In every sport, you have that main person that the fans define as someone special. People like Micheal Jordan, Brett Farve, Kobe Bryant, Trish Stratus, Hulk Hogan, Venus and Serena Williams, Troy Aikman, and others are synonymous with greatness for their field of sports and entertainment. And in the world of female muscle, there may not be a more famous name out there than Monica Brant.
She has done more in her career than most will do in a lifetime, despite only winning one Olympia championship (Fitness Olympia in 1998). She has graced in more fitness magazine covers than I dare to count right now. It it hard to find any fitness or figure competitor that has NOT been influenced by Monica. Without question, Mo is a bonafied future IFBB Hall of Famer.
With that being said, who has what it takes to step up and be an iconic force like Monica? No disrespect to the competitors, but there's only one person I can think of right now that has the ability to not only be a icon, but maybe...just maybe, surpass the legendary status of the Brant one, and she's only in her mid-20s! I'm talking about the one and only Gina Aliotti.
Gina has accomplished so much in such a short amount of time. She became a pro at the age of 21 at the NPC USAs, by winning her class. She has proven to be a force to be reckoned with ever since. She has placed high in every competition she's entered in so far. In her first Olympia (in 2006) and Arnold (in 2007), she placed sixth in both of them. The next go around, she was super-close to winning the Figure Olympia title in 2007 and actually captured the Figure International title in 2008, with an overwhelming unanimous approval by judges AND fans. She has remained in the Figure Olympia title hunt despite the changes made within the IFBB (but that's another story). If the fans has any say in the matter, she would have been Ms. Figure Olympia by now.
Gina is young enough to become the face of the IFBB for years to come, and it won't be done by the IFBB itself. With her ever-growing fan base, and competitors that are looking up to her the way Gina looks up to Monica (and others), they may have no choice but to market the division around her. I have no clue when Monica will hang up the figure suits for good, but when she does, look for Gina to grab that torch and become her own icon. Then someone can write down who's the future Gina Aliotti in the year 2050! :)