Mr. Olympia 2012: Returning Champion Phil Heath Will Defend Title in Vegas

Steven Gerwel@Steve_GerContributor IIISeptember 30, 2012

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 16:  Mr Olympia Phil Heath poses during a media call ahead of the 2012 IFBB Australian Pro Grand Prix XIII on March 16, 2012 in Melbourne, Australia.  (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)
Robert Cianflone/Getty Images

The annual Mr. Olympia competition is an event where world-class bodybuilders compete against one another for the title, which is thought of as one of the most prestigious awards a professional bodybuilder can earn. 

According to, the judges of the event base their decisions on several key factors, including symmetry, muscularity and aesthetics, as defined by the IFBB Guide Book for Judges, Competitors and Organizers

The 2012 contest will take place at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, and will conclude on Sunday, September 30. 

If you are not sure who to keep an eye on, the consensus is Phil Heath. 

The 32-year-old bodybuilder has been a competitor over the last 10 years and was crowned the 2011 Mr. Olympia champion. 

The returning champion will look for a repeat performance in order to take the title home for a second-straight year. 

Only this year, Heath will have to look over his shoulder (if he still can). 

Heath finished in second place during the 2010 competition after losing to Jay Cutler, but Cutler was only the runner-up in 2011 after suffering a bicep injury just weeks before the contest (according to 

A healthy Cutler will now be able to give Heath an honest run for his money. 

And although Cutler won four out of five times between 2006 and 2010, he isn't the only one threatening Heath's title. 

Victor Martinez (fourth place in 2011) and Kai Greene (third place in 2011) will also be part of the competition and are certainly still in the hunt, as is 2008 winner Dexter Jackson. 

Heath has his work cut out for him if he wants to become the first back-to-back winner since Cutler, but he should be considered the favorite going in.