Written by Peter McGough
09 December 2012

Panthera Labs presents coverage of the Masters Olympia 2012 December 7-8.


2012 Masters Olympia Final Report

By Peter McGough


The big winners at the finals of the 2012 Masters Olympia, staged Saturday December 8, were contest victor Dexter Jackson, ace promoter Jarka Lorie Schneider and, by the efforts of this iron lady, the sport of bodybuilding itself.


petermasteroreport2In a pro career that thus far spans 13 years, 61 contests (with 15 wins including the 2008 Olympia) Dexter Jackson won the 2012 Masters Olympia in – improbably, and remarkably, given his longevity – his best shape ever. The 43 year old also becomes the first man to win a Mr. Olympia and a Masters Olympia title. I can’t think of any other bodybuilder who has produced his best form at such a mature age and after more than a decade of contest action under his training belt. Always the possessor of great symmetry and balance, the current version of The Blade seems fuller than ever which causes his skin to be stretched to maximum force revealing even deeper and more dramatic cuts. The look and the physique is all Dexter but props must be given to contest prep advisor (I refrain from using the term guru: that’s someone who sits on a hill in India contemplating his navel) George Farah. Anyway, congrats to Dexter Jackson who in this shape is proving the over 40s division is not necessarily a home for bodybuilders who have seen better days.


Toney Freeman is another hombre who, at 46, seems to defy the calendar. Celebrated as the X-man he is not ready to be the ex-man, but personally I thought that, although he looked terrific at the Friday prejudging, where 50% of the scores are decided, he seemed depleted during the Saturday confirmation round where the remaining points are awarded. My choice for runner-up would have been Ed Nunn, who eventually finished fourth. Nunn’s arms and legs are full and enormous, his waist tight, his thighs carry eye-catching striations, and overall – particularly from the back – he had more going on than Freeman. One of my favorite bodybuilders is Dennis James but I just couldn’t seem him as being the third placed finisher. He obviously worked hard after a two-year layoff but third seemed too generous. Ronny Rockel in fifth has been better and I am still scratching my head as to why throughout the event Troy Alves was not in the mix for a top five or higher placing. This guy has shape, balance, detail, and even got his much-criticized glutes and ham cut. I see on the scorecards he was ninth ……. maybe I’ve been in this game too long. (Which many will agree is my most accurate statement of the weekend.) Seventh placed Darrem Charles was another who deserved better but his posing routine was stunning – as classy as the guy himself.

petermasteroreport3Despite the excellence of Dexter Jackson, my personal star of the weekend was Jarka Lorie Schneider (or Jarka as she is affectionately know in the bodybuilding community) who staged last year’ s Masters World at the same venue. This former competitor has a burning passion for bodybuilding and in particular a desire to celebrate the legends of the sport. During Saturday afternoon she brought together in seminar form a gathering of past legends. The Hall of Fame line-up was: Lee Haney, Ronnie Coleman, Dorian Yates, Lenda Murray, Samir Bannout, Lou Ferrigno, Shawn Ray, Flex Wheeler, Lee Labrada, Vince Taylor and Rich Gaspari. The stories and banter that ensued during this event was one of the most enjoyable bodybuilding experiences of my 40 years plus involvement in this sport.


Its no secret that Jarka lost a packet in promoting last year’s Master World contest and it seem the same will happen with this resurrection of the Masters Olympia. This lady has provided the third biggest payday on the bodybuilding calendar (behind the Olympia and the Arnold), and despite the financial reality this heart of gold hearted Miss has indicated that her zeal and drive to provide a forum for veteran bodybuilders and a venue to celebrate the history of the iron game will ensure that she promotes the Masters Olympia next year.


In this modern world of the “show-me-the-money” bottom line determining every damn thing the whole bodybuilding community – competitors, fans, officialdom – should continue to get behind and support the singular Jarka, whose bold spirit embodies a purity about the sport that echoes the days of yesteryear which she is determined to revere and celebrate. Yes, I love the lady.