by Ron Harris
The 2012 Olympia Weekend is in the history books, and the athletes of Team Gaspari proudly represented.
A massive congratulations goes out to The Welsh Dragon, James 'Flex' Lewis on being crowned the world's best 212-pound bodybuilder! Flex made his first attempt at the title in 2008, less than a year after turning pro at the British Championships, and finished in fifth place. That was the first year of the 202 (now 212) Showdown at the Mr. Olympia, won by Dave Henry. Henry was absent for two seasons serving the US Air Force in Afghanistan, and his comeback this year seemed to many like a lock on reclaiming his title. Henry did put up a fierce fight, but Flex was simply too much for him to handle. At an all-time high bodyweight of 205 pounds, Flex brought his best-ever package of full muscle bellies, tiny joints, crystal-clear muscle separation, and granite-hard condition. His balance and proportions were an aesthetic masterpiece of muscle, and pundits are already predicting a long reign at the king of the 212's for this humble young man from Tennessee via Wales. He's already been the most popular 212 Pro in the sport for some time, now he's got the title to go with it!
Though in the end the score sheets had him in 15th place, that was no reflection on the tremendous physique Hidetada Yamagishi
brought to the Mr. Olympia stage. With deeply-carved cuts and a classic shape reminiscent of a past era, Hidetada's improvements to his back and arms were evident. It may not have been the placing he wanted, but Hidetada can take pride in knowing he brought his all-time best and with his tremendous drive and work ethic; he'll only get better.
In the Bikini Olympia, Jaime Baird
solidified her position as one of the top pro's in the division with fifth place, her second consecutive year in the top five. This is only her third year as a professional, so expect Jaime to keep climbing up the ranks.
It's also just the third season as a pro for Ava Cowan
, who finished ninth in the Figure Olympia. Showing off a new blonde hairstyle and the same winning smile that's made her the most popular and inspirational woman in IFBB Pro Figure, Ava's many fans will eagerly await her next appearance on stage.
Congratulations to all our Team Gaspari athletes for doing their best and representing at the biggest event in the sport once again!
See more Olympia Expo photos here