by Matt Weik
Roelly Winklaar came off of 2018 with some pep in his step. He did well as the Olympia and overall seemed to be hitting stride with his physique. Then came the Arnold Classic in Columbus, OH where he looked nothing like he did in 2018 (everyone knew he was off). He followed up that lackluster appearance with a showing at the Arnold Classic Australia where he again didn’t look as well as he had in the past. There were some reasons behind him looking somewhat out of shape but can he get it together and be ready for the Olympia?
In Need of a Productive Off-Season
It’s hard to say that Roelly Winklaar didn’t bring it in 2018. I thought it was one of his best years to date and his placings would agree with that statement. Following his fifth-place finish in Ohio and his third-place finish in Australia, many have asked what happened to Roelly as he just seemed “off” in comparison to the package he brought to the stage in 2018.
They are correct in their thinking and Roelly also agreed. Winklaar came out to say that he had knee surgery which hurt his prep for the Arnold Classic’s as well as being sick during his prep. Those who saw his guest posing weeks before Columbus questioned if Roelly Winklaar would even be on stage but he kept his promise and commitment. I believe he went extremely hard the last couple of weeks during his prep and really dehydrated himself to even look the way he did (which wasn’t bad but definitely not a winning physique).
If you saw him in Columbus, he appeared to start cramping up during the show. His right lower abdominal cramped up and started to pop out due to the severe cramp. Those who saw this questioned if he was suffering from a hernia, similar to what Phil Heath suffered from. This wasn’t the case as if you watched him pose before or minutes later the cramp subsided and went back to normal.
Roelly, in my opinion, will have a productive off-season leading up to the Olympia. He has worked extremely hard on his midsection and has actually turned that into one of his strong points. In fact, if you watched him pose in Australia, he hit a vacuum during the show which should have popped everyone’s eyeballs out of their sockets as not only have bodybuilders in general been criticized for their lack of midsection control but Roelly was one of the worst offenders as little as two years ago. He corrected the problem and it shows.
I’m going to go out on a limb and say that Roelly Winklaar will continue to work on his conditioning this off-season to make sure he nails his look going into Las Vegas at the end of the year. He will get with his coaches out in Kuwait and spend his time at Oxygen Gym fine-tuning everything.
What Will Happen at the Olympia?
It’s interesting that Cedric placed ahead of Roelly in Australia – even though I’m a huge fan of Cedric’s physique. With that being said, I don’t see Cedric placing better than Roelly at the Olympia. Olympia is where the freaks come out and Cedric has more of a classical look even though he’s still one of the biggest guys on a bodybuilding stage.
With Phil out this year, Shawn Rhoden will come back to defend his title and it’s going to be a battle if I were a betting man. Will Shawn take home his second Sandow? Not if Bonac, Curry, and Winklaar have anything to say about it.
Both Brandon Curry and William Bonac can destroy any line-up they face but a spot-on Roelly will be hard to beat. When Winklaar comes in full and in shape, he’s downright freaky. He won the People’s Choice at the 2018 Mr. Olympia and it’s hard to say that going into the 2019 Olympia that all eyes aren’t going to be on Roelly and what he’s bringing to Vegas.
If Roelly can come in his best condition to date and can even throw in a vacuum pose, it could be lights out for the line-up. I truly believe that one day Roelly will be taking home a Sandow. Will it be this year? It very well might be. And with it being anyone’s opportunity in the absence of Phil, Roelly (as well as the rest of the competitors) better make this year a major focus if they ever want to be crowned Olympia champion.
I think I can speak for everyone in saying that we all enjoy seeing Roelly on a bodybuilding stage. He’s entertaining, he brings energy, and he’s one of the biggest freaks in any line-up he’s against. I believe it’s safe to say that everyone would be behind Roelly Winklaar if he won the 2019 Olympia – even if it’s close between him and guys like William Bonac and Brandon Curry.
Here’s my (SUPER) early prediction (assuming everyone comes into the Olympia ready to rumble). I think the winner will be Bonac. Roelly will take second, Rhoden third, and Curry fourth. I hate to say it but again this year I don’t see Cedric making the top five. I think it will set up a huge battle in 2020 when (if) Phil comes back and brings his best physique (hopefully the time off will allow him to work on a few areas such as his midsection).