Thursday, September 13, 2018

2018 Olympia Predictions

It's here. The Olympia has arrived!
Credit to the original owner

Super Bowl.
NBA Finals.
Stanley Cup Finals.
World Series.

You haven't "made it" until you have competed in the biggest event of your profession. This weekend, the best physique athletes in the world compete in the Super Bowl of bodybuilding, The Olympia. Usually people have a good idea of who exactly will take home the titles but this year, there is a lot of mystery, especially with Oksana Grishina retiring from competing in fitness and Juliana Malacarne not defending her title this year. While this hasn't been brought up more than it has, but Nicole Wilkins for the first time in years will NOT be stepping on stage as well. Regaine Da Silva, a top fitness competitor, is also not competing at the Olympia this year.

Women's Physique Olympia
The world was shocked when Juliana Malacarne, arguably the greatest women's physique competitor of all time, decided a few weeks ago that she would not be defending her title at the Olympia, meaning we are guaranteed a new champion. Her reasons for not competing are very respectable, and as we mentioned, the direction of this division will be decided by who will walk away with the title this weekend. As of now, it seems to look like two women are the front-runners for becoming the next Ms. Physique Olympia: Shanique Grant and Natalia Coelho. Shanique will be entering her first Olympia, but this is her third time qualifying for the event. She was set to compete in 2016 but thugs not only cost her to be on the shelf for a while, but were close to ending her life. She also qualified to compete last year but she had to step out due to eye issues, thus delaying her Olympia debut. Now after winning this year's Physique International and no other obstacles in her way, she is set to make her much-anticipated Olympia debut and a huge favorite to win the biggest title in the industry. Many say it's already won...and it would be true, if Natalia wasn't competing. Natalia, like Shanique, is a competitor that has no equal. This will be her third Olympia but her first as a women's physique competitor. Mere weeks after competing at the Olympia in figure, she decided to do women's physique (with no training specifically for the division) and SMOKED the competition on the word go, qualifying her for this year's Physique Olympia event. In fact, the only contest she lost as a women's physique competitor thus far has been when she faced Shanique at the Physique International earlier this year (she placed 2nd in a close race). I'll be honest with you all, there are two showdowns here: Shanique vs Natalia for who will be the next champ and who will be runner-up, and everyone else fighting for the rest of the spots. The rest of the field is definitely not bad, it's just that Shanique and Natalia are just too damn good right now, and they have yet to reach their peak as competitors. PONDER ON THAT.

1. Shanique Grant
2. Natalia Coelho
(You can easily flip these two. That's how close it will be)
3. Jennifer Taylor
4. Michalea Aycock
5. Melissa Pearo
6. Autumn Swansen
DARK HORSE: Penpraghai Tiangngok

Fitness Olympia
This is one division where, to me, there is no ONE clear-cut favorite at all, as Oksana has retired from competing. First, you got Myriam Capes, who will be entering her 10th Olympia (yes her TENTH appearance at the big one!) and will be looking to secure her spot at the best fitness competitor on the planet. She has already secured her spot at the best Canadian fitness competitor of all time with over 40 shows (which includes multiple Arnolds and Olympias) but I think she would want the Best in the World title just a bit more. Then you have Bethany Wagner, who has one of the best physiques in the fitness division as well some very entertaining routines. Ariel Khadr is considered a prodigy who has honed her physique to match (and at times surpass) her more-experienced competitors and her routines have been the highlight of many shows, and she plans on unveiling a new one this year that I'm pretty sure will steal the show, if her past routines are any indication. Jenny Worth will be returning to the Olympia stage for the first time since 2003, and she is looking better than ever before. Over the last couple of years, she has shown that she's still got it, and how big will this be to see her return to the biggest stage in the industry in nearly FIFTEEN YEARS and win it?! Kate Errington shocked the world earlier this year by coming out of nowhere and placing 2nd at the Fitness International and following that up with winning the Arnold Australia Fitness title. And speaking of the Fitness International...what about Whitney Freaking Jones, ladies and gentleman?! She won the Fitness International title practically on one leg (torn ACL/MCL) after coming back from neck fusion surgery. If you don't have her as a threat, you're crazy. The fact that someone is about to win their first Fitness Olympia title this year is gonna make the fitness division must-see this weekend. Hold on to your hats, folks, and get ready to see why competitive fitness is more alive than ever before.

