Iris Kyle is the winningest bodybuilder in history. No other person—man or woman—has won 10 Olympia titles. It's a record that may never be broken. As she announced today, her 10th win will also be her last.
Tonight, Iris took her final win looking flawlessly conditioned. Her upper body—especially her back—showed a tremendous amount of detail. To put it simply, she looked amazing. In her post-win interview, Iris said that she would be retiring from the competition stage. Although it's a sad day for bodybuilding fans everywhere, Iris's legendary status will still serve as inspiration for many up-and-coming bodybuilders.
"Bodybuilding is a gift, it is an honor, and it is a privilege," Iris said to a standing ovation. "Although I'm hanging up my belt, I still want to be an ambassador for the sport and health and fitness."
MS. O TOP 6
Although Iris earned the Olympia gold medal, she didn't do it easily. Alina Popa's balance, symmetry, and conditioning were perfectly on point. There was more than one person in the audience who thought Alina should have taken home the trophy. Iris's retirement may be just what Alina needs to continue her steady climb up the Ms. Olympia ladder and finally earn her own win.
The rest of the top six was complete with a mix of new and familiar faces. Debi Laszewski earned third for the second year in a row, and Yaxeni Oriquen-Garcia fell back a spot to 5th. That's nothing to disregard, though. Throughout her career, Yaxeni has demonstrated tremendous staying power, and has always been in the mix for a top spot. Tonight was her 17th Olympia, and her 13th finish in the top five.
Relative newcomer Alana Shipp stole the 4th place spot. She just turned pro in 2013 and has been steadily making a name for herself on the competition circuit. She has great conditioning, but might need to put on more muscle if she wants to place higher. I think we'll be seeing a lot more from her.
Alina Popa, Debi Laszewski, Alana Shipp, Yaxeni Oriquen-Garcia
The top six was rounded out by Anne Freitas. The Brazilian bodybuilder, who worked her way up from being the Brazilian Figure champ in 2008, came in 9th at the Olympia last year. Her three-place jump is a huge improvement and should be a great motivating factor as she readies herself for next year's show.
Congrats to all the Ms. O competitors. We'll miss you, Iris!