Monday, July 16, 2018

Juliana Malacarne to SIT OUT 2018 Olympia. End of an Era?!

Sunday morning, the bodybuilding world woke up to some massive news: 4x Miss Physique Olympia and inaugural Ms. Physique International Juliana Malacane would not be competing at the 2018 Olympia, meaning we are guaranteed a new champion this year. In our honest opinion, the IFBB might want to be very careful with who they select as the new queen of women's physique as this could go a long way toward how women's physique is looked at for the foreseeable future. In fact, it was this very mindset that actually played a part in why Juliana has decided not to go for a 5th straight title. In fact, in all honesty, we should have seen this coming a few weeks ago if we paid attention to her Instagram nearly a month ago:

That post spoke volumes right there. It's one thing for fans/spectators to say that the look is too much, but when arguably the greatest women's physique competitor of all time says that, that should be a wake-up call for the IFBB. I said SHOULD but as history has shown, it won't be, not even for a first-ballot Hall-of-Famer like Juliana. We mentioned to Juliana on that post that we felt her best look was the Olympia she DIDN'T win: 2013. Her conditioning was pretty good, better than most of the field (including those that placed above her as well) but what made her so awe-inspiring that year was her shape, structure, and overall combination of muscles and curves. Fans were in disbelief of her look as it was crazy yet HEALTHY-LOOKING at the same time. It seemed achievable and attainable. Fans were also in disbelief when she placed 7th, which was bullcrap then and bullcrap now. No disrespect to the competitors, but not all six women that placed about Juliana were better than her that weekend. No way in hell, and we'll take that to the grave. She finally got that win in 2014 and would go on become a 4x Ms. Physique Olympia and would win the inaugural Ms. Physique International title in 2015. I was there for that and it was unreal to see how graceful Juliana's physique was compared to everyone else. There was no question as to why she's not just the Queen of Women's Physique, she IS women's physique, which is why the news of her not competing this year hurts and the reason behind it is disheartening.

Many call this her best Olympia look ever...and she didn't even win this show!
Photo credit: FLEX Online

Rather than explain it, we will post the two Instagram posts that broke the news: Juliana's good friends Justin Miller (@astrongspirit) and Michael D. Bryson (who runs This Is Bodybuilding on Instagram)
Well I'm seeing that chatter online and Juliana @julesfit10 has now given me the go ahead to make the announcement on something I have known for a little while now.....4x Ms Olympia Juliana Malacarne will not be competing in this years Ms Olympia! She has given me many reasons that I find interesting. Juliana is in good health and perfectly capable of competing but is simply choosing not to. I first met Juliana in 2007 when she moved to NY from Brasil and barely spoke any English. I needed a good female trainer at my gym I used to own and despite the obvious language barrier I knew Juliana was an amazing trainer. We became friends and she moved into my house and rented an extra room I had until she got on her feet and got busier at the gym. She eventually built up her clientelle & rented an apartment down the street from my gym where she lived for the next 7 years while working there. Juliana actually introduced me to my wife Rita @ritashantidmt back in 2009. I have many memories of Juliana's career. Starting with her telling me in broken English the first time we met in person "I know one thing, one day I will be Ms. Olympia". I then watched her take LAST callout in 13 straight shows over the next 5 years. I remember Juliana was going to retire in 2012 before WPD came out. She decided to hang on for one more show (2012 NY Pro) to see what would happen. Her mom had a stroke 4 weeks out and was left unable to walk in the hospital. Juliana jumped on a plane for Brasil. Surely I thought the show (and likely her career) was over then...but she hung on. She stayed on her diet and got back here to NY 10 days out and told me "I just want to be successful one time in life and I will win this show for my mom". Well the history book will reflect she did it!! 14 shows into her pro career she finally had a win! Now she is stepping down as the reigning 4x Ms Olympia. The greatest Champion the division has ever seen. A future IFBB Hall Of Fame member. Will she compete again next year? 🤔 Its possible. But for now she is stepping a Champion. Juliana wishing you all the best. Congrats on an amazing career to the most resilient IFBB Pro who ever lived.
A post shared by Justin Miller 🇺🇸 (@astrongspirit) on
The first live IFBB show I ever went to was the 2012 @bevsgym New York Pro. From that moment on FLEX Magazine and Mr. Olympia on just would never be enough. I’ve been blessed to have seen true legends in their primes! Folks like @philheath, @flex_lewis, @oksanagrishina, @jeremy_buendia, and of course the woman who won that 2012 NY Pro WPD Championship...the beautiful @julesfit10. I saw her LIVE as she won 3 consecutive NY Pros, the inaugural Arnold Classic WPD Ms. International and, of course, her 4 consecutive Women’s Physique Olympia Championships. And today, she gave me the honor of being the first large Bodybuilding Media site to announce that she will NOT be competing in the 2018 Olympia. This is NOT a retirement. This is a break. I think she deserves it. In 2014 she beat the inaugural WPD Ms. Olympia, Dana Lin Bailey, in a very decisive manner. She maintained that dominance at the 2015 Arnold Classic. She’s maintained consistent greatness with a different 1st runner up each year. I rank her with the likes of Cory Everson and Lenda Murray as the ultimate in feminine muscle. Some folks have been commenting that they hate to see her go because they fear femininity will leave WPD. THAT ultimately will be in the judges hands. So...WHY???? Well, she is NOT injured. She is healthy and she is happy. She’s grown disinterested in the look of WP. She wanted to soften the look to a healthier one...sort of how the IFBB initially stated the look would be...”conditioned but not striated”...but it was made clear to her that last year’s conditioning would be required this year. It was a look she didn’t like for herself. With little financial rewards(FACT: this 4X Reigning Olympia Champion has no major sponsors, has never had a spread in a major magazine much less a cover...and did I mention NO SPONSORS?!) the fire & passion for competing and representing WP has left her heart at this time. Her passion is placed now in a new happy relationship. She is enjoying life and staying healthy. Some day, somewhere and in some form she MAY compete again. Just not in 2018. Tomorrow will be #juliannamalacarne Day here at #thisisbodybuilding, so STAY TUNED for more!
A post shared by MichaelD.Bryson (@this_is_bodybuilding) on

