Looking at Mr. Olympia programs in chronological order, you can see not only how the booklets have changed but also how the Olympia itself evolved: from a small men’s contest in a crowded lineup of shows always in New York City in the 1960s to a prestigious, stand-alone men’s contest held in different locations around the globe in the ’80s and ’90s to a Las Vegas fitness celebration with multiple male and female competitions this century. The programs write a history of the Mr. Olympia itself.
1965 Mr. Olympia
September 18, 1965 / New York City
The first Mr. O. Held in conjunction with the Mr. America, Mr. Universe, and Miss Americana. Won by Larry Scott.
For the full story of this contest, check out: The First Mr. Olympia: 1965
1966 Mr. Olympia
September 17, 1966 / New York City
The second Mr. O. Also held in conjunction with the Mr. America, Mr. Universe, and Miss Americana. Also won by Larry Scott.
1973 Mr. Olympia
September 8, 1973 / New York City
The ninth Mr. O and the fourth won by Arnold Schwarzenegger.
1976 Mr. Olympia
September 18, 1976 / Columbus, Ohio
1977 Mr. Olympia
October 1, 1977 / Columbus, Ohio
Also promoted by Schwarzenegger/Lorimer and held with the Mr. International. First Mr. O win for Frank Zane.
1978 Mr. Olympia
September 23, 1978 / Columbus, Ohio
Also promoted by Schwazengger/Lorimer and held with the Mr. International. Also won by Zane.
1979 Mr. Olympia
October 6, 1979 / Columbus, Ohio
Also promoted by Schwarzenegger/Lorimer and held with the Mr. International. Third and final Olympia won by Frank Zane.
1981 Mr. Olympia
October 10, 1981 / Columbus, Ohio
The Olympia returns to Columbus after 1980 was held in Australia. Promoted again by Schwarzengger/Lorimer with the Mr. International. Controversially won by Franco Columbu.
1982 Mr. Olympia
October 1982 / London, England
Only Mr. O held in the U.K. Won by Chris Dickerson.
1983 Mr. Olympia
September 23, 1983 / Munich, Germany
The second and last Olympia held in Germany (the first was 1972). Won by Samir Bannout.
1986 Mr. Olympia
October 11, 1986 / Columbus, Ohio
The sixth and final Olympia held in Columbus promoted by Schwarzenegger/Lorimer. The third Olympia won by Lee Haney. The contest has now been branded: “Joe Weider’s Mr. Olympia.”
1988 Mr. Olympia
September 24 / Los Angeles
Cover art by fantasy artist Boris Vallejo. The only Olympia held in L.A. The fifth Mr. O won by Lee Haney.
1990 Mr. Olympia
September 15, 1990 / Chicago
The only drug-tested Mr. O and the only Olympia held in Chicago. The seventh Mr. O won by Haney.
1991 Mr. Olympia
September 14, 1991 / Orlando, Florida
Held at Walt Disney World. The record-setting eighth and final Mr. O won by Lee Haney.
1993 Mr. Olympia
September 11, 1993 / Atlanta
First of three consecutive Mr. O’s held in Atlanta. For the first time, the Ms. Olympia is featured on (and in) the program, but the contests are still separate. They are staged together the following year. Dorian Yates wins his second Olympia title.
1995 Mr. Olympia
September 9, 1995 / Atlanta
Last Mr. O staged in Atlanta and the fourth won by Yates. As reflected in the program’s cover, the Mr. Olympia is combined with the Ms. Olympia, Master’s Olympia, and first Fitness Olympia as the Olympia Weekend becomes a multifaceted event. A standard format takes form: press conference on Thursday; Ms. O and Masters O on Friday; Fitness O and Mr. O on Saturday; champion seminar on Sunday morning.
1996 Mr. Olympia
September 21, 1996 / Chicago
Second and last Olympia staged in Chicago. Another four-Olympia event. Yates win his fifth Mr. O. Sandow trophy on program cover.
1997 Mr. Olympia
September 20, 1997 / Long Beach, California
Second and last contest held in Southern California. Only the Mr. Olympia and Master’s Olympia are staged together. Final Mr. O won by Yates. The program’s Musclehedz cover cartoon by John Gleneicki.
1999 Mr. Olympia
October 23, 1999 / Las Vegas
First of 21 consecutive Olympias held in Las Vegas. Second Mr. O won by Ronnie Coleman.
2000 Mr. Olympia
October 21, 2000 / Las Vegas
Third Mr. O won by Ronnie Coleman.
2001 Mr. Olympia
October 27, 2001 / Las Vegas
Fourth Mr. O won by Coleman.
2003 Mr. Olympia
October 25, 2003 / Las Vegas
The Ms. Figure Olympia was added to the lineup of contests this year. Coleman won his seventh Mr. O. The program cover features Gunter Schlierkamp after he defeated Coleman at a contest (not the Olympia) the year before.
2004 Mr. Olympia
October 30, 2004 / Las Vegas
The cover promotes the Coleman-Cutler rivalry. Jay Cutler finishes second to Ronnie Coleman for the third time.
2005 Mr. Olympia
October 15, 2005 / Las Vegas
40th anniversary Olympia. Sandow trophy on the cover again. Ronnie Coleman wins his record-tying eighth Mr. O and Cutler is second again.
2006 Mr. Olympia
September 29, 2006 / Las Vegas
Though Coleman is alone on the cover with the line “Will history be made?” as he pursues a record-setting ninth Sandow, Jay Cutler finally defeats him to win the Mr. O.
2007 Mr. Olympia
September 29, 2007 / Las Vegas
The Sandow trophy appears on the cover for the third time. Jay Cutler wins his second Mr. O.
2008 Mr. Olympia
September 27, 2008 / Las Vegas
First of several covers featuring numerous Mr. O contenders. Also highlights new slogan: “Where Legends Are Made.” The 202 Olympia is added to the busy lineup of contests. Dexter Jackson upsets Cutler for the Mr. O title.
For a full report on this contest, check out: The 2008 Mr. Olympia
2009 Mr. Olympia
September 26, 2009 / Las Vegas
Now we have 10 Olympia contenders, male and female, on the cover. Cutler regained his Mr. O title.
2010 Mr. Olympia
September 25, 2010 / Las Vegas
An even busier “Where Legends Are Made” cover. Jay Cutler wins his fourth Mr. O.
2012 Mr. Olympia
September 29, 2012 / Las Vegas
Five Mr. O contenders. The 202 Olympia becomes the 212 Olympia. Phil Heath wins his second Mr. O.
2013 Mr. Olympia
September 28, 2013 / Las Vegas
Third Mr. O win for Heath.
2014 Mr. Olympia
September 20, 2014 / Las Vegas
The 50th Mr. Olympia. Heath wins again.
2017 Mr. Olympia
September 16, 2017 / Las Vegas
Phil Heath wins his seventh Mr. O.
2018 Mr. Olympia
September 15, 2018 / Las Vegas
Fourteen champs on the cover. Shawn Rhoden defeats Heath to become the 14th Olympia.