The Figure Olympia will be entering its sixth year, and there have only been two champions thus far. Davana Medina reigned as champion for the first three years. Davana was going for a fourth title in 2006, but illness forced her to drop out, meaning a new champion would be crowned that weekend. That champ would be Jenny Lynn, who successfully defended her title last year. But that was last year, this is now, and the competition is tougher than anytime in the short history of figure. In this preview, I’ll choose five competitors that could best challenge Jenny (based on past performances from last year’s O ‘til now), highlight the champ, and choose a wildcard competitor (one that could shock some people).
This woman is on everyone’s top three for the Figure Olympia, and this should be of no surprise considering what she has accomplished without reaching the age of 25 yet. She currently reigns as the 2008 Figure International Champion. I know there will never be another Monica Brant, but if I could choose someone who could be the next IFBB icon, it would be Gina. If she keeps this up, she will rank in win after win, photoshoot after photoshoot, recognition after recognition and become arguably THE female face of the entire IFBB, all before the age of 30. I’m not gonna lie, I thought Gina had the Figure O title won last year. Gina is what figure is all about, simple as that. The woman’s got perfect genetics for this sport. She can come hard or soft and still clean house. The way she carries herself on stage, you wouldn’t think that she’s in her early 20s. For the ones that aren’t Gina fans out there (and I’m really baffled at why there would be any body that wouldn’t be a fan of Gina, or at least respect her, assuming there are any out there), you wonder why Gina is held in high regards. She has “it”. I can’t make it any clearer. From this point in her career, the only way to go from here is up.
As much as I love Gina and no disrespect to any other competitor out there competing at the O this year, Jenn is my personal favorite to win the Figure Olympia. She’s another person that I think is on all or most people’s top three list. And after the way she entered the IFBB, who wouldn’t be impressed by this figure enigma? Her rookie year is the stuff of legend. Her passion, determination, and drive are practically unrivaled in the sport, and besides the champ Jenny, Jenn could be the only other woman to match or even surpass Gina bodypart for bodypart, quarter turn for quarter turn. When her and Gina captured the top two spots at the Arnold, everyone thought that it was spot on. Now in only her second Olympia, Jenn will look to do what no mother has done before: win an Olympia title. How big would this win be? Let’s take Tanya Merryman for example. Before the Olympia, she was in the Fitness America Pageant. When she won the title, she not only became the first MOTHER to win a major fitness title, but she became THE face of the promotion for a long time, and still considered the greatest Fitness American champion, ever. Imagine Jenn pulling off such a feat, only on a much bigger stage. “Momma Olympia” may be born in Vegas in September.
Ever since the new figure guidelines have been put to place, one person has been considered the “poster girl” for these new guidelines. And that person is the beautiful Felicia Romero. And why not? She’s only won both contests that she entered in since the guidelines were created and enforced (California Pro and Houston Pro). Being on the cover of Flex Swimsuit 2008 Magazine has further Also she’s been a great spokesperson for the division, by defending the new rules and guidelines in message boards. But like most things “Actions speak louder than words” or in this case…her physique does most of the talking for her. And it has spoken for her quite well over the summer. Last year, she faced Jenny, Gina, and Jenn at the Olympia and fared worse that she had hoped. Something tells me that things are gonna be a tad bit different this time around. Who knows? With those three getting the most attention, Felicia could sneak right past them and score a huge upset. They say that the quiet ones are the ones that you need to watch out for.
Her height ALONE will make her a serious threat to the title. At five foot nine, she will be the tallest competitor in the Figure Olympia, and quite possibly the tallest of ALL the female Olympia competitors period. She won the Pittsburgh Pro this year, the first figure contest under the new guidelines. She also placed third at her first Arnold Classic, only being Gina and Jenn. I don’t know too much about her, but from what I have seen from her, I think she could be a big threat to the Figure Olympia title much sooner rather than later.
In 2006, she became a figure icon when she won the Figure International title, when Jenny had to back out due to sickness. She retain her title in 2007, but placed almost out of the top ten at the Olympia. SAY WHAT?!?! Kinda took me by surprise myself. But from what was said, she didn’t bring her “A” game to the stage because of personal good things, not personally bad things. With her not deciding to defend her Figure International title this year, would the two-time Figure International champion be out of the Olympia. The answer would turn out to be no, and it came in the form of the 2008 Jacksonville Pro. She brought back the old Mary Lado. The one that won her two Figure International titles. The one that placed her in the top six in 2005 and 2006. The one that made her a champion in the first place. If she brings that Mary Lado to the Olympia next month, she could pull a 2008 USA Olympics Men’s Basketball team and become the Redeem Queen of figure.
DEFENDING CHAMPION - Jenny Lynn
This woman is not the face of IFBB figure for nothing. Other than Davana Medina, Jenny Lynn is the first person that pops in your mind when one discusses IFBB figure. So far, she is the only woman to ever win both the Figure International and Figure Olympia titles, and is only a handful of people to win at both the Arnold Classic and the Olympia. Her physique has always been long and slender, with a great balance of muscularity. While she had the Arnold Classic down pat (she was champion for three consecutive years), it was the Olympia that gave her trouble for the longest. She placed third at the first Olympia (the lowest she’s ever placed for a figure contest, for your information) and for two years, she placed runner-up. In 2006, she came looking like a toned Hollywood starlet and finally won the big one. In 2007, she successfully defended her title. However, as good as Jenny is, I don’t see how she’s gonna win this one, despite having the entire year to prepare for this contest. I know she would want to tie Davana’s record of three Figure Olympia titles, but I think that there are others that would want the title more than Jenny wants to retain the title. I could be wrong, though. Jenny could come into the O and blow the competition out of the water and keep the rising youngsters from claiming something each and every figure competitor strives to achieve: Olympia immortality. Jenny better leave it all on the stage to leave Vegas the way she came in. Something tells me that she’s gonna show the world why she’s is figure personified.
WILDCARD - Sonia Adcock
With the high talent that is a part of this year’s Olympia, it was kinda hard to pick a wildcard for figure. After thinking it over for a few minutes, I decided to choose someone who I’ve somewhat criticized quite a bit last year: Sonia Adcock. I think the reason why I gave her some grief is because I’m not used to seeing “thin-like” calves. I guess it’s a pet peeve of mine, I don’t know. But I can say this about her, her upper body is very impressive. Not to mention she has an exotic look about her, which doesn’t hurt her at all. She has placed in the top six in every pro contest she’s entered, but in order for her to keep that streak going, she’s gonna need to bring her “A+” game to the city that never sleeps. There are times that she’s proven me wrong on more than one occasion; I don’t see this year being any different for her.
Ms. Olympia predictions to come shortly…