After reading and seeing both posts (and wiping a few tears...I sure as hell did), how can you blame her. We only have one body and once it's gone, it's gone. We can never get it back. I'm not bringing up their names to prove a point but just these last couple of weeks, we lost IFBB Physique Pro Tracy Hess and IFBB Figure Pro Chelsey Morgenstern due to (as of now) unknown reasons. We have had competitors who lost their lives because they went too far in the industry for the sole purpose of winning a show or hell even winning a pro card! Some competitors are thankfully still with us but have had their lives changed dramatically because of their pursuit of getting that pro win or getting that pro card. VERY FEW PEOPLE make money in this business, and I'm talking pros here. You spend way more than you get back in return. There's an old saying that you get what you put in. bodybuilding, nine times out of ten, that's not the case! Competitors are making GoFundMe accounts for fans to donate so they can actually compete, for Christ's sake. Seriously, folks, that's crazy! And for what?! A plastic trophy? An opportunity at MAYBE some cash that you WON'T be able to keep because you have to pay for suits, supplements, travel, training, food...yeah, I'm not even talking about the actual living essentials such as rent, bills, gas, etc. It's not like Miss America where you are a legit ambassador and show up at events throughout your reign. You don't see the Olympia champions going out getting paid by the IFBB to being fitness ambassadors to children and adults, do you?

I know I went on a rant there, but you all know damn well Juliana Malacarne is more than that. Yes, she is an athlete, one of the best this industry has ever seen, but first and foremost...she's a woman...and as a woman, she wants to continue to live her life AS a woman. That's one big reason why she never wanted to compete as a bodybuilder, as she felt her femininity would be lost in that division. She feels her femininity is gonna get lost in the division that was seemingly made for someone like her as the IFBB is seemingly going away with the original guidelines of women's physique in the first place. In fact, each female division (minus fitness we believe) is having some identity issues, which we will DEFINITELY be discussing sooner than later. So rather than pushing her body to the brink of no-return, Juliana is taking a stand her way and saying, “NOPE” and going out on HER term. Now will she return to the stage next year? We don't know. Is this an official retirement from Juliana? NOT YET. So anyone who says she has retired is flatout LYING. She is merely taking a well-deserved break from it all and training like she wants to and living HOW she wants to.

With Juliana out, the IFBB has a decision to make. To those that are entering the 2018 Olympia Physique Showdown, they will be coming in at what they feel is their best. My hope is that they will come in like what the actual guidelines call for in women's physique, which we will post directly from the NPC News Online website:


  • Symmetry, shape, proportion, muscle tone, poise and beauty flow
  • Physique assessment and comparison will take place during prejudging
Women’s Physique Division has been created to give a platform for women who enjoy weight training, competing, contest preparation. Competitors should display a toned, athletic physique showcasing femininity, muscle tone, beauty/flow of physique.
The following are examples of common terms used in the bodybuilding industry. These words can be helpful to assess what should not be descriptive to the physiques being judged in women’s physique:
Ripped, shredded, peeled, striated, dry, diced, hard, vascular, grainy, massive, thick, dense, etc.
While all types of physiques will be considered when it comes to height, weight, structure, etc. Excessive muscularity should be scored down accordingly.
Women’s physique competitors should have the overall aesthetics and look that is found in figure with a little more overall muscularity.

A post shared by FitGems Nation (@fitgemsnation) on

Based off the critieria from their own website, who should be rewarded? The 2013 Juliana or the 2017 Juliana? We would go with the 2013 Juliana. If the judges choose the 2018 Ms. Physique Olympia based off THEIR OWN ACTUAL JUDGING CRITERIA ON THEIR WEBSITE, in my opinion it will go a long way towards Juliana possibly coming back to compete at least one more time in 2019, as well as others who feel women's physique has went the opposite way of what they were hoping for. The IFBB needs to do a better job in enforcing their own rules and guidelines or the IFBB will be in danger of losing its status at the best. Just because you're the biggest doesn't guarantee you're the best in your field (WWE, looking at you) and just because you're the biggest in your field doesn't mean you can't be threatened or weakened (NFL, NBA...looking at BOTH of you, for different reasons). IFBB, you're in danger of losing one of the greatest athletes you've ever had for good if things don't change. Other top competitors who CAN STILL GO TODAY no longer compete in the IFBB (Monica Brant, Jenny Lynn, Erin Stern, Jennifer Gates, Gina Aliotti, to name a few) for many of the reasons that were brought up here. This trend doesn't have to continue. Things can change for the better, but the IFBB has the be the one to make their move....and it starts at the 2018 Olympia. 

For more on Juliana, follow her on the following links: