Kevin Levrone Explains Olympia Winners Might Have Been Hand Picked: ‘I Learned To Not Take It Personal’

Olympia hand picked winners

Kevin Levrone recently reflected on a conversation he had with Joe Weider.

Kevin Levrone has recently stepped back from the sport of bodybuilding but his history cannot be erased. During his career, Levrone had some great battles on stage against some other elite competitors. In a recent interview, he reflected on a conversation that he had with Joe Weider about Olympia champs being hand picked.

Levrone went head-to-head with the likes of Flex Wheeler, Kai Greeneand Dorian YatesHe finished as the runner-up in the Olympia four times over the course of his career. He retired in 2017 but participated in just one more show in the 2018 Arnold Classic Australia.

Despite never reaching the Sandow Trophy, Levrone enjoyed plenty of success and was one of the best in the world. He recently discussed how bodybuilding is a business and there might be other reasons why he was never able to reach the top of the Olympia.

Kevin Levrone Discusses A Conversation with Joe Weider

In a recent interview on the Muscle and Fitness YouTube page, Kevin Levrone discusses how he asked the founder of the Olympia why the award kept going to the same competitor.

“I’ve learned not to take it personal, your placings because I remember asking Joe, ‘well why is it that none of us can never win the Mr. Olympia and you always keep giving it to the same guy?’

His answer to me at the time was ‘if I take my top-four guys that finish second, third, fourth and I shuffle you around, and I put you in first, and Shawn whatever it is, then I’m still going to make the same amount of money. Nothing is going to change but if I keep Dorian where he’s at, he opens up a whole completely different market.”

Dorian Yates won the Olympia a title of six times and was at the top for years. Because of the business side of bodybuilding, it was beneficial to keep awarding the Sandow Trophy to Yates.

After the conversation Kevin Levrone had with Weider, he was included in the Muscle and Fitness magazine cover.

“I really didn’t take it personal because he says, ‘hey, you know, just look at it as a business. That’s when I started saying, you know what, if I’m not going to win Mr. Olympia, then I’m going to try to win everything else that I can, so I can market myself the best way I can. I didn’t take it personal.”

Levrone remembers Weider explaining that he was good enough to win the Olympia but the other factors would get in the way. This is when he took the opportunity with Muscle and Fitness.

“He said, ‘it’s not that you’re not good enough to be Mr. Olympia, you certainly are good enough. I respect what you did. Then, he put me on, I think it was a 60-second edition of Muscle and Fitness, that’s when he decided to put me on the cover.”

Kevin Levrone has remained in great shape in retirement. He has clearly kept his physique in top shape proving that he is one of the best to ever do it despite not claiming an Olympia title.

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Greg Patuto
Greg has covered the four major sports for six years and has been featured on sites such as Sports Illustrated, Fox Sports, SB Nation,, and FanSided. Now, he is transitioning into the world of bodybuilding and strength sports.