From King Kamali's web site. King is a controversial competitor, one who made it all the way to the Mr. Olympia in his rookie season as a pro bodybuilder. Loved and hated by many, King has brought up much hype to the sport. Here is King's review of the Mr. Olympia.
Here we go folks… It was a crazy week loaded with controversy, smack talk, finger pointing, yelling, surprises and a lot more behind the scenes shit that no on got to see and hear until now, so lets get started.
First of all I must say that I almost lost my mind when I got to the airport to take off for Vegas…. You have got to be kidding me with these lines! I got jacked so hard going through security that it took me 3 hours to get to my gate!!! Carb. depletion and waiting in line is not a good combination. By the time I got to my gate I was ready to kill somebody… Talk about suffering. The flight was horrendous…. From now on I don’t care how much it is going to cost me I am flying first class… Enough is enough. I had arranged a limo bus to pick me up in Vegas and thank God I did. The driver was cool as shit and took me directly to the grocery store to get my food for the week. He was a big help and made me relax a bit…(Thanks Angelo you are one cool MOFO). Mandalay Bay is the bomb and my room was Phat. I had special reserved a suite and believe me when I say that it was well worth the upgrade. Once I got settled in I started the carb. loading.
Man oh man when I stated pounding the sugar my body started to expand like the Incredible Hulk. Every hour that went by I was getting fuller and harder and dryer…. I love that shit!! For you youngsters out there, here is a good example of what happens when one depletes properly. I really suffered getting body to the state of ketosis and when I finally started carbing back up it worked to perfection. If you do your homework you don’t have to worry about spilling over… You body will just keep getting harder and fuller. As soon as I got a few meals in I called Chad and told him to come on over and check me out. As always the man was stone faced and extended no compliments…. “Ronnie looks like a freak and Nasser is huge. Keep eating and I’ll be back in a few hours to check up on you”…. Yep, 16 weeks of pain and this is what I get when I show the goods….. That’s why I love the man, no respect. I was 245 pounds and ripped to the bone and NOTHING!!!! And you guys wonder why I keep getting better and better every time… He makes me feel like I am not ready and that I have a lot more to do before I can step on stage. So I did exactly what he told me to do, EAT MY FUCKING ASS OFF!!
It was Wednesday and we had our competitors meeting to attend around 10:00 P.M., so off I went. Everyone was pretty much stoned faced and depleted down to nothing but as always you could tell who was suffering and who did their homework. It looked like Dexter was on the money and believe it or not, so was Titus. Both very sucked in and very quiet. I sat next to Ronnie and since we both work with Chad, we both gave each other the look (the look that means we were both sick of eating apple pie filling). Things progressed as always with the usual speeches and usual contest rules and regulations being spilled out for bunch of half dead, carb depleted meatheads. We picked our numbers and once again I was lucky and picked second to last, exactly what I was hoping for. Now here’s the interesting part, Shawn Ray, Chris Cormier and Kevin Leverone were no where to be found and you could tell that Wayne DeMilia was, to put it lightly-pissed. Shawn strolled in with his usual “I’m the greatest thing that ever lives” demeanor and sat in the front row. Chris came in a few minutes later right as the competitors meeting was coming to an end. No one was really surprised, that was just Chris being Chris. The last person to arrive was Kevin and he looked like he was still asleep. He exchanged a few dirty looks with Wayne DeMilia, sat down and started mumbling something to Cormier. Pretty boring, pretty lame and that’s all I have to say about that.
It’s now Thursday the 25th of October, my second day of carb loading and the nasty shit was starting to set in. The crazy separation in the hamstrings and glutes was becoming quite evident. By this time, Chad had made all the rounds and had seen just about everyone that really matters. He informed me that my conditioning was on the money, second only to Ronnie and now I needed to concentrate on filling out. It was getting close to noon and it was now time for what everyone had been waiting for, the Olympia press conference. Folks, let me tell you something, I knew exactly what was going to happen before all the drama went down. It was so obvious to me what I needed to do and that was to stay quiet and let all the haters make fools out of themselves…and it worked to perfection! All this bad boy shit that the magazines have been pumping into everyone’s heads was going to play right into my scheme. Everyone thought I was going to go nuts, yelling and screaming and getting into a war with Shawn and Craig, I DON’T THINK SO! Like I’ve been saying for a long time, I do not think, consider, associate or care about Craig Titus. He is someone that is so predictable that I could of actually written a script of what he would of said and done before this press conference and it would of probably matched 85% to perfection. We sat on opposite sides of the table and I could feel the tension brewing in the air. The press conference started with the normal “the judging sucks”, some questions for the fitness girls and one or two comments to the IFBB president, Wayne DeMilia. Then the inevitable came, some poor schmuck in the audience gets up and asks Titus “what’s up with you and Kamali”? And wouldn’t you know it, Craig lost his fucking mind! I will paraphrase what he said because I’m not quite sure how it was exactly stated but it went sort of something like this: Kamali is disrespectful to the veterans, he has a big mouth, he needs to get his ass kicked….blah blah blah. As expected, the fans were 50/50. The Titus fans started cheering and clapping, probably trying to sucker me into a verbal battle with Titus. Once again, I don’t think so! I stayed calm, cool and kept my composure because I knew that this would set them off even more.
At this point, Wayne turned around and asked me if I had anything to say in rebuttal. I started off by saying that this was a dream come true to be here and I was honored to be on stage with such great athletes. I then said that Titus has gone out of his way to destroy what I worked so hard for and to make my rookie season an absolute nightmare. I was about to continue with my sentence when crazy man jumped right in and once again lost his mind. Telling me to stop trying to be the good guy and acting like I have class, blah blah blah. To put it mildly, he blew his top and the angrier he got, the more the fans started to see the real Titus. I could see the people’s faces in the audience changing from curiosity to damn near astonishment. Here is Kamali, the supposed loud mouth jerk keeping quiet and Titus is the one going ape shit. And wouldn’t you know it, people started to turn. I waited until he was done yelling and screaming and I quietly got right back to where I was cut off and said “like I was saying, …..” Let me tell you something folks, this is when he absolutely lost it. The more I ignored him the angrier he got and he was playing right into my hands, god bless him.
Then a few questions here and there to other athletes and then Mr. Legend in his own mind, Shawn Ray started his IFBB politics/judging/speech. I have to be honest with you guys, the man actually made sense. I agreed with almost everything he had to say. He brought up some good points and represented the athletes exquisitely. Even though his math skills are not up to par, he still made good sense. Somewhere in the middle of his speech, an IFBB pro judge DeShay Ebert got on the microphone and started to battle it out with Shawn. Now I love DeShay to death, she’s always been on my side but this time she fucked up royally. She gave Shawn all the ammunition he needed to make him look like the good guy and reconfirmed all that he had been stating for the last 13 years. DeShay actually said to Shawn that he had not changed in the last ten years and was pretty washed up. Can we say bad move DeShay?! Now here is a person who will be judging him the next day and she already has made up her mind about Shawn without even seeing him on stage. After that it was good night Irene! We had to sit there and listen to Shawn do his schtick.
The rest of the press conference was pretty much what you would expect, the fans praising their idols and the athletes giving thanks for their support. The only other interesting thing was Ronnie Coleman’s apples and oranges speech which by the way will go down in history as the only speech ever made that no one in the English speaking world understood. Ronnie, I love you to death but please, no more apples and for the love of god, no more oranges. Then it was back to the room for more eating. 7pm. rolled around and time for Meet the Olympians madness. I got to meet a lot of my fans and sell a lot of my products and once again without a doubt I have the craziest/loudest and undoubtedly best fans in the world! Friday was pretty much chill with last minute touch ups, pro tanning and water depletion.
Saturday morning and it’s almost time for battle. Chad comes over to my room and gives me a final look over and for the first time in my life I actually saw this man smile. He told me I was dead on and had a good chance of cracking the top ten. Off to pre-judging.
Tensions were high and from the looks of things, almost everyone was in top condition. The word was buzzing around that Cutler looked good, Ronnie was Ronnie and that Nasser was huge. Once everyone started to pump up, it was becoming obvious that this was going to be one hell of an Olympia. Off to the battle! They lined us up and the war was on. The first few call outs were pretty predictable other than Jay Cutler being in the mix. I have to give credit where credit is due, Jay was on. He was big, hard and dry. He deserved to be right in there. As far some of the top names/veterans, I was to say kindly, very surprised. I will get into the details with my competitors review later on so let’s just stick with the callouts. Like I stated in FLEX, my goal was to be compared with Dennis James and Orville Burke. That’s what I was concentrating on but after a few callouts, it was obvious that I had my work cut out for me. I knew I was in prime condition and at 248 lbs the beef was there with the best of them but the judges were seeing things differently. I closed my eyes, took a deep breath and said to myself it was time to show them what the King is all about. I did everything in my power to do whatever it takes to get their attention and as pre-judging went on, it started to work. During the symmetry round, I finally gained some ground and got the callouts I was looking for. I gave it my all and made sure I held nothing back. The callout that I knew was coming finally came and it was what the fans wanted to see; myself, Melvin and Craig. Now here’s a little tidbit that you won’t read in the magazines and will only see here; as Melvin, Craig and I were doing our comparisons, you could hear fans rooting for their favorite athlete on stage. There was a gentlemen in the front row who was yelling positive and encouraging words to me, helping me through my mandatory shots. He was a fan and he was supporting me as any other person would be supporting their favorite. He was not saying anything derogatory towards Melvin or Craig, just supporting me like “looking good King”, “blow it out”, “hit it hard, excellent King” things like that. Suddenly out of no where, I hear this deep angry violent voice come from behind me, aka Craig Titus screaming at this gentlemen in the front row who was cheering me on saying to him to “come up here and stick your head up his ass because you’re half way there anyway.” He said something else to the guy which I don’t quite remember because I was in such a state of shock. Here we are at the Mr. Olympia, battling it out and Titus is screaming at my fans! What the fuck is that??! It was at this point that I knew that this guy was someone that I never ever want to associate myself with. From this point on I will have nothing to say about Craig Titus ever again. I wish him the best of luck in his career and I hope he has a good life. The End, no more, finito! Pre-judging ended and the buzz was that Jay was ahead of Ronnie and that the so called veterans/big names were all off. I caught up with a few people and every single one of them told me that they had me somewhere between 5th and 8th. I was absolutely and totally ecstatic. I got a quick call from Chad, he said everything looked great and to stick to the program because he knows that the night show is my show! He told me to rock the house like only I know how and everything will fall into place.
Finals rolled around and it was time to shine! I was second to last so I had to play the waiting game which I must say sucks more than anything else that happened that day. I hate waiting around and doing nothing. So I sat down in front of the monitor and watched all the routines. Melvin was great as usual, Darrem had a good routine and Ronnie was Ronnie. It was now time for me to do my thing and I was getting hyped. I pumped up, took my position upstairs and waited to be announced. This is when my heart almost exploded. The MC announced my name and I heard a barrage of boo’s. I must had it to Craig and Shawn, they did their job by making me look like the bad guy and for those who did not know me, they reacted the only way they knew how. I looked at the expeditor, he looked at me and said, don’t worry about it just go out and to your thing. I smiled, looked back at him and said, give me 7 minutes and I will show them what I’m all about and I will capture their hearts. And off I went. Everyone was expecting me to come out and do my Terminator thing but this time I had something special in store for the world. I wanted to show everyone what’s inside me and what kind of person I really am and that’s how I won the crowd. I closed my eyes as I reached center stage and did my entire first 2 minutes of my routine with my eyes closed. It was a very emotional and powerful moment for me and it was all done to Phil Collins In the Air Tonight. I went from being booed to having 7000 people staring in dead silence. They could feel the realness and the emotion and there was no denying where I was coming from. Once I captured the crowd, it was then time to rock the house and all I can say folks is I blew the fucking roof off that joint! If you didn’t see it, buy the video and you will see what I’m talking