About a month ago, at the Dallas or Tampa Pro shows while working with my Flex buddies, I remembered talking about how it didn't matter if I went to the Olympia or not. I was really never interested and in my mind, I had experienced and seen all there was to be seen in bodybuilding. I've been around for quite some time, ya know?
Well, that was the past. I should have never ever said anything about not caring whether I went to the Olympia or not because this has been by far the most unbelievable and amazing experience I've had. Not only did I get to attend, but as most of you already know, I assist Flexonline.com, and Flex magazine is one of the driving forces of this magnificent event.
Despite the amount of work I had on my plate, I got to enjoy the Olympia from backstage and had the honor and privilege to meet most of the athletes competing. It has been truly a blessing. Oh and let's not forget the celebrity sightings!
I got to walk around the expo for only a few minutes but that was fine cuz this girl had on some killer heels that destroyed my big toe. Those were left behind in the trash in my hotel room. LOL.
I did get to sit in the audience for a bit during Sat night's finals and let me just tell you...the Olympia is a one of kind event in the bodybuilding industry. The production alone is incredible...I mean just unbelievable! The stage, the lighting, the monitors all over the arena...everything just makes this event top notch. Now I see why all head people at Flex and Muscle & Fitness Hers were stressed! You just can absolutely not afford to mess this one up!
Moving on...I can briefly give you my personal thoughts on the women competitors.
|Me and my coach IFBB Fakhri Mubarak|
Iris Kyle remains the reign champion in Women's Bodybuilding. I have read several articles suggesting that Iris is unbeatable even when she's not 100%. I did not think this year she was at her very best and I almost thought Yaxeni would have beat her. I loved Yaxeni's shredded physique and overall look the best.
I have become a huge fan of Sarah Hayes and I love her look. I am also her makeup artist so I might have a slightly biased opinion. Sarah did not place and Yaxeni ended up in 3rd place.
I missed the fitness routines and was able to catch them on the webcast via bodybuilding.com prior to writing this, but was sitting in the press pit during the 2 piece physique rounds. One of my favorite physiques was definitely Bethany Cisternino, who finished 6th. If it were on physique alone she'd be top 3. Her routine was dynamic and everything flowed. Oksana finished a well deserved 2nd. Her physique looked softer than I've seen her in the past but her routine was awesome. She exudes fierceness and sexiness in every single one of her moves. She also has a huge fan base. Now another one of the ladies that had a jaw-dropping physique AND routine was 3rd place finisher Tina Durkin. I mean every single transition in her routine flowed beautifully. I've always been a fan of hers. Tanji is just an amazing woman and this year she brought a tighter physique, especially her lower body. I always loved her routines and I was a bit surprised by her 5th place finish but after going over the webcast she just wasn't as energetic as she usually is. That and the ladies that placed ahead of her were that much better this year. Now as I wrote in my preview the one lady who I think will be moving up the ranks even more is Myriam Capes. Did you guys see her routine? Holy cow! Not only that but her physique keeps getting better and better each year. She looked absolutely stunning Saturday night! I also loved her costume and the theme...she truly did look like a little fairy! Adela's routines are just top notch and her strength moves cannot be beat. Simple as that. Her physique is always on point too. The day she decides to retire will be the day I see her losing a Fitness O.
There was rejoice when Erin Stern was crowned Figure Olympia. She looked absolutely phenomenal. Her hair, makeup, and of course, her physique were tighter than ever. From the back her hams and glutes were perfect. Everything just was just tight and her lines and definition were right on. And I really mean it...she was perfect! She was the clear winner from the second she stepped on stage!
Nicole Wilkins looked beautiful as always but you could tell she wasn't being herself. She seemed to be holding a little water. I think Candice Keene looked better from the front than Nicole but Nicole beat her from the back pose. Candice looked her absolute best at the NY Pro and she was a bit smoother here. You can see the call-outs with the 3 of them on this link at about the 7:09 mark. The placings of Heather Dees, Mallory Haldeman and Teresa Anthony confused me a bit. I believe Candice Lewis was also in the 2nd callout. In any case, I thought Teresa looked the tightest out of all of them but I can see why the judges placed Heather and Mallory ahead of her. Teresa seems to lose a lot of muscle when she diets down and looks so much smaller in comparison to the other ladies. Her symmetry is beautiful though! Mallory has a killer view from the side pose.
Ann Titone has one of my favorite physiques and I would have loved to see her in the top callouts.
This was such a large group of women that I have no idea how the judges decide who they like. I have attended quite a few shows and I am still to master the skill of choosing the top 5 or 10. I don't suck at it but damn...my view on who I think should win is sometimes completely off from that of the judges. LOL.
Nathalia Melo, a crowd favorite, finally got her well deserved Bikini O medal. She appeared so much more confident and beautiful on stage...she really did kill it up there this time! Oh can we talk about her booty? I mean DAMN! Nicole was just as beautiful this time around and I'm sure she'll be back next year to reclaim her title. Sonia Gonzales looked way better than her previous shows and I personally would have placed her higher. Both Amanda Latona and Yeshaira Robles looked phenomenal as so did Justine Monro. Click here to check out the call-outs (7:06 mark) I was a little disappointed to not see Marcela Tribin not make the top 10 but after running into her Saturday night she disclosed some things going on in her life that probably prevented her from being at her very best. As a matter of fact I caught her on her way back out to Colombia to see her very ill grandmother, who, she told me as she broke down in tears, is like a mother to her. I am sending prayers and positive energy to her grandmother and to Marcela as well. Great showing and stay strong girl!
Well, being backstage also allowed me to meet some amazing people, including actor Michael Jai White. It was overall one of the most amazing experiences I've ever had. I think all you bodybuilding, fitness, figure and bikini fans should absolutely attend this one of a kind production in our industry. I can only imagine how exciting it would be once the top IFBB Physique Pros hit the stage!
Until next time and love you all!