The chances are that she will. If you were able to bet on the contest (you're not - I've been looking for odds for over a week now, so unless you go direct to some back-street Las Vegas bookie, it seems you simply can't bet on bodybuilding), you'd be crazy to bet on anyone else. Iris Kyle has a contest CV that is second to none, and has won the last seven Ms Os.
Nevertheless, you have to feel that Iris has got a raw deal. Take the Wennerstrom article quoted above. Will Iris Kyle live in infamy? is the title. A strange title given that she is on the cusp of history. Why would the most decorated athlete in the history of the sport have to suffer 'infamy'? I've read the article countless times and still can't work out why Wennerstrom chose that title. It's indicative of the negativity that is directed at her, through absolutely no fault of her own.
Furthermore, Iris' achievements, perhaps because they have come during a period of decline for professional female bodybuilding, are largely unheralded. She has never had the kind of publicity that the other eight-time Ms O, Lenda Murray, enjoyed. By all objective criteria, Iris is the greatest ever female bodybuilder, but it's unlikely she would come out on top in any poll among fans or even her peers as such.
It's weird that I find myself feeling slightly sorry fo her (I doubt very much she wants or needs anyone's sympathy) but as we begin our countdown to the Ms O, spare a thought for the reigning champ. In many ways, Iris is the epitome of all female bodybuilders in this period: she deserves so much better than she actually gets from her sport.
IRIS KYLE (USA)
Born: Benton Harbor, Michigan
Height: 5'7" (1.70)
Best Ms O: Winner 2001 (heavyweight), 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008,
2009, 2010, 2011, 2012
In 2013: Ms International Winner
In the coming days, the other 12 women who will be competing on Friday.