Sunday, September 28, 2008

Jennifer Gates is the NEW Figure Olympia Champion!!!!!!!!!!!

Behold the queen...the queen of queens. Jennifer Gates, in only her SECOND Olympia appearance, pulled off the biggest win in her career and became the newest Figure Olympia champion! I've been a fan of hers LONG before she became an IFBB pro, and something told me in my gut that she was gonna be a big star. I have that sixth sense about things. Long story short, I couldn't be more proud of Jenn. Second place honors for a second year in a row go to the very beautiful Gina Aliotti. The current Figure International looked like she was gonna be the second woman ever to win both the Arnold and Olympia Figure titles, but that was not meant to be...not this year, at least. Gina is one of those competitors that gets better and better with age (although she seems perfect already). She's gonna be Figure Olympia champion very soon; don't you worry about that. Third place went to someone that flew out of my radar in predictions, as well as many others. I'm talking about Zivile Raudoniene. Yep, shocking isn't it?! Not to those that saw the comparison pics with Jenn and Gina, and those that were at the Olympia. Personally, I think it's cool to see international stars get some love in the IFBB, and with her thrid place finish, we are at the least guaranteed at one person not from the States to be a part of the biggest muscle show in the world. Jenny Lynn, the woman who dominated the figure scene ever since the creation of the sport, placed fourth. Compared to the other ladies, she didn't seem like herself. I wasn't there, so I can't judged. She looked great, but it seemes like the others looked better. She'll be back to try and recapture the title she lost. Mary Lado returned to her old roots and bounced back big time looking incredible to get a fifth place finish. It will be interesting to see if she puts in an Arnold invite and attempts to regain the Figure International title next year from Gina. Rounding out the top six is Sonia Adcock. She has proven time and time again that she has a certain "it" factor that makes her a top figure competitor. Her new bangs and overall new look will definitely put her in the running with Jenn and Gina in the months and years to come.

Here were the predictions I made prior to the show:
  1. Jennifer Gates
  2. Gina Aliotti
  3. Jenny Lynn
  4. Felicia Romero
  5. Mary Lado
  6. Sonia Adcock
And the actual top six:
  1. Jennifer Gates (take that, experts!!)
  2. Gina Aliotti
  3. Zivile Raudoniene
  4. Jenny Lynn
  5. Mary Lado
  6. Sonia Adcock

Sometime this week, I'll give my thoughts on the entire Olympia. Congrats to each competitor who was a part of one unforgettable weekend!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Iris Kyle retains her Ms. Olympia title!

If there's one thing that women's bodybuilding fans should know by now...never bet against Iris at the Olympia. I'll admit; going into this contest, I'd thought she was gonna lose her title, especially after this year's Arnold disaster. But like I said in the Ms. Olympia predictions, a good champion knows how to bounce back from defeat and adversity, and Iris did just that, as she captured her fourth Olympia title and keeping her dominace in the women's bodybuilding division in tact. Betty Adkins qualifed just two weeks ago, yet she found the combination to get the runner-up spot and has put the FBB division on notice. Current Ms. International Champion Yaxeni Oriquen-Garcia placed third and Lisa Aukland placed fourth. Dayana Cadeau found herself in the same spot as current Fitness International Champion Kim Scheideler. After placing in the runner-up position for so long, she found herself BACK some spots, as she ended up with a fifth place finish. Rounding up the top six was Cathy LeFrancois, who had some cool pre-show shots on Siouxcountry's board. Shocker of the night for FBB was that Heather Armbrust, who many viewed to win this year's title before the Olympia began, didn't make top callouts nor the top six. We'll have to wait and see the results to see where she placed.

Here were my predictions for the show:

  1. Heather Armbrust
  2. Dayana Cadeau
  3. Yaxeni Oriquen-Garcia
  4. Iris Kyle
  5. Betty Pariso
  6. Lisa Aukland

Here's the actual top six:

  1. Iris Kyle
  2. Betty Adkins
  3. Yaxeni Oriquen-Garcia
  4. Lisa Aukland
  5. Dayana Cadeau
  6. Cathy LeFrancois

Congrats to the female bodybuilding competitors this year!

Jenny Hendershott Wins the 2008 Fitness Olympia!

In stunning fashion, Jenny Hendershott won her second Fitness Olympia title with her hard physique and amazing routine (for those who were able to see it live and those who were LUCKY to catch the show through the webcast...which I'll discuss AFTER the Olympia). Tracey Greenwood is inching closer and closer to that brass ring, as she took the runner-up spot with one rock hard body and incredbile routine. Kim Scheideler brought one rocking body as always, but moved a step BACK from her ultimate dream instead of forward, as she placed third. Julie Palmer was fourth with her powerful physique and routine. Tanji Johnson placed fifth, and was in great form despite this contest being her only contest this year. And Regiane DaSilva definitely earned the title of "Most Improved Fitness Competitor" as she placed sixth, a far cry from her 13th place finish last year.

