[ Q ] For so many years, your fans have considered you the "un-crowned" Olympia champ. How do you respond to that?
A: It always feels great to hear positive things from people. But the truth is that I have been competing against so many incredible athletes over the years.
Susie Curry was a great champion. I am hoping to pick up where she left off. I have worked very hard to be the best I can be. Now it's time to go out there and remove any doubt.
[ Q ] What do you plan to bring to the stage this year?
A: To put it simply. I plan to bring a total and complete package.
My physique has achieved balance and my routine will be my best ever. The Olympia is a very special show, and I am taking it very seriously.
[ Q ] Some people feel that Adela Friedmansky is your biggest challenger. Do you agree?
A: Adela is a great athlete, without question. She is a class-act and I always have fun competing against her.
I think we both bring something very different to the stage. We are both fierce competitors and we love to compete. My goal for this Olympia is to be the best overall athlete on stage, period.
[ Q ] What's your primary motivation to win the title?
A: For me, my primary purpose is to promote and elevate the sport of professional fitness. Holding the title of Ms. Fitness Olympia would create tremendous opportunities for me to help the sport flourish.
I am committed to working with children and inspiring them to get started in fitness. It all starts with the kids… I take that responsibility very seriously.
[ Q ] I hear that you've become active with the Special Olympics. What do you have planned for them?
A: Thanks for asking about the Special Olympics. The organization has given me so much inspiration. I'm now working hard to sponsor a program that will provide tickets for Special Olympians to attend Olympia Weekend events. They have been great fans and great friends for so many years. I hope that I can make them proud this weekend.
[ Q ] Sorry to hear about the calf injury. How's the recovery going?
A: The calf was injured just a few days before the
GNC show so I was forced to withdraw. My new routine is extremely difficult, so I couldn't risk further injury. I'm glad to report that the calf is feeling much better.
Photos from http://www.kellyryanonline.com.
I'll be ready.
[ Q ] Any final thoughts?
A: I'd like to send out my appreciation to all the people who are fighting to keep the sport alive. It's been a very transitional year in the industry. I am very passionate about professional fitness and I remain committed to its growth.
My thanks to all the fans, promoters, judges and everyone who contributes to our sport. The future is looking brighter every day.
Bonus Olympia Commentary
The most anticipated Bodybuilding event in history is fast approaching. The athletes are fine-tuning their arsenal, tweaking their diets and increasing their reps. In other words, its time to "dial-in".
The theme is oddly similar to the landscape that surrounds the upcoming presidential election. There are those who crave change… while others celebrate the merits of the incumbent. In the case of the Olympia, the incumbent is six-time champ Ronnie Coleman.
While partisan-politics limit the number of challengers to a single party's nominee, the Olympia ballot is giving voters far more choices. Message boards are filling up fast and furiously as fans echo their opinions and debate the virtues of their favorite athletes.
Will Big Ron Win Again?
When I chatted with (contest prep guru) Chad Nicholls in Atlanta, he responded, "it won't even be close". Apparently Ron is poised to present a similar package to what we saw in Vegas a year ago. If so, it's hard to argue with Chad's claim that Ronnie will win again.
Ronnie At The 2003 Olympia.
On the other hand, there have been several reports out of Las Vegas that Jay Cutler will be phenomenal. Jay is working, once again, with nutritionist Chris Aceto and it appears that the top challenger is taking this event very seriously. Jay reports that he will weigh-in just above 260lbs, in freaky condition.
Jay Cutler guest posing in San Francisco 4 weeks from the 2004 Olympia!
Photos are courtesy of Bill Comstock - www.graphicmuscle.com
The event has been hyped as a battle between Ronnie & Jay... but let's be reminded that Dexter Jackson was the most well-conditioned challenger at last years event. In fact, it's nearly impossible to identify a flaw on Dexter's razor sharp frame.
In a recent interview with Pro Muscle Online, Dexter stated "If you think I was in awesome shape last year, I promise I will be even better this time around".
Chris Cormier is the wild-card. Various reports have questioned Cormier's focus for the Olympia. Sources close to his trainer (Charles Glass) have expressed doubts about Chris as the show draws closer. Although, it's impossible to know what version of Chris will show up in Vegas on October 30th. His potential in unlimited… but potential alone does not win Sandow trophies.
There is no doubt that Gunter-Mania will revive itself at the Mandalay Bay. Schlierkamp has finished 5th in each of the past two Olympias. The audience alone will likely keep him in the top group, but we can only hope that his physique screams as loud as his fans.
With his victory at the Show of Strength, Victor Martinez secured the final spot in this years Olympia line-up. Runner-up Darrem Charles and 3rd place Gustavo Badell were already qualified. Victor, Darrem, Dennis James and Markus Ruhl and jockeying for a coveted spot among the Top 6.
In previous years, the winner's prize package has included a brand new Cadillac Escalade. This year, the winner will have to provide his own transportation. Although there will be no cars rolled out on stage, promoters have announced an increase in the cash prize money. The champ will collect a cool 120k.
Followed by 75k and 50k respectively (for 2nd and 3rd). The total prize purse is $400,000… all 19 competitors will receive prize money. There will also be an additional $10,000 up for grabs for the Best Presentation Award (presented at Shawn Ray's All-Star Seminar). [Editor's Note: An extra $10,000 will go to the MD Freakazoid Award.]
Press Conference To Shift Gears
The annual Q&A session with fans and media will unveil a new format as announced by the IFBB. The promoters have tabbed Bob Cicherillo to emcee a heated Q&A exchange with the athletes. Bob will be joined by the WWE's Triple H in an unusually entertaining new format.
International film star Sylvester Stallone will be appearing at the Mr. Olympia competition. Stallone, creator of the upcoming NBC show "The Contender", is scheduled to introduce the new Challenge Round, featuring the six Mr. Olympia finalists in a one-on-one pose-down that will add a new layer of drama to this year's event.
Arnold Schwarzenegger, Tom Arnold, Stallone and Triple H are among those scheduled to appear.
For more interviews, reports and commentary - visit www.ProMuscleOnline.com
Other 2004 Olympia Articles & Sections
|An Early Look At The Olympia!
Are Bodybuilding fans already thinking about the annual rumble in Las Vegas? Still 3 months remain until the main event… an eternity for hardcore fans. Evidently, it's never too early to stir up some pre-O hype!
[ Learn More ]
|LT's Mr. Olympia Predictions: Will It Be Seven Up For Ronnie?
I doubted Ronnie Coleman last year. Won't make the same mistake twice. I say The Big Nasty makes it seven in a row when the fella's get together for the annual Mr. Olympia bash, set for October 30 at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas.
[ Learn More ]
|Who Will Be At The Bodybuilding.com Booth?
Find out who will be at our Olympia booth during the expo, what the expect from us and more...
[ Learn More ]
|Countdown To Olympia 2004.
The 2004 Mr. Olympia contest is the most revolutionary in the contest's history. Here's a quick primer to the significant changes being installed at the muscle showdown of the year.
[ Learn More ]
|IFBB Pro Undercover #32 - Olympia Preview.
Check out the Undercover Pro thinks about the Olympia...
[ Learn More ]
|Masked Muscle Man Monthly.
The Masked Muscle Man is a monthly questionnaire that is 100% anonymous. I will interview four IFBB Professional Bodybuilders and post their results on the site.
[ Learn More ]