Friday, 19 September 2014

Ms Olympia: Posedown!

We thought the best way to bring our Ms Olympia countdown to a climax was to feature the climactic moment of the contest itself (or any contest for that matter - any contest with more than one competitor, anyway!) Yes, it's time to pose down!

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OLYMPIA STYLE!

The primest exhibition of female muscle meat at its most primal and joyous moment...

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The contest as a contest is over, and you've all finished in the top six anyway... Now whip that crowd into one final frenzy as your glorious muscular body transcends its exhaustion and reveals all of its stunning beauty!!! (Or at least that's how Swell might put it if he was ever in charge of the MCing at a female bodybuilding show!!!)

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Where the hell do you LOOK if you are in the audience? It's hard enough taking it all in even when you can replay the video clip over and over and over and over and over. Being there must bring on some kind of sthenolagniac overdose or something.

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And while there must be more than a few brethren in the audience experiencing some kind of female muscle lovin' nirvana, there always appears to be bucket loads of female muscle ecstasy pouring out of the competitors - of any year, or indeed, any ERA...




Yes, Rachel, YESSSSS!

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It's one big female muscle love-fest up there. All sorts of mutual muscle admiration kicks in, and, easily my favourite bit - true posedown GOLD - is when the admiration spills over into actual touching up, into actual on stage MUSCLE WORSHIP!

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Who will be posing down at the 2014 Ms Olympia? Only one way to find out...

So, wherever you are, work out the time difference between yourself and Las Vegas (we're 8 hours ahead here in the UK), and get yourself comfy and organised. The live webcast on Bodybuilding.com begins 2.30am on Saturday for the Ms Olympia finals in the UK - finess and bikini finals are also scheduled for the same evening.




And FMS will be having a little break next week (watching the re-runs of the webcast perhaps!) but we will be back and posting again on Saturday 27th. Have fun now!

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Thursday, 18 September 2014

Ms Olympia 2014: The Class of '13

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Two of the women making their Ms Olympia debuts tomorrow were, this time last year, barely on the FMS radar. Obviously, this had more to do with the failings of the radar than anything else, but in 2014 they have made such a big noise in the world of IFBB pro female bodybuilding that even our rusty old radar (not to mention our rusty old radar operator) couldn't fail to notice Margie Martin and Alana Shipp.

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Both Margie and Alana gained their pro cards last year. In June Margie beat Annie Sheehan and Victoria Dominguez to win the heavyweight title at the NPC USAs, and then saw off the challenge of a certain Shannon Courtney to claim the overall title. After winning a three-woman middleweight class at the NPC Nationals in November, Alana was awarded her pro card despite losing out in the overall posedown to one of the women Margie had beaten in Las Vegas, Victoria Dominguez.

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Their qualities were noted at the time (not by FMS, smack wrist smack wrist) but they were noted. Only eventual runner-up Anne Sheehan mounted a serious challenge and the final tallies showed Martin scored a unanimous win, noted Steve Wennerstrom in his report from the 2013 USAs, admitting that he was more than a little excited at the prospect of following Margie's progress as a pro bodybuilder. She has blossomed [from a 2011 physique competitor] into a very good heavyweight with enviable muscle shapes and bodylines on her 5'5" [1.65m] frame, he added.

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And Wennerstrom's appraisal of Alana Shipp at the Nationals was even more effusive. Some might say it's easy to stand out in a group of three competitors in a bodybuilding line-up, but in the case of Alana Shipp it may not have made much difference what the size of the middleweight class was considering her overall physical qualities, he wrote, before going on to list those qualities in no little detail.

Dynamite detail in her back double biceps poses, equally impressive separation in her frontal quads, 8-pack abs, and gluteal/hamstring tie-ins to further prove her head-to-toe completeness... When Steve Wennerstrom starts getting carried away with the descriptions, you know he thinks that he's witnessed someone special.

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And we didn't have to wait long to see that The Sage had predicted correctly (yet again). By the end of the frantic first eight days of FBB pro competition this year that included the Toronto Pro and the new Omaha Pro show, both Margie and Alana had enough qualifying points to be able to book their tickets to Vegas months in advance.

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In Toronto they made their pro debuts. Alana's razor-sharp conditioning gained her second place behind Simone Oliveira and ahead of - as predicted by Steve Wennerstrom - much much bigger women, including Margie, who was impressive enough in fourth. The order was all but reversed in Omaha the following week - Margie was runner-up this time (to Anne Freitas), while the judges placed Alana fifth.

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No 20-year Christine Envall-like wait for Margie and Alana, then. Just two pro outings each and they were bound for the biggest show of all. Their rise through the amateur ranks had been swift enough, their transition from debutant pros to elite Olympians has been even more rapid. Both are ex-marines, both mothers (Alana has two children, Margie four). Backstage snaps suggest they share something of a bond, perhaps due to shared experience before and after their competitive careers began.

I can't help thinking that if either gets a decent placing tomorrow, the other will too!


MARGIE MARTIN

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California; 35 years old

On FacebookInstagram (recommended - she's hilarious) and previously on FMS

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Did you know? Margie has ALWAYS wanted to be a bodybuilder (since I was a little girl, she says), and apparently accosted serial Mr Olympia Lee Haney at church when she was 12 to ask for his advice. Her role model now is FMS heartthrob Juanita Blaino because, according to Margie, she has the most beautiful physique.

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ALANA SHIPP

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Born in Barbados to Guyanese parents, moved to New York aged 11; currently living in Israel (her husband is a diplomat at the US Embassy there); 31 years old (I think)

On Facebook, Instagram, her own website and previously on FMS

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Did you know? Alana has only been training since 2011, when she went to the gym hoping to get into better shape for a Marine Corps ball! I went from being that girl who felt out of place in the gym (especially in the weights section) to becoming completely at ease there, she says. I enjoy the process of sculpting my body... the better I looked, the better I wanted to look, which drives me to work even harder.

