Would you believe that promoter Emilio Martinez felt that my voice over the livestream would be something that people might actually want to listen to? So, for 12 straight hours, that’s exactly what I did. I would like to firstly apologize for my joke, however, regarding how open pro competitor James Bondi clearly had a “license to squat.” I think using that one four times was a tad excessive. Three times? Fine, but four? I’m absolutely not sorry for my excitement though when certain competitors placed well or, like when Nathan De asha took the open mens and, well, I completely lost my suave, cool, calm demeanor. I can’t help it, I’m afraid, for when you are right in the heart of events quite this amazing – and seeing the very best-of-the-best battling it out on stage for those last, precious few remaining Olympia qualification spots, it’s tense, it’s intense and it pulls you tightly into its bosom, deep. So, aside from the Arnold now in Columbus, Ohio, we are hurtling towards what I predict will be one of the most thrilling Olympias of all time. Olympia promoter Dan Solomon and his team have been working hard all year to bring us something extra special this October 7th-10th, so if you think last year’s was great – then, well, you ain’t seen nothing yet.
De Asha Is BACK!
Boy, does it feel good writing that. With 2020 being such a disastrous year for UK’s undisputed numero uno open pro Nathan De Asha, we fans all yearned for Nathan to return to the stage. I was there when Nathan was winning everything as a junior back in 2007, and I was there when, in 2014, at a stage weight of 99kg (217.8 pounds, to make it down to the under 100kg heavyweight division at the British Championships), Nathan won his class, the overall (beating super-heavyweight winner James Hollingshead) and the IFBB pro card. I was also there in 2016 at the UK Bodypower Pro in Birmingham, sat next to my good friend Ronnie Coleman (yeah buddy) when Nathan was to make his pro debut, coming a too-close-for-comfort second place to the Beast himself, Roelly Winklaar, who that year looked like a real-life Mr. Photoshop when I saw with my own eyes his added size, but now with a waist that was so much smaller than before, it actually defied belief (rubs eyes). And, we all saw Nathan’s placings rise at the Mr. Olympia. 12th in 2016 in his rookie year, seventh the year later in 2017 (had him swapped with Shawn Rhoden for fifth though), and we all witnessed online and in pictures the whopping six pro wins. Then, of course, the dreaded, dastardly 2020 happened and despite prepping up until the very last minute, Nathan had to withdraw from both the Arnold Classic in March and the Olympia nine months later. Most of 2021 wasn’t exactly sunshine and rainbows for Nathan either, keeping his gym open during the pandemic, he’d be forgiven for being even slightly distracted from his competitive goals. But that’s the thing, it seems he wasn’t, if his recent smash win in Alicante over Roelly Winklaar was anything to go on. Now here’s where it gets even more crazy; the win for Nathan was on the back of – get this – a four-week prep. In a message he sent to me, Nathan stated, “100% started my diet 8th July when I got to Kuwait, Giles. Started cleaning up my diet, less kebabs etc 2 weeks prior bro.” When I quizzed about the gameplay for the Arnold UK (held one week before the Olympia) he replied: “Just gotta keep fighting. We focused on size yesterday (Spain), see what we needed for the Olympia and try to outsize Roelly. We’ll get sharper for the Arnold. And bigger.” So there you have it, it’s obvious, isn’t it? Nathan De Asha obviously has alien DNA. It’s the only logical and reasonable explanation. Four-week diet/ prep and beats everyone in Alicante, including Roelly? Has to be.
The $64 Million Question …
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