1997 Mr. Olympia Pre-Judging
Friday evening, 9/19/97, 8pm

There was nothing on stage except a lone banner, reading 'Olympia' in bright orange as we waited for the competitors to come out. Around 8pm Friday evening, the lights dimmed and the announcer (Wayne Demilia) called out the athletes. Thirteen of the 'best of the best' athletes came out, determined to be the winner. It was an awesome sight to see them lined up together, side by side. Only one will prevail. The competitors came out in this order.

Order of the Competitors

1) Charles Clairmonte, 2) Kevin Levrone, 3) Milos Sarcev,
4) Chris Cormier, 5) Shawn Ray, 6) Mike Matarazzo
7) Ronnie Coleman, 8) Nasser El Sonbaty, 9) Paul Dillett
10) Jean-Pierre Fux, 11) Mike Francois, 12) Dorian Yates, 13) Lee Priest

One item of note. Flex Wheeler withdrew from the Mr. Olympia Thursday afternoon at the annual press conference. Flex was involved in a car-jacking altercation in which he fought off two thieves, but his arm was wounded, and was in a bandage. He also had some bruises, and needed to go to the hospital. This was the biggest surprise of the evening as Flex was excepted to come in the top three.

Comparative Judging (Round One)

Once all thirteen athletes were on stage, the call out began, This is the call out order in which the judges brought the athletes in groups of three to the front of the stage for comparative purposes. They then proceeded to do quarter turns so that the audience and judges could see them in each direction. The judges were looking for symmetry, muscularity, and the level of conditioning.

1Dorian YatesNasser El SonbatyKevin Levrone
2Nasser El SonbatyPaul DillettKevin Levrone
3Lee PriestShawn RayKevin Levrone
4Jean-Pierre FuxNasser El SonbatyPaul Dillett
5Chris CormierRon ColemanShawn Ray
6Chris CormierRon ColemanMilos Sarcev
7Charles ClairemonteChris CormierMike Matarazzo
8Charles ClairemonteMike FrancoisMike Matarazzo
9Nasser El SonbatyDorian YatesShawn Ray
10Jean-Pierre FuxPaul DillettLee Priest
11Milos SarcevShawn RayLee Priest
12Kevin LevroneDorian YatesJean-Pierre Fux
13Chris CormierJean-Pierre FuxRon Coleman
14Kevin LevroneShawn Ray
15Paul DillettNasser El Sonbaty
16Jean-Pierre FuxLee PriestChris Cormier
17Jean-Pierre FuxRon ColemanChris Cormier
18Mike FrancoisCharles ClairmonteMike Matarazzo
19Nasser El SonbatyDorian YatesPaul Dillett
20Nasser El SonbatyShawn RayPaul Dillett
20Dorian YatesShawn RayKevin Levrone

Individual Posing Routines (Round 2)

In this round, each bodybuilder is brought out by himself, and is asked to display each of the compulsory poses which are 'front double biceps, rear double biceps, lay spread from the front, lat spread from the rear, side triceps, side chest, and ab & thigh.'

Comparative Judging (Round Two)

The final call outs of the evening, so that the judges can complete their judging.

1Nasser El SonbatyDorian YatesPaul Dillett
2Lee PriestShawn RayPaul Dillett
3Lee PriestChris CormierKevin Levrone
4Chris CormierKevin LevroneJean-Pierre Fux
5Chris CormierRon ColemanJean-Pierre Fux
6Shawn RayRon ColemanLee Priest
7Shawn RayKevin LevroneLee Priest
8Shawn RayPaul DillettLee Priest
9Milos SarcevJean-Pierre FuxChris Cormier
10Mike MatarazzoCharles ClairmonteMike Francois
11Kevin LevroneLee PriestPaul Dillett
12Jean-Pierre FuxKevin LevroneChris Cormier
13Jean-Pierre FuxMilos SarcevChris Cormier
14Nasser El SonbatyDorian Yates
15Nasser El SonbatyShawn RayDorian Yates
16Paul DillettShawn RayLee Priest
17Kevin LevroneShawn RayLee Priest

End of Prejudging

Prejudging was completed after the final call outs, with rounds three and four to be decided the next evening.