At the 2001 Mr. Olympia press conference, bodybuilder Shawn Ray and a few others had a few interesting comments to say about the judging at the Olympia. Shawn wanted to see a fresh panel of judges every year at the Mr. Olympia, which should be easy with the assortment of judges that the IFBB has, and also wanted accountability of the judges, which meant that he would like the see the judges' scoring made public. Wayne DeMilia, IFBB head, took care of the second item at last year's Olympia by providing the scoring to the press, and this year, Wayne has taken care of the first item, by bringing in new IFBB judges to judge the 2002 Mr. Olympia.
There will be 12 judges judging the Mr. Olympia, with the three highest, and three lowest votes being tossed out, and one judges score not being used at all, which each round an alternate judges' score is tossed out, the judges not knowing who it will be. This ensures that the judging will be fair and accurate. Also this year, the judges are not allowed to talk to each other during the Mr. Olympia.
Also, this year, out of the 12 judges, nine judges have never judged the Mr. Olympia, while two others have judged it before. Only one judge who was there last year will judge again this year. It appears that Shawn may have received his wish in having a new judging panel up there. This may definately shake up the lineup on those judges who have preconceived notions.
The judges who are first time judges at the Olympia include Linda Wood-Hoyte (from New York); Eric Hillman (from North Carolina); John Tuman (from California); Ron Hashe (from Canada); ary Udit (from Pennsylvania); Axel Bower (from Austria); Benedetto Mondello (from Italy); Andre Bowers (from Australia); and Bev Francis (from Australia - New York).
The judges have have judged before include Peter Uristick (from Slovakia, having judges the O in 1999); Ted Williamson (from California, having judges the O in 1997) and Asher Frig (from Israel, having judged the O in 2001).
The Head Judge is Jim Manion, and the Assistant Head Judges are Jim Rockell, and Sandy Ranalli. They cannot judge, and are there to make sure everything goes smooth.
Of course, as in the case last year, there can be replacements if something occurs.
Also, the judges at the Fitness Olympia, and the Ms. Olympia will differ than these judges.
I welcome all opinions on this matter, as will this new rise of judges work in favor or against some bodybuilders. We shall see...