Side note: My thoughts and prayers for a speedy recovery go out to Julie Lohre. During the prejudging, she tore her ACL, which prevented her to compete for the finals. Hope you get better soon, girl!

Here were my earlier predictions:

  1. Kim Scheideler
  2. Jenny Hendershott
  3. Tracey Greenwood
  4. Julie Lohre
  5. Julie Palmer
  6. Erin Riley

And the actual top six:

  1. Jenny Hendershott
  2. Tracey Greenwood
  3. Kim Scheidler
  4. Julie Palmer
  5. Tanji Johnson
  6. Regiane DaSilva

Congrats to all the fitness competitors!!!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

My 10 Ten list for the Olympia...PLEASE DON'T KILL ME!!!

I wasn't gonna do this. I was gonna attempt to see what faith has in store for the ladies at the Olympia. But instead, I'm gonna throw myself in the frying pane and list my top ten for the Ms., Fitness, and Figure Olympia. Keep in mind...this is based on what I've seen so far this DON'T THREATEN ME WITH CHUCK NORRRIS BEATING INVITATIONALS, OKAY?!?!?!

Whew...okay...back to reality, C-Ray. Posture...posture....okay, I'm ready. Here's the list:

Ms. Olympia:
  1. Heather Armbrust
  2. Dayana Cadeau
  3. Yaxeni Oriquen-Garcia
  4. Iris Kyle
  5. Betty Pariso
  6. Lisa Aukland
  7. Nicole Ball
  8. Cathy LeFrancois
  9. Debbie Bramwell
  10. Brenda Raganot
Fitness Olympia:
  1. Kim Scheideler
  2. Jenny Hendershott
  3. Tracey Greenwood
  4. Julie Lohre
  5. Julie Palmer
  6. Erin Riley
  7. Tanji Johnson
  8. Heidi Fletcher
  9. Trish Warren
  10. Regaine De Silva

Figure Olympia:
  1. Jennifer Gates
  2. Gina Aliotti
  3. Jenny Lynn
  4. Felicia Romero
  5. Mary Lado
  6. Sonia Adcock
  7. Amy Fry
  8. Jessica Paxson-Putnam
  9. Julie Ann Kulla
  10. Jana Awad
There's my list. Again...please don't kill me...not until after the Olympia. Thank you.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Sharing a TenSpot with...Jennifer Jackson

Jenn Jackson has only been competitng for a couple of years, and already she is among the top stars in the NPC by fanbase. Her physique is killer, but the thing that seems to attract people more then anything else is her eyes. She is arguably the greatest supporter for the FitGems nation, as she is the Figure Moderator on the site. Under the guidance of top IFBB superstar Julie Lohre as well as Jenn's desire to be among the best in the world, you can expect nothing but great things in the future of Miss Jackson.

FitGems: State your name and profession (fitness/figure/female bodybuilding/other).
Jennifer Jackson: My name is Jenn Jackson and I’m a National Level Figure Competitor. However for my real job I’m a GSM for an Automotive Group.

FitGems: How many years have you competed?

Jenn: This is my 2nd year.

FitGems: What are/were your best lifts in the gym (that you are most proud of)?

Jenn: N/A

FitGems: What would you do to make sure the sport of figure got the respect it deserves, despite some people thinking it’s nothing more than NPC/IFBB’s version of a bikini contest as opposed to a physique contest?

Jenn: Well, this may not be the most popular answer.. but it’s mine.. So here it goes. “Some People” are unfortunately becoming more accurate in their thinking that the NPC is leaning more toward “bikini contest” looks. What would I do? I would reward the girls with great physique’s. There is a place for female bodybuilders and it’s in women’s bodybuilding. I have the absolute most respect for those athletes. Truly. Especially the ones with incredible bodies that still maintain femininity. It’s amazing. Now figure to me.. and this is just my 2 cents.. should be the female athlete that isn’t a bodybuilder but also isn’t a bikini model. Somewhat muscular.. yet fit.. with femininity. In regards to the sport of figure as well.. I would like to see more magazines featuring “real world” workouts of figure athletes. Not the photo shoots that show the tiniest tops and shortest shorts with the “all american” girl next door looks.Those are okay, but put some girls really working out… sweating and working hard like they do.. then of course add a couple of “done up” pics. Again, like I said just my 2 cents. I really commend anyone who has the courage to step on stage… everyone works hard and deserves their moment to shine! :-)

FitGems: What (if anything) would you change about your profession?

