A few weeks ago, the M&S team headed down to Arlington, Texas and met up with the living legend himself, Ronnie Coleman.
The 8x Mr. Olympia winner invited us into his home to reminisce over his 20+ year long professional bodybuilding career.
What better way to do so than by standing in front of the most decorated bodybuilder’s trophy case?
With more professional wins than any other bodybuilder in history, and stories to go along with each trophy, all of you bodybuilding fans out there are in for a treat!
Ronnie has won so many accolades over his career that he couldn’t even fit all of his trophies on the shelves of his giant wall of a trophy case. For the ones he just doesn’t have room for, he keeps them at his mom’s or sister’s houses.
However, Ronnie has the most important ones in his home. Those would be his 8 Sandow trophies, along with their correlated gold medals, that were awarded to him for his 8 Mr. Olympia wins. The case features his trophies in chronological order starting with his 1998 trophy all the way down to his 2005 Mr. Olympia trophy.
As Ronnie recalls, his first Mr. Olympia win was extremely overwhelming. When he started bodybuilding, he never thought in a million years that he would even place in the top 3 of a Mr. Olympia contest, let alone win the whole thing (and continue to do so for nearly a decade!).
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Nothing in his whole life, even to this day, has compared to that overwhelming feeling of winning his first Olympia crown. The remaining trophies that fill his case are simply add-ons to what he was able to accomplish in 1998.
When Ronnie competed, he performed in at least 3 shows every single year including the year’s he competed in Mr. Olympia. After the Olympia, he would do a tour shortly after that contained 2-3 extra shows.
Coleman vs Levrone
Ronnie moves on to discuss his 1997 Russia Grand-Prix trophy, a competition that he claims “started it all”. It was the first show that Ronnie beat Kevin Levrone. As Ronnie remembers, right after the 1997 Olympia, they had 7 shows in 11 days and Kevin won 6 of them. Interested in Kevin’s secret, Ronnie went to Kevin’s hotel room and asked him what his secret was.
After Ronnie asks, Kevin makes a cup of coffee and retrieves a vodka bottle from his hotel’s mini fridge and pours it into the cup of coffee. Afterwards, he tells Ronnie to drink it. Confused, Ronnie asks why. Kevin told Ronnie, that the vodka and coffee was his secret to winning all of his shows. After hearing that, Ronnie drinks the cup of coffee and never loses to Kevin again.
Another cool honor bestowed onto Ronnie is the key to his hometown. After winning his 6th Mr. Olympia, the mayor of Bastrop, Louisiana gave Ronnie the key to the city.
2001 Arnold & Olympia
Ronnie only competed in the Arnold Classic twice, winning 1st place in 2001. The reason being that the Arnold and the Olympia were too close together to compete in both every year. The same year Ronnie won the Arnold, he claims he thought he was dying the night before and day of the Olympia contest.
The night before the 2001 Mr. Olympia contest, Ronnie past out in his hotel room. The morning of the show, Ronnie was preparing to go to the hospital. However, Chad Nicholls (Ronnie’s diet coach) convinced Ronnie that he had trained too hard to give up the title.
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So, instead, Ronnie drank a gallon of water and got ready to go on stage. The end result was yet another 1st place victory for Ronnie Coleman.
Some of the most treasured items in Ronnie’s trophy case are his photos with Flex Wheeler. Flex is someone Ronnie always looked up to. He mentored Ronnie and helped him out a lot in his early bodybuilding days. For Ronnie, competing against Flex was a dream come true.
Finally, Ronnie pulls down a crystal jaguar statue. It was given to him after the 2001 Mr. Olympia contest. When they announced that Ronnie was going to be awarded a jaguar on stage, he thought they were talking about the Jaguar car. Needless to say, he wasn’t happy at all when handed the crystal statue.
After twenty years of training hard and screaming “yeah buddy!” loudly, Ronnie has a collected tons of hardware to be proud of.
He is truly an inspiration to all and a legend in the bodybuilding community.
Stay tuned for next month when Ronnie takes us by the historic Metroflex gym!