Tuesday, December 11, 2012

2013 Arnold Shake-Ups Continue

Earlier this year, we mentioned that Nicole Wilkins would sit out the 2013 Arnold so she could focus on the 2013 Olympia. News has broken out over the last few days that will no doubt change the landscape of the Arnold on the female side of things. Adela Garcia announced on her Facebook page that she would be sitting out the Arnold as well, making room for a new Fitness International Champion, the first since 2010. It has also been mentioned via the popular board Siouxcountry that Iris Kyle and Sonia Gonzales might be sitting out as well. This means all but one champion will NOT be defending her title in 2013, and that's Yaxeni Qriquen, who became Fitness International Champion in 2012 after Iris sat out this year due to an injury. 

Bottom line, this news can be summed up as simple as this: Arnold 2013....Game. Changer.

Although the list hasn't been made public yet, the fact that defending champions and top names are OUT of the 2013 Arnold makes next year's event one of the most-interesting events of 2013 right off the bat. For fitness, Oksana Grishina looks to be the favorite to win her first Fitness International title, but Myriam Capes and Tina Durkin are coming off great years in 2012 as well. For figure, Erin Stern being the defending Figure Olympia champion is an automatic favorite, but Candice Keene, Ava Cowan, and quite possibly Candice Lewis and Camala Rodgriquez will make sure Erin's journey to her first Figure International title won't be an easy one. For bikini, Nathalia Melo will have the current Olympia champions advantage, but Nicole Nagrani will have the former Bikini International advantage, and India Paulino is coming off a great 2012, so expect her to be in the bikini mix. As mentioned earlier, Yaxeni will be the only one to defend her title (unless something changes on that, then the FBB field is DEFINITELY wide-open), but Debi Laszewski has been chopping at the bit waiting to get that big win that many people feel she deserved for quite some time. And Alina Popa has shown she can hang with the top girls as well. 

Which division do you think will have the biggest shake-up at the Arnold? One thing is for sure...interesting times are ahead for the women's side of the sport in 2013. Will the 2013 Arnold be the "passing of the torch"? Time will tell...

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