The Mr. Olympia is widely considered the top bodybuilding competition in the world. It’s held annually by the International Federation of Bodybuilding & Fitness (IFBB) and has been brought to the masses by Arnold Schwarzenegger from his wins in the '70s and '80s.

First held in New York in September 1965 and still running today some 51 years later, the competition has been held around the world over the years, but it seems to have found its permanent home in Las Vegas, where the event has been hosted for the last 17 years.

Contrary to what most people think, Arnold Schwarzenegger doesn’t hold the record for the most wins that record is shared by Lee Haney and Ronnie Coleman, who have each won eight titles. Haney won his titles between 1984 and 1991 and Coleman between 1998 and 2005. (Schwarzenegger won it seven times.)

How much money do Mr. Olympia winners make?

Things have definitely changed over the years at Mr Olympia. Not only are the guys getting bigger but so is the award money  in 1965 Larry Scott received $1000; 10 years later it had risen to $2500. In 1990 it stood at $100,000 and in 2015 Phil Heath received $400,000.

It’s not all about the prize money though  it’s the Olympic games of the bodybuilding world, where winners get maximum exposure, increased sponsorship opportunities and of course bragging rights over everyone else.

What do Mr. Olympia winners do in the offseason?

  • Larry Scott (two-time winner) took his $2000 prize money and retired to focus on his family. He raised five kids and set up a personal training company before passing away in March 2014, having succumbed to Alzheimer's disease at the age of 75.
  • Lee Haney (current most wins, shared with Ronnie Coleman) retired at the age of 31 and used his bodybuilding knowledge to help others by setting up a personal training company. As well as helping regular gym goers, he has been the go-to trainer for professional athletes and coaches and even helped Evander Holyfield defend his two heavyweight titles. At 56 years old, he’s still going strong.
  • Ronnie Coleman (current most wins, shared with Lee Haney) was a serving police officer during most of his wins, although he retired from the force in 2003. His last competition was the 2007 Mr Olympia when he came fourth. He has launched his own range of supplements under the name ‘Ronnie Coleman Signature Series’, which are designed to provide bodybuilders with supplements that work and that he is happy to put his name against. Ronnie has suffered serious back issues, probably from the amount of training he has done, and he has had seven operations in the last nine years. Only recently has he been back in the gym .

The complete list of Mr. Olympia winners

1965 Winners

Larry Scott In Mr. Olympia

Harold Poole in Mr. Olympia 1965



1966 Winners

1967 Winners

1968 Winners

1969 Winners

1971 Winners


1972 Winners

1973 Winners

1974 Winners

1975 Winners

1976 Winners

1977 Winners

1978 Winners

1979 Winners

1980 Winners

1981 Winners

1982 Winners

1983 Winners

1984 Winners

1985 Winners

1986 Winners

1987 Winners

1988 Winners

1989 Winners

1990 Winners

1991 Winners

1992 Winners

1993 Winners

1994 Winners

1995 Winners


1996 Winners

1997 Winners


1998 Winners

1999 Winners

2000 Winners

2001 Winners

2002 Winners

2003 Winners

2004 Winners

2005 Winners

2006 Winners

2007 Winners

2008 Winners

2009 Winners

2010 Winners

2011 Winners

2012 Winners

2013 Winners

2014 Winners

2015 Winners

2016 Winners

Phil Heath 2016

Shawn Rhoden 2016

Dexter Jackson 2016

2017 Winners

  • Phil Heath, 2017 – First Place
  • Image credit: Dan Ray

  • Mamdouh Elssbiay (Big Ramy), 2017 – Second Place
  • Image credit: Dan Ray





About the Author

Reggie Johal

Reggie Johal is the founder of Predator Nutrition, a UK based health and supplement store. Reggie owes much of his extensive strength and fitness knowledge to his former career as a Great Britain American Footballer.