Saturday, 21 September 2013

FMS Ms O Countdown: The Champ

This Friday (nice and early in the weekend so the IFBB can get it out of the way no doubt), the 34th Ms Olympia contest takes place in Las Vegas. It's quite possible, given the attitude of the IFBB towards female bodybuilding, that it will be the last, but that's not the reason why Steve Wennerstrom has said it is the most significant Ms O since Rachel McLish won the first one in 1980. In fact, the significance of the contest this year is that should Iris Kyle win her ninth title, she will become the most successful Olympian - male or female - ever.

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.


Born: Benton Harbor, Michigan
Age: 39
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.



  1. I think it's kind of shady that she keeps winning year after year. Maybe the judges are in the bag for her or they're not all the psyched about judging FBB's so they just say "Eh, let's just give it to Iris again". Either way, something's not right there.

  2. Yes, and she's ugly. Alina popa or brigitta brezovac should have win a long tine ago