get here required a mindset which didn’t allow vacations, complaining, mediocrity, self pity, resentment toward others and the list goes on. What I did manage was to create a mind that would prepare for things no one thought was possible from being only 5’7 as a senior in high school earning a division 1 scholarship to graduating from a great university, to transitioning into a sport like bodybuilding which no basketball player would ever think of doing. I challenged myself throughout and I want you all to do the same. Don’t sell yourself short by being average. Be better each day. Learn to accept shortcomings as lessons which can lead to greatness if and only if you decide to never replicate that same process. I’m just under 9wks from the Olympia and I must say that this one means more than anyone could imagine. Remember when I said after my first two I was going for ten and people laughed, mocked and called me names??? Well I’m at 7 and now getting serious so let’s see how it unfolds. #PhilHeath #7xmrolympia #BeWell #BeYourself #DontSettleForAverage #bemisunderstood #itsOkToStandOut #BeYou
Phil Heath after winning the Olympia Sandow trophy (above).
During our recent video conversation with Kai Greene, we asked him his thoughts on Phil Heath’s return. He also pondered about what the battle between Phil and Brandon Curry will look like in the finals stage.
At first, surprisingly, Kai Greene seems at a loss for words. He doesn’t know how to feel about Phil Heath’s return. He admits that Phil was always a great champion and so it’s exciting to see him compete again. But Kai also has some uncertain thoughts about what the world Phil is entering into.
Kai Greene goes off on a tangent about how much bodybuilding judging has changed since he competed years ago. He thinks that Brandon Curry’s big win last year is evidence that the criteria for what is the best physique is shifting. This always happens from era to era. Phil Heath just so happens to be in between eras at the moment. Many of the competitors Phil faced off against are no longer actively competing. How will Phil hold up against the latest crop of competitors? More specifically, how will he stand up against Brandon Curry?
Kai Greene likens it to apples and oranges (plus throws in a great Grapefruit joke while he’s at it). He thinks that both Phil Heath and Brandon Curry are different kind of bodybuilders. Their physiques are hard to compare. If both should come in the best shape of their lives – Kai’s not sure which way the judges will vote. It will come down to pure preference of aesthetic. The big question is – what preference do the judges have these days? Will they favor a 7x Olympia winning champion from nearly another era? Or will they favor a larger mass monster physique like Brandon?
Kai Greene ultimately doesn’t know which way they will swing the vote. It also largely depends on the kind of shape these competitors come onto stage with. With the world pandemic shifting life long term – it’s hard to even guess how well conditioned these athletes will be.
You can watch Kai Greene’s full reaction to Phil Heath’s Olympia 2020 return in our latest GI Exclusive interview segment above!