Marja @ Ms Olympia 2004
Special thanks to JL, to whom today's post is dedicated.
For Marja, the 2004 Ms Olympia was the realisation of a long-held dream.
Qualifying for the Olympia beats all the experiences I had before, and will beat all I will have after, she said. When I remember how I felt, I well up with tears of joy.
Marja finished 3rd in the Lightweight class, behind winner Dayana Cadeau and runner-up Denise Masino. It was the first of just two Olympia appearances she made.
The following year weight classes were scrapped, and Marja placed 14th.
But it wasn't just the 3rd place that made 2004 such a special time for Marja. One of the greatest moments there was to see and meet Lenda Murray, who had been one of my inspirations ever since I first saw photos of women bodybuilders, she said.
It reminded me of those early years when I wondered how it would feel to be like Lenda, or Cory Everson, Anja Langer, or Juliette Bergman. It's amazing how long the road has been since then, but it's been worth the work and sacrifice.
And 2004 was the year when "costumes" were permitted at the Ms Olympia, so, as did some of the other competitors, Marja introduced a bit of "strip" to her routine.
Check out HerBiceps free gallery of Marja @ Ms Olympia 2004 here.