Mr Olympia is the most eminent title in the sport of bodybuilding. It is the title awarded to the winner of the men’s open bodybuilding class at the Joe Weider’s Olympia Fitness & Performance Weekend held annually. The winner is awarded a pre-decided cash prize and the Sandow trophy named after Eugene Sandow a.k.a Father of modern bodybuilding. The winner of this title makes it as the top bodybuilder of that particular year and joins the wall of the greatest bodybuilders of all time. Over the years, there have been many bodybuilders who have made it to the list with some engraving their names on the wall more than the others. If you catch the gist of the importance of this title you’re sure to understand whoever has won it several times has to be nothing short of amazing and GOAT in bodybuilding. Well, there are several who have won it more than one times but the top spot of who has won the most Mr Olympia titles is tied between two topmost bodybuilders. Let’s check out who these two ultimate bodybuilders are-
Lee Haney and Ronnie Coleman hold the most number of Mr Olympia title wins- 8 Mr Olympia titles each. Lee Haney was the first to achieve this incredible feat winning the Mr Olympia title from 1984-1991. In the year 2005 Ronnie Coleman joined him on the top spot winning the Mr Olympia title from 1998-2005. Let’s have a peek at the bodybuilding careers of these two legends.
Lee Haney’s bodybuilding career
What years did Lee Haney win Mr Olympia in?
In 1984, Lee Haney dethroned Samir Bannout and won his first-ever Mr Olympia title. That was not the end of it as he went on to win the title for the next 7 years in a row with a final tally of 8 Sandow trophies. After his 8th win, he decided to retire from the sport and left the thrown empty for another legend who would then continue with a streak of 6 wins- Dorian Yates. The below table illustrates the details of his 8 Olympia wins.
|1984||New York, Unites States||$50,000|
|1986||Columbus, United States||$55,000|
|1988||Los Angeles, United States||N/A|
|1990||Chicago, United States||$100,000|
|1991||Orlando, United States||$100,000|
Other bodybuilding titles won by Lee Haney
|1979||Teen Mr America|
|1979||Teen Mr America Tall|
|1982||Junior Nationals Heavyweight & Overall|
|1982||Nationals Heavyweight & Overall|
|1982||World Amateur Championships Heavyweight|
|1983||Grand Prix Las Vegas|
|1983||Night of Champions|
|1987||Grand Prix Germany (II)|
Life after bodybuilding for Lee Haney
Lee Haney after his 8 historical wins retired from the sports of bodybuilding and went on the path of inspiring others to achieve great bodies not through the means of bodybuilding but through physical fitness overall to support a healthy lifestyle. Lee Haney took the entrepreneurial route and today Haney has his own nutritional supplements line by the name Lee Haney Nutrition.
Haney even has his own bodybuilding show by the name of Lee Haney games. It is a NPC National Qualifier for bodybuilding. It commenced in the year 2014. It is a host to divisions like- Men’s physique, Men’s Bodybuilding, Classic Physique, Bikini, Figure, Wellness, Fitness and Women’s Physique. Not just bodybuilding, the show hosts compeititons for the sports of Powerlifiting, Strongman and Arm Wrestling as well.
Lee Haney has also authored 4 books- Fit at any age, Beyond the pump, Totalee [sic] Awesome and Lee Haney’s Ultimate Bodybuilding Book. Along with his, Haney also coaches people willing to make a healthy turn in their life. He has personally trained people like- Steve Harvey, Evander Holyfield, Garry Sheffield and Ingrid Saunder Jones.
Ronnie Coleman’s bodybuilding career
What years did Ronnie Coleman win Mr Olympia in?
Unlike in the case of Lee Haney’s first title win, the throne was left vacated by his successor Dorian Yates the year previous. But it wasn’t predicted for Ronnie Coleman to sit on the throne. In fact, no one foresaw it as at the preceding year’s Mr Olympia- 2007 Mr Olympia where Dorian Yates won his 6th title, Ronnie Coleman was placed 9th. So bodybuilders like Kevin Levrone, Shawn Ray, Nasser El Sonbaty, Paul Dillet & Flex Wheeler who were the runner ups were making waves in the flood of questions like Who is going to take after Dorian Yates, Who’ll be the 1998 Mr Olympia, Who will sit on the throne next!? From 9th place to straight 1st place it was Ronnie Coleman who took after Dorian Yates and tied with Lee Haney in the year 2005 with the most Mr Olympia wins ever.
But he was relentless and tried for the 9th win not once but twice. Unfortunately, in 2006, Jay cutler defeated him and ended his streak. He came back again in the year 2007 trying to add a Sandow more to his tally but this time he was placed 4th and he realised it was a lost dream now and he announced his retirement. Ronnie’s story is of a champion who never lost the will no matter what the circumstances. In the end, he emerged as The King and is idolized by many for being the greatest bodybuilder of all time.
|1998||New York, United States||$110,000|
|1999||Las Vegas, United States||$110,000|
|2000||Las Vegas, United States||$110,000|
|2001||Las Vegas, United States||$110,000|
|2002||Las Vegas, United States||$110,000|
|2003||Las Vegas, United States||$110,000|
|2004||Las Vegas, United States||$120,000|
|2005||Las Vegas, United States||$150,000|
Other bodybuilding titles won by Ronnie Coleman
|1990||NPC Texas Championships|
|1991||World Amateur Championships|
|1995||Canada Pro Cup|
|1996||Canada Pro Cup|
|1997||Grand Prix Russia|
|1998||Night of Champions|
|1998||Grand Prix Finland|
|1998||Toronto Pro Invitational|
|1998||Grand Prix Germany|
|1999||World Pro Championships|
|1999||Grand Prix England|
|2000||World Pro Championships|
|2000||Grand Prix England|
|2000||Mr Brody Langley|
|2001||Arnold Schwarzenegger Classic|
|2001||New Zealand Grand Prix|
|2002||Grand Prix Holland|
|2003||Grand Prix Russia|
|2004||Grand Prix England|
|2004||Grand Prix Holland|
|2004||Grand Prix Russia|
Life after bodybuilding for Ronnie Coleman
Ronnie Coleman retired as a legend in the year 2007. The 15 years of run at the top competitive level of bodybuilding had earned him a name which was cemented and couldn’t be just erased. To cement his name deeper in the fitness industry, Coleman announced his supplement company- Ronnie Coleman Signature Series. He used his famous phrases and his very own nickname for the many supplements. Some of the supplements from his nutritional line are- King Whey, Yeah Buddy pre-workout and Light Weight Baby fat loss support. Such names got more attraction to his brand. His occasional appearances at shows and expos made the spotlights running to him and a amasses a gathering of his fans.
It wasn’t all good for the champion in the years following as his intense training sessions and picking up heavy loads caught up to him eventually in the year 2016 when he had to go through many operations due to problem with his backs. But never did he regret all those years training. He believed his achievements will out weight these small negatives in his life. Now that’s a true champion mindset.
Mr Olympia Logo Image Source- mrolympia.com/