Oksana Grishina and 8 Other Darkhorses Who Could Shake Up The 2011 Arnold
1. Oksana Grishina
Birthplace: Russia Birth Date: March 25, 1978 Current Residence: Irvine, California Height: 5'4" Weight: 118-120 contest, 123-125 off season Occupation: Professional fitness competitor and personal trainer
Ready To Shake Up The Arnold Classic
Oksana Grishina IFBB Fitness Pro - 4:12
Oksana Grishina has the name of a femme fatale from a Cold war-era Bond film, and a face to match. No need for a stunt double, either, as evidenced by her fitness routines at shows such as the upcoming Fitness International.
With her shapely cords of taut muscle, weightlifter's strength, and dance and gymnastics background, we bet she could take out any three pre-Daniel Craig 007s with one hand tied behind her back.
In keeping with the theme, Oksana comes from Russian military stock, which meant frequent childhood moves. But coming to the states from Russia in 2007 to compete in fitness was an entirely new leap for the gymnast, even after winning fitness championships around the world.
"When I arrived, my life here was not easy," she says. "I felt like a child. I could not speak the language. The weather was different. The food was different. I had no family or friends. I had no work or money. But this is a country where people believe in hope and follow their dreams, and that is what I came here to do."
The physique she debuted at the 2007 Europa Super Show left many onlookers shaken and stirred. So did the beauty, grace, and strength of her fitness routine.
The contest ended with her relegated to what some felt was a criminally low 16th place. Alas, the performance artistry of European fitness competitors often earns adoration and admiration from fans but more muted reactions from judges.
Still, Oksana was making a statement in more ways than one.
"Even when I could not speak the language, I could take to the stage and speak through my performance," she recalls. "I was having a conversation with the fitness world and my fans though my fitness routines."
Later that year, her competitive prospects brightened. She qualified for the Fitness Olympia, a show at which she placed in the top 10.
Today, Oksana speaks English with ease and works as a personal trainer in California. She says,
"I now have friends to support me, work that gives me an income, experience training myself and others, and a sponsorship with Gaspari Nutrition that gives me support, both financial and nutritional, as well as great exposure in the fitness industry."
That may spell trouble for the field in Columbus. This will be her fourth such appearance in the contest, and her refined physique and incredible performance skills have positioned her as a top five fitness pro in the world.
Oksana even gave us a scoop on the theme of her routine, which doesn't include dressing up as a Bond girl, but sounds epic nonetheless.
"I will perform as an Avatar on stage," she says. "To me, Avatar was not just a beautiful movie but a deep and moving story about dreams. My performance is for all the people who have dreams, big and small, and believe in following those dreams, and making them come true."
Oksana On Her Contest Prep
"Though the fitness rules have changed to give more emphasis to the fitness routine, I am still intent on improving my body. In these last few weeks, I have been at the gym three times each day.
My focus has been on lighter weights, lots of cardio, and working on my performance. With a week to go, I am eating 6 to 7 times a day--every 2 to 2½ hours-with only small portions with carbohydrates and lots of water.