Come September 29, one Ms. Olympia competitor might be feeling the pressure of being onstage with the world's best female bodybuilders a little more than her fellow athletes.
As defending champion, Yaxeni Oriquen knows this will be a tough year for her, as the competition is as intense as it has ever been, with several top name competitors - notably Iris Kyle, and Dayana Cadeau - poised to take her place should she come in at less than 100%.
The "Softer" look she presented at the 2006 Arnold classic (where she took a "disappointing" third) will be no more. Yaxeni promises to come in