Jenn: N/A

FitGems: Although it isn’t much, do you like the positive mainstream exposure of female muscle so far?

Jenn: Yes, I think it is getting better all the time. With supporters like doing broadcasts, which is wonderful by the way… maybe some of the tv networks will get with the program. It’s sad they will put those rediculous “eating contests” on national television, yet not televise the Olympia or Arnold.

FitGems: Who do you look up to the most for your inspiration?

Jenn: I really look up to Julie Lohre. She encouraged me to get started in all this and to keep working toward my goal, even when it gets frustrating. “It’s only a matter of time” She is an incredible person in and out of the sport.

FitGems: Your goal is obviously to become a pro one day. What does becoming a pro mean to you?

Jenn: Yes, Definitely!! What I’m looking forward to most about turning pro is the extra space backstage.. Not 150 or so girls, but maybe 60 including fitness. Ha. Kidding.. No not really :-) Honestly, it will mean the world to me. I will have set another goal/high standard for myself and achieved it. The IFBB is truly the best of the best of the best.

FitGems: If there was any celebrity that would be a perfect fit in a fitness/figure/female bodybuilding competition, if giving time to be able to condition themselves?

Jenn: I think Carrie Underwood.. I’m not a huge celebrity follower.. Only the IFBB Pro’s.. :-)

FitGems: What are your future plans in the female muscle industry?

Jenn: To turn pro baby! :-)
Then after that.. a new goal.

Best of luck to you, Jenn. You're gonna be a great pro when the time arrives. :-)

To learn more about Jenn, her website ( will be up very soon. Until then, you can visit the FitGems site to get your Jenn Jackson fix.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Where were you when the world stopped turning...

Today, all flags are at half-mast, and that's for a reason...Today is the seventh anniversary of the attacked that changed America forever. I will never forget exactly where I was when that happened...

I was a freshman in high school, and I was in English class. We were learning some basic English fundamentals when the librarian opened the door with disbelifef in her eyes and told us to turn on the TV and look at the news. No one was prepared for what we were about to see...

First off, we saw one of the Twin Towers burning. At that time, we didn't know what to think. Only a few minutes later, we saw (as it was happening) a plane hitting the second of the Twin Towers. Yes, what this generation thought would never happened, did. America was a victim of a terrorist attack.

Seven years later, we still remember the losses and sacrifices of that day, and it it because of our pride toward this country that we will never forget and we will move on as one nation under God. As a tribute, I posted a video I found on Youtube that shows the many emotions of 9/11/01 and its aftermath. The song is called "That September Day" and the song was done by Alan Jackson.

September 11, 2001...We have not forgotten, and we will never forget.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

2008 Miss Olympia Predictions

From the days of Rachel McLish and Cory Everson, to the domination of Lenda Murray, to the on-going rivalry between Iris Kyle and Dayana Cadeau, women’s bodybuilding has shown that it’s just as big in spirit and support as women’s fitness and figure. Just like in figure, I’ll highlight the five that could (and probably will, if the Arnold this year was any indication) give the champ a run for her money, highlight the champ, and pick a wildcard that could shake up the top six.

Heather Armbrust

No female bodybuilder in the world right now might have legs as powerful as Heather. Melissa Detwiller and Lynn McCrossin might have the best pecs of female bodybuilders, but when it comes to legs, Heather is queen. When she became a pro in 2006, many people thought she would rise to the top fairly quickly. Well, apparently they were right on the money! Last year, in her first year as a pro, she won the Sacramento Pro Heavyweight class and the overall title. Mere weeks later, she competed at the Arnold Classic and placed THRID in her first Arnold. She then followed that up with a great debut at the Olympia, where she placed fifth in that. She will return to the Olympia stage to once again make a statement and will find herself in the top six, possibly top three if she brings it.

Betty Pariso

Betty is entering into the Olympia with a purpose, to hopefully pull off an upset and shock the female muscle world by winning a major championship. Her and her husband head one of the biggest shows of the year (Europa Super Show) Her dedication to the sport and enthusiasm is practically unmatched in more ways than one. She might be over 50, but she can take most women half her age to school, post-secondary education, the works. Her trademark most muscular might freak out some people (it probably has to do with her sticking out her tounge while she does it), but it has seemed to help her more than hurt her. Her age alone has gotta be an inspiration to others out there who don’t think that they can be fit after 50. Will her experience play a factor in her finally breaking the Yaxeni/Dayana/Iris factor and bring her an Olympia title? We shall see, won’t we?!...

