|(above) Former DU point guard Phil Heath is one of the world's top bodybuilders|
Phil Heath's Website
Its not everyday that a former college basketball player ends up finishing second in the worlds biggest bodybuilding contest. But that's exactly what happened to DU alum and basketball player Phil Heath at the 2010 Mr. Olympia contest.
Nicknamed "The Gift", Heath played basketball for the University of Denver (1998-2002) as a point guard before turning to bodybuilding after college. His hard work paid off when he won the overall title at the 2005 NPC USA Championships and earned the right to compete as an IFBB Pro. "The Gift" immediately made a splash in the IFBB, winning his first two pro events in 2006, which were The Colorado Pro Championships and The New York Pro Championship.
Phil placed fifth at the 2007 Arnold Classic, although fans and critics had him as high as 3rd place. Nonetheless, it qualified him to compete in the 2007 Mr. Olympia contest. Heath decided not to compete at the contest, stating that he needed more time to improve in order to be competitive.
This proved to be a good move, as he ended up winning the 2008 Iron Man show and placed second to Dexter Jackson at the 2008 Arnold Classic. Phil finished 3rd in his Mr. Olympia debut in 2008, and became the first rookie to place in the top 3 since Kevin Levrone in 1992 finishing second and Flex Wheeler in 1993. He was a heavy favorite for the 2009 Mr. Olympia title but placed 5th. Phil caught a stomach virus 24 hours before the Friday pre-judging and caused him to come in to the Olympia's first day roughly 10 pounds lighter than he had planned. Most recently, Phil took second place at the 2010 Mr. Olympia contest, placing second to Jay Cutler.