1. Myriam Capes
2. Whitney Jones
3. Kate Errington
4. Bethany Wagner
5. Ariel Khadr
6. Jennifer Worth
DARK HORSE: Missy Farrell

Figure Olympia
For the last couple of years, this division has been run by three women: Candice Lewis-Carter, Latorya Watts, and the current champion Cydney Gillon. This year, things are gonna be significantly different as Latorya will be at the Olympia but she will not be competing due to medical issues. She is hoping to return to the stage at some point next year. Also not competing is 4x Figure Olympia Champion Nicole Wilkins, who decided to take the entire year off of competing on stage to focus on competing in triathlons. One would assume that it will be a two-person battle between current champion Cydney and Candice, who many consider to the best to not (as of yet) win the biggest championship in pro figure. But Heather Dees MIGHT have something to say about that. Heather has come into her own over the last couple of years and has been the only woman to currently give the three ladies a run for their money. From what I have seen, I definitely see a top three finish for Heather. Ivana Ivusic is another one who is coming into her own as a competitor and could be a force to be reckoned with this weekend. Bojana (your choice for Figure Competitor of the Year) has impeccable shape and will fighting for a top 5 spot. Two newcomers I'm definitely think will turn some heads at the Olympia will be Alexia Sullivan and Felisha Livezey. Those two women have legs for days with some of the best conditioning, shape, and size I've seen on figure competitor in quite some time barring Tina Nguyen(Another one being Stacy Fujarski, who I predict will step on the Olympia stage sometime next year). And it we truly want to focus on shape, I feel Wendy Fortino SHOULD be in the top ten, but I'm not too sure how her lack of size (in comparison of most competitors) will pan out on the sport's biggest stage.

1. Cydney Gillon
2. Candice Lewis-Carter
3. Heather Dees
4. Bojana Vasiljevic
5. Ivana Ivusic
6. Maria Baeza Diaz
DARK HORSE: Alexia Sullivan

Bikini Olympia
Angelica Teixeria is one of the best young athletes in the bikini division and will look to repeat as champion this weekend. Everyone that placed in the top 5 last yeat will be back to do better than they did with Angelica being the exception, as she wants to leave Vegas as a two-time champion. But two returning competitors are going to give all five of these ladies a run for their money. First up, India Paulino. After missing the Olympia stage last year due to motherhood, she has returned right where she left off, being a top star in the bikini scene and looking to win her first-ever Bikini Olympia title. Also returning is arguably THE greatest bikini competitor of all time, Ashley Kaltwasser. A 3x Bikini Olympia, she returned to the stage after taking some time off last year and is more dominant than ever before, winning all her shows that she entered in this year. While Angelica is an amazing competitor, with how India and Ashley have been able to return better than they were before, Angelica has got to be at her all-time best if she is to retain her title this weekend...and even then, I'm not sure it will be enough to stop them.

1. Ashley Kaltwasser
2. Angelica Teixeria
3. India Paulino
4. Jennifer Ronzitti
5. Romina Basualdo
6. Narmin Assria
DARK HORSE: Stacy McCloud

So there you have it, my predictions for what I think will go down this weekend at the biggest show of the year for this industry. The way things have went down this year, there's a good chance that my predictions will look like garbage compared to the actual results, but honestly, I wouldn't mind that one bit. Unpredictability in life, especially in this industry, is a good and necessary thing. Competition is a great thing. And with at the very least two new champions being crowned, new stars making their debuts, and returning stars aiming to return to top form, we might be in for one of the most exciting and thrilling Olympia weekends in recent memory, at least on the female side of things. We at FitGems Nation wish every single competitor the best of luck and hope all of them bring their A-game!

This year iHerb will be sponsoring the Olympia webcast, and like it's been for the last several years, it's FREE to watch! Go to for the webcast and times to watch the events. To see the list of everyone competing, go to