about. When I finished my routine, every single person in that audience, whether they liked me or hated me gave me my props and clapped and cheered and stood to give me my well earned respect. At this point I did not even care where I ended up in the overall placing, in my eyes I did what I had to do and I won the show. The show was coming to an end, they lined us all up and gave us our participation medals and started with the top ten. The first five were given out real quick, six seven and eight came after, the crowd booed because Markus did not make the cut-he is always a crowd favorite. There were two spots left and Dennis got ninth and I was announced as the tenth finalist. Now remember, I was booed when I was first announced and now it was the exact opposite. The crowd went absolutely nuts! I pointed to the sky, thanked god then the audience and judges and headed center stage to meet the other 9 finalists. From my understanding, some interesting things happened when I was announced as one of the finalists. Mike Matarazzo actually clapped for me and amazingly enough, so did Titus—shocker. Shawn Ray rolled his eyes and gave a look of disgust to the judges and so did Kevin Leverone. Now Shawn I can understand because he’s a punk ass bitch and he was in the worst shape of his life and got an early Christmas present. And for all I care, he can go fuck himself and his bald ass head. But Kevin on the other hand threw me off a bit. He was actually pretty nice to me backstage and even said some kind words about my first appearance at the Olympia. (Kevin I don’t know what I did to piss you off and I hope that this actually did not happen because you have and always will be one of my favorite). It was now time to cut it to six and Wayne DeMilia announced me as tenth place. Folks, the place went ape shit! I have not heard so many boo’s in my life before and this time they were directed not to me but towards the judges. Now let me be honest here, I personally thought I was 7th but I’ll take 10th for my first Mr. O! I calmed the crowd down, made sure they understood that I was happy with my placing and thanks the judges for this great honor. The people aren’t stupid, they saw that it was all coming from my heart and I was not faking it so they joined me to celebrate this achievement and they cheered and and clapped louder than I have ever heard before. This was the single most amazing moment I have experienced in my entire life. I want to thank everyone who was there that night and I promise, this is just the beginning. 2002 will be redemption time.
21. Mike Matarazzo: Freaky arms, freaky calves but conditioning was a bit off. I’ve seen Mike come in much sharper and he will need to because structure wise, he has many weak points. Mike is a great guy and I am a big fan and we need more like him in the IFBB.
20. Claude Groulx: Definitely underrated. The man was ripped to the bone and he was thick thick thick. I’m not sure why the judges overlooked him, in my opinion he was at least 6 or 7 spots higher than where they put him. I got a chance to talk to Claude and he’s a genuine guy. I think he should stick with it and keep competing and he will get his just due.
19. Pavol Jablonicky: Pavol has probably one of the thickest upper bodies of all time. Very dense musculature and crazy muscle maturity. His lower body lacks a bit and he is not very aggressive on stage. If he got his wheels a bit bigger and showed a little more emotion, he could do some damage.
18. Darrem Charles: Darrem is a nice guy with good genetics. He looked better in Toronto and needs to add some more size. His posing is second to none and I can honestly say with a few added pounds and sharper condition he would be a real menace.
17. J.D. Dawodu: The fucking freak! He is probably one of the thickest human beings ever. He kind of reminds me of a bigger version of Willie Stalling. J.D. is also underrated. I believe that he is the only human on earth that needs to stop getting thicker and start losing a little size. Once his symmetry comes around a bit, he will do some damage. Oh by the way he is also one of the nicest guys I’ve ever encountered.
16. Tom Prince: Thick, freaky, shredded and good symmetry. In my opinion, Tom should have won the NOC this year. He needs to be more aggressive on stage and be a little more consistent with his conditioning. Tom is a good friend of mine and we talk often. I always tell him that if he were to come in just a bit sharper, he could win any pro show including the Mr. O. Tom, you are one of the good guys!
15. Gunter Schlierkamp: What can I say about Gunter? He is a walking giant. He weighed in at 299lbs for the show, that is freaking amazing! Gunter was at his all time best and as everyone knows, one of the nicest pro’s on the scene. I believe Gunter’s symmetry is what throws him off. I’m not sure what else he can do with his physique but he is dangerous at any show he enters, I wish him the best.
14. Markus Ruhl: Markus reminds me of Dorian Yates, just blobs of muscle on top of muscle. The man is huge and getting better all the time. Markus is very young and has a long career ahead of him and if he gets his conditioning to match his size, he will be a big threat.