Lisa Aukland

Over the years, Lisa has become one of the top stars in female bodybuilding. She’s also one heck of an ambassador. I can recall back in 2006, Inside Edition did a very small but positive and funny segment on female bodybuilding and Lisa was the main person they talked to. She came across as professional and knowledgeable. At the time, she was an office worker and definitely opened my eyes and it let me see that female bodybuilders are more than just gym-based athletes. Some had lives outside the gym. She had developed a lot of mature muscle, yet she has been able to balance her muscularity and femininity in a way that has made her a big name amongst even non-female muscle fans. She will be the mix for the title once again. I don’t see her being out of the title mix anytime soon.

Yaxeni Oriquen

She has only competed once this year, yet she is riding to the Olympia with a ton of momentum in her favor, as she will be arriving in Vegas as the current Ms. International champion. Anytime you walk into the Olympia as Arnold Classic champion regardless of division, you are seen as the top contender, no matter who else is participating…at least, that’s how the muscle media likes to portray who should or shouldn’t be contenders. For those who think I’m attacking Yaxeni, you’re wrong…dead wrong. Yaxeni has more than proved herself to be a force to be reckoned with when it comes to competing for the Ms. Olympia title. As a former champ herself, she knows what it’s like to be at the top of the mountain. Winning is like having your favorite fruit smoothie…once is never enough. Yaxeni has beaten Iris and Dayana this year. Heck, she’s been all the ladies listed here (with the exception of Heather and Nicole). We’ll see if she can pull if off one last time…this time, and the biggest stage of them all.

Dayana Cadeau

I don’t know what this woman has to do to take a major title. She comes in better than the previous contest each and every year, and when it seems like she makes one step forward, she takes two steps back. At this year’s Arnold, she soundly beat Iris, as she was in seventh place. However, she didn’t capture the Ms. International title (That honor went to Yaxeni). Much like Kim in the Fitness Olympia, I bet you my bottom dollar that Dayana is sick and tired of being just short of becoming champion. For the last several years, during the Olympia press conference, she would do a posedown with Iris showing off their leg definition, usually securing her as a top contender. When it comes down to it, bottom line, for Dayana, it won’t be about if she can beat Iris. It will be about if she can beat everyone else in her way as well. All I have to say is that good competitors usually never arrive in second place and usually have the end in mind. Dayana has the Ms. Olympia title in her sights. 2008 could finally be her year to shine.


Iris Kyle has become the top face of women’s bodybuilding today. Not since Lenda Murray has there been such a dominating force in women’s bodybuilding as Iris. I don’t know her secret, but she has seemed to find a way to maintain her dominance over the past few years. 2008, however, may be an entire different tune for her. At this year’s Arnold Classic, she came in looking like a champ. She was in the top callouts. Long story short, she was possibly heading toward a record fourth Ms. International title, which would have made her the winningest Ms. International champion ever. However, when the top six came out during finals for a final posedown to determine the winner, Iris was no where to be seen in the lineup. Huh!?!?! At first, it seemed like Iris was disqualified. But it was later revealed that she placed seventh. There were some noticeable knots on her that indicated possible substance use, and that was probably what did her in. But Iris can’t worry about what happened to her at the Arnold. She must be focused on retaining her Ms. Olympia title. A good champion knows how to bounce back from defeat and adversity. We’ll see what Iris is made of later on this month.

WILDCARD-Nicole Ball

Why did I choose Nicole over the other female bodybuilders to be the wildcard? Post-Arnold, I think she has been the one to make a statement more than any female bodybuilder out there right now. She has placed in the top three in every contest she’s was a part of, and won the Tampa Bay Pro this year as well. BTW, I hope I’m not sounding too corny, but Nicole is CUTE! I would have her as an Olympia spokesperson in a heartbeat. Now, she may not be as big as the top six I picked out, but that may not make any difference come Olympia time. We’ve seen time and time again how one person can change the landscape of this industry, and Nicole looks like she could be one of those people that can change the direction of female bodybuilding. She placed just outside the top six last year. Who knows? If Nicole brings the package that made her a powerhouse to begin with, The O could be looking at a slightly different top-six in the Ms. Olympia contest.

Well…there you have it. Those are my predictions for Fitness, Figure, and Ms. Olympia. Agree or disagree with my predictions? Let me know in the comments below. With that being said, I’ll leave you with this:

“It takes heart and determination to be a great competitor. It takes a great competitor to be a champion.”

Who will fall? Who will stand tall? Who will make history? Who will be history? On September 25-28 in Viva Las Vegas…all will be settled once and for all…at least until next year’s Olympia!

One last thing…thanks to everyone that voted on the Olympia poll. According to the poll, 45% of you said that Iris and Jenny could walk out of Vegas as former champions. We shall soon see.

This month’s poll is…Would you like to see more footage of female muscle contests on TV? Vote in the poll and see the results at the end of the month.