How town body­builder mus­cled in on Hol­ly­wood star’s achieve­ments

Llanelli Star - - Front Page - Oliver Rod­er­ick @OlRodle­gacy oliver.rod­er­[email protected]­di­awales.co.uk 01792 545522

WALES’S most suc­cess­ful body­builder signed off with a seventh con­sec­u­tive ti­tle at this year’s Mr Olympia.

Not con­tent with match­ing a leg­end’s achieve­ments with his vic­tory in the com­pe­ti­tion last year, James “Flex” Lewis won the 212lb Mr Olympia ti­tle for a seventh time.

When he col­lected his sixth in a row in 2017, he matched the num­ber of con­sec­u­tive wins set by Arnold Sch­warzeneg­ger in the open cat­e­gory, who re­mains the high­est-pro­file win­ner. Now Llanel­li­born Mr Lewis has gone one bet­ter.

The Mr Olympia event, which cel­e­brates body­build­ing in a range of weight classes for both men and women, took place in Las Ve­gas across the week­end.

Mr Lewis saw off com­pe­ti­tion from Derek Lunsford (USA), Ka­mal El­gar­gni (Libya), Ah­mad Ashkanani (Kuwait) and Jose Ray­mond (USA) to take this year’s crown.

The 34-year-old, whose brother and sis­ter are both rugby play­ers, is a su­per­star in the United States, train­ing at his own per­sonal gym and din­ing with pop cul­ture icons such as Hulk Ho­gan.

Un­til re­cently he was a rel­a­tive un­known back home in the UK, but his con­tin­ued suc­cess has brought him to promi­nence. He pock­eted a $40,000 prize fol­low­ing his week­end suc­cess.

Fol­low­ing the event he de­clared his in­ten­tion to re­tire from the 212 weight class and en­ter the open Mr Olympia com­pe­ti­tion next year.

He took to In­sta­gram af­ter his suc­cess to speak of his de­light at yet an­other Mr Olympia win.

“I just want to say thank you to all my fans and fol­low­ers. We done it!!!,” he wrote.

“It’s been a plea­sure be­ing your 212lb cham­pion for seven years. I love this sport so much, it’s all I have known since I was 19. This won’t be the last time you will see me on stage, the fu­ture is bright and full of op­por­tu­nity and I can’t wait to keep open­ing doors for the sport and break­ing bar­ri­ers that many said can’t be done.”

Else­where in the event, Shawn Rho­den won the open Mr Olympia ti­tle, deny­ing fel­low Amer­i­can Phil Heath a record­match­ing eighth win in a row.

Rho­den picked up the largest cash prize in Mr Olympia his­tory in do­ing so – $675,000.

Pic­ture: Wales News Ser­vice

Llanelli body­builder James “Flex” Lewis has won the 212lb Mr Olympia ti­tle for the seventh time.

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