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It's almost time...

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Treasures from the Archive: Ms Olympia Memories: Part II Moments

On Monday, FMS brought you the Ms Olympia and the Ms Olympians as seen through my teenage eyes - The Magazine Years as I like to call them. Today, it's more like The Digital Years - selections from the various archives of images I have from the Ms Olympia from the time of the dial-up connection until last year's competition.

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But as long ago as the dial-up was (and it really FEELS long ago), one thing has remained constant - Iris Kyle winning the damn thing. The runner-up may have changed over time, the champ most definitely has not. Since Yaxeni's sole Ms Olympia victory in 2005, Iris has won an almost unimaginable eight titles in a row.

Who would bet against another Iris win? Every year you read people predict this will be the year when The Eternal Bride is finally left at the altar (you will let me know if I stretch this metaphor too far, won't you?!) and every year Iris goes home with the biggest medal. If 2014 sees a repeat of Iris 1st and Alina 2nd, it will be the THIRD time Iris has had the same runner-up in two consecutive years. Dayana 2006-7 and Yaxeni 2010-11 will have Alina 2013-14 to share 'I lost to Iris twice in a row' stories with.

Ladies & Gentlemen, I give you The BRIDESMAIDS...

DAYANA CADEAU 2006 and 2007

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BETTY VIANA 2008, HEATHER POLICKY 2009

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YAXENI ORIQUEN 2010 and 2011

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DEBI LASZEWSKI 2012, ALINA POPA 2013

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Funnily enough though, Iris Kyle's very first overall victory (2004) was pre-dated by her finishing 2nd twice in a row (once in the heavyweight class, once overall) to Lenda Murray. Cory Everson's first win in 1984 was over a previous (though not the previous) Ms Olympia, Rachel McLish. Sooner or later the guard will change.

But just because you come 2nd to Iris, it doesn't necessarily mean you can't upstage her at some point during the Olympia weekend, and the moment Dayana Cadeau did so before the show in 2007 provides us with our next Ms Olympia 'moment'.

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Now I can only speculate as to why Dayana started exposing herself. It may have been an attempt to psyche Iris out, or to impress the judges before the show - to get her body into their heads as a potential winner. Perhaps, and again I am only speculating here, Dayana just couldn't wait for the show, that she felt so incredibly turned on by herself that she just HAD to give Iris, the judges, the audience, indeed EVERYONE in attendance a right good gander at what was under those clothes. Every hard inch...

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But of course I am just speculating. And if I were to say what I thought Iris might have been saying to her, or what the lady who appears in the final photo of the series was saying/doing ('Put it away'? 'Let me touch'? 'Take it all off you GODDESS!'???) then once again, it would be pure speculation and nothing more than that...

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I think that's quite enough speculation for now. A return to certainty is possibly the only thing that can follow Dayana's impromptu strip, and if there was a nailed-on certainty at the Ms Olympia other than the fact that Iris Kyle was going to win, it was that if Betty Pariso was in the line-up (2001, 2003-9), whatever her hair colour or outfit (or thing coming out the top of her head) in any given year, at some stage - or rather at the climax - of her routine, THIS was guaranteed to happen...

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And we move on to something that has struck me while browsing the old Olympia archive, namely how few appearances some of the female muscle brethren's favourites actually made. Take, for example, my old friend Sarah Dunlap (see Image Removed Copyright Violation), who has just the ONE. Dena Westerfield? How many times do you think the wonder of Dena graced the Olympia stage? I'll tell you: ONCE. And Colette Nelson also has just the single Olympia (2006) on her CV as well. Our featured 2009 bridesmaid Heather Policky? Well, Heather has (so far) just THREE.

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Kind of puts the longevity of Iris, Yaxeni, Debi Laszewski, and, say, Cathy Le François (6 Ms Olympias over a 13-year period) into real perspective, doesn't it?

But although our next featured muscle goddess has one more appearance than Sarah, Dena and Colette put together, and one more than the much more successful (in terms of placings) Heather, I am shocked that Tazzie Colomb has only gone to the Olympia four times (1997, 1999, 2006 & 2007). Now I know that the Taz doesn't place a huge amount of importance on what judges think of her muscles, but I would have thought she'd have made at least as many Ms Olympia appearances as Cathy has.

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Perhaps I got that impression because of how memorable Tazzie's performances always seem to be, or, even if you only go by the pictures, how memorable her look at each contest is. And it's Tazzie, 2007-style, who is our next Olympia 'moment': braided hair, raw animal muscle sex appeal, roaring her way through her performance...

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But despite her myriad (at the Olympia and elsewhere) different looks, Tazzie never (as far as I know) sported a COSTUME. These seemed to be particularly en vogue (or encouraged or perhaps just tolerated) for the 2004 and 2006 Ms Olympias, making a number of routines from those shows even more especially memorable.

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From Helen Bouchard's rather butch 'soldier' via Vilma's 2004 cape and Dayana's 'flasher cop' to Colette Nelson's thrilling (when she ripped it off!!!) tight blue dress, the costume, is, in my humble etc., long overdue for a Ms Olympia comeback...

But none was more memorable (or fitting) than that naughtiest of Olympians, Denise Masino's - what is it exactly, bondage? fetish? torture? - mask-type thing from 2004.



And we finish off our memories today, just as the compulsory poses end, with Abs & Thigh - aka The Hall of Fame pose - and absolutely Slave's favourite position for his Olympian women (or indeed ANY women) to show off their beautiful bodies with.

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And we will be ripping a few more choice moments from the FMS Olympia Archive on Friday, the day (as if you needed reminding) of the Big Girls' Big Show itself.