13. Vince Taylor: Vince is a legend and one of the best of all time. I have idolized him from day 1 and think that he is a true asset to the sport of bodybuilding. He is the original Terminator and has probably one of the best set of arms and calves in the history of the sport. I think his age is starting to catch up with him and it is starting to show on stage. Vince is a great Masters champion and he will be for years to come.
12. Craig Titus: He was in the best shape of his life and had a great night show routine, I wish him the best of luck.
11. Melvin Anthony: Great genetics, tiny joints, small waist and very dangerous if he comes in in shape. Melvin is a great entertainer and has great stage presence. I’m looking forward to competing against him for years to come. And most importantly, he ain’t no Ho, he a Pro!
10. King Kamali: Do you people really think I’m going to critique myself? I don’t think so!
9. Nasser El Sonbaty: Huge huge huge. This man is scary big with freaky definition. Nasser has a strange physique. If he comes in shredded, it just doesn’t look right. He needs to come in as big as possible to be the great Nasser that we all know and admire. I’m not sure what the judges saw but 9th is very respectable. Nasser, I will always be a fan.
8. Dexter Jackson: Mr. Conditioning. Dexter always comes in in top condition and he improves every outing. He has a great physique and awesome body parts but like I have been saying all along, he will have problems standing next to the mass monsters because he lacks the freaky mass. Always a threat and a cool mofo.
7. Dennis James: Dennis reminds me a lot of Don Long. He looks amazing walking around in the gym and in public and looks absolutely freaky leading up to a show but when he gets up on stage he somehow loses some of that freaky mass. Dennis needs to stop worrying about coming in big and start sharpening things up. If he comes in at 100%, he’s a major threat at any show. He was a bit off and lost a little too much size.
6. Orville Burke: Orville is another monster that seems to lose some flare when he gets on stage. When Orville is standing relaxed, he does not look that impressive but once he poses, the man like no other man before really opens up. Freaky width and very dense. He has a strange structure and his stomach a little distended but I have to give him credit, he was in the best shape of his life.
5. Chris Cormier: Chris is not a human being. He is the only guy I know who can party for 7 days straight, not eat, sleep or drink any fluids and show up at a show and be the second best bodybuilder before. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, if Chris calms down just a bit and concentrates more on his bodybuilding, he would be untouchable. He was off, a bit smooth and just wasn’t himself.
4. Shawn Ray: Unquestionably overrated, smooth, small, the worst I have ever seen him since his first Olympia appearance, grandma posing trunks, legend in his own mind, not one line in his legs and probably the most worn out boring outdated posing routine I have ever seen in my entire life. It’s funny that Shawn was compared to Melvin and I ended up beating Melvin but I was never compared to Shawn. He has a big mouth and he is very disrespectful to the younger athletes. He is definitely on his way out and I have lost all respect for this imbecile. Good luck buddy because I’m on your ass now.
3. Kevin Leverone: The best structure in bodybuilding, great arms, shoulders and overall stage presence but Kevin, buddy what happened to your legs? Kevin used to have one of the best pair of wheels in the history of bodybuilding but not at this show. His color was a little off and he was not at his best but still managed to get 3rd. It will be interesting to see what happens in 2002.
2. Jay Cutler: Jay came in hard, bit and improved his symmetry. He’s a good looking kid, I guess you could say the great white hope. I’m happy for him, I think he deserved to be in 2nd place. He obviously did his homework and came in at his best. Having said that, I think that if Chris, Shawn and Kevin were in top condition, Jay would have been fighting it out for 6th or 7th. Congratulations, I’m looking forward to our battle’s to come. See you in Vegas 2002.
1. Ronnie Coleman: The best way to say this is with this analogy: we are all gorillas, Ronnie is the silver back. The man is a super freak among freaks. He deserved this win and I congratulate him on his victory. Ronnie is a great champion but, he is not invincible. I think he got a big wake up call by losing the muscularity round to Cutler. This was a big lesson for all of us and that is never say never.
To all my fans out there, keep the faith in me and I promise that 2002 will be the year of the King. Stay healthy and God Bless.
King “Terminator” Kamali