Bodybuilders / Controversy · 12 July 2022

Dorian Yates 1997 Olympia Victory

As far as controversial wins in Mr Olympia go, Dorian’s victory in 1997 ranks as one of the more notable ones. I apologise to members if they feel I’m flogging the proverbial dead horse by revisiting this subject, one which many will feel has been done to death already. A fair point as it has been dissected on countless occasions.

However, the attached video may give previously unseen insight to some of our members. It’s Dorian’s take on the event, albeit I’m not sure how unbiased he can be given he’s critiquing himself. He does make some fair points in my opinion, in assessing if he deserved the controversial wins (1994 and 1997) you have to separate the objective and the subjective. This in itself is difficult as bodybuilding is such a subjective sport. Yet taking each individual mandatory pose showed even with ‘melting’ arms Dorian’s wins weren’t as controversial as they first seemed.

I do like Dorian, this may seem heresy for a moderator on a classic bodybuilding group to say but let me explain. Although some will cite Dorian as the bodybuilder who steered the direction of the sport into an area which we lament. He was simply playing the game better than anyone else. He was giving the federation, judges and the public what they wanted.

Dorian’s mindset, work ethic and application are the stuff of legends. He was almost Terminator-like in his approach, a cyborg who just simply would not stop.

For me, his sweet spot was the 1991 Night of Champions although that version wouldn’t have been enough to make him go down in history. The 1993 Olympia version was and that size, condition and shape were enough in every quantifiable analysis, no more was needed neither by Dorian nor any bodybuilder that followed.

Sadly the stage had been set and more was the order of the day. Subsequent quest for insane size and conditioning snowballed beyond anything imaginable.