Don’t Discount Kai Greene As a Top Three in the 2011 Mr. Olympia
by Joe Pietaro
In the months leading up to the 2010 Mr. Olympia, there was one name being thrown around as a possible to unseat the reigning champion and cap off a career year. But when it was all said and done and the sun rose the next day in the Las Vegas desert, Jay Cutler held up another Sandow and Kai Greene found himself on the outside looking in – even during the pose down.
‘The Predator’ fell from fourth place in his inaugural Olympia the year before to a disappointing seventh and the two-time Arnold Classic champion took a beating from the critics. In their defense, the Brooklyn, New York native did come in out of shape and had a distended midsection that was noticeable by everyone, including the judges.
Greene sat out this year’s Arnold – a strange decision but one that makes sense in some ways – to concentrate on the O. He seemed to peak earlier in the year since 2009 at the Arnold but now has changed his strategy to get it together six months later. If he knows that he has one shot every 12 months to do some damage, then it would seem wise to move up and go after the big prize.
having already dominated in Columbus, Greene’s career will be completed with at least one Olympia win. But that seemed as unlikely as Barry Bonds eventually being inducted into the Hall of Fame last September. Perhaps the best thing that could have happened to Greene was the shock of a bad showing on bodybuilding’s biggest stage.
There is a lot of pressure on him as far as quieting the critics and putting himself back on the map. Greene’s name has hardly been mentioned and no one is expecting him to be a factor at the Orleans Arena. But he can pull off a stunner and break into the top three by putting together a presentation like the one in Ohio the night he won his first Arnold.
The line-up for the O is stacked with Cutler, Phil Heath, Dennis Wolf, Branch Warren, Ronny Rockel and so many others, so Greene has his work cut out for him. His work ethic has come into question but that would seem ridiculous when you see Greene at his best. He has arguably the best back in the sport and brings a flair that is unmatched to the stage. Greene needs at least a top six placing to get back into the pack but anyone who counts him out of the top three this early has obviously forgotten how much of a difference he made not too long ago.
KAI GREENE’S CONTEST HISTORY
2005 New York Pro – 14th
2006 Iron Man Pro – NP
2006 a Ray Colorado Pro – 14th
2007 New York Pro – 6th
2007 Keystone Pro – 3rd
2007 Colorado Pro – 1st
2008 Arnold Classic – 3rd
2008 New York Pro – 1st
2009 Arnold Classic – 1st
2009 Australian Pro Grand Prix – 1st
2009 Mr. Olympia – 4th
2010 Arnold Classic – 1st
2010 Australian Pro Grand Prix – 1st
2010 Mr. Olympia – 7th