Phil Heath was showing Ronnie Coleman some love this morning in a tender and surprisingly moving Instagram post.
Phil Heath took to Instagram this morning to post a video and share a few kind words about Ronnie Coleman, whom he called “an inspiration to all of us bodybuilders” and “the greatest bodybuilder of all time.”
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In October 2004 I watched @ronniecoleman8 guest pose in Denver Colorado and I was simply amazed at his sheer size and conditioned muscle that I couldn’t help but stand up out of my seat in pure excitement. I waited 4hrs to purchase 4 8×10 pictures which I still have till this day. I watched him win his 8th Sandow in 2005 shortly after I had turned pro winning the Mr USA competition. I was able to meet Ronnie later that night with @hanyrambod as they let me party the night away with them. In 2011 I became Mr Olympia and now in 2019 during the @dubaimuscleshow weekend I had the honor and privilege to sit and share an interview with in my opinion the Greatest Bodybuilder of All Time last night! It’s incredible how life works as you just never know what can happen when you go after your goals with great sense of urgency, sacrifice and true passion. Thank you Big Ron for always being an inspiration to all of us bodybuilders as your ability to transcend our sport made me a much better champion and Man!!! #PhilHeath #RonnieColeman #SandowCollectors
The post detailed Phil’s rise to fame as a seven-time Mr. Olympia champion, though he of course comes in a respectable third to Ronnie Coleman and Lee Haney’s eight-time claim to the title. Phil describes seeing Ronnie guest posing at the 2004 Denver showcase, claiming he was “simply amazed at his sheer size” and that he immediately bought pictures. Ronnie was a huge inspiration to him on his fitness journey and helped him become the bodybuilder he is today. Phil was overwhelmed with gratitude that almost 15 years later he had the opportunity to sit down with Ronnie Coleman at the 2019 Dubai Muscle Show and share their thoughts on the sport.
It’s refreshing to see two athletes, both having achieved enormous success in their careers, recognize and salute each other in this way. It’s easy sometimes to get lost in the competitive spirit of sport, but we can never forget that everyone is on their own journey in life. In the case of Phil Heath and Ronnie Coleman: real recognize real.
Phil is not alone in feeling this way — Ronnie Coleman takes the number one spot on almost any survey about who is the greatest in the sport. Phil could easily have some negativity towards a man who outranked him in the end, but he instead chooses to be grateful for all the successes he has had in life and reach out to one of his heroes. He goes on to say that Ronnie helped him understand that life is “amazing,” saying “you just never know what can happen when you go after your goals with great sense of urgency, sacrifice and true passion.” That was an important lesson that a whole generation of bodybuilders took away from Ronnie “The King” Coleman.
Phil is, of course, a legend in his own right. It’s no laughing matter to tie with the Arnold as a seven-time Olympia champion. Heath also enjoyed a brief but successful stint in professional wrestling. What’s more than that, Phil proved he’s not only an exceptional bodybuilder, he’s also a man of great personal character and emotional strength. He had the chance to catch up with one of his heroes and he did so with grace and dignity. He reminded all of us why we fell in love with the sport and what we can accomplish when we set our minds to our goals. Somewhere out there is a young bodybuilder with pictures of Phil Heath on their wall, and there’s no doubt they inspire him just like Ronnie’s did Phil back in the day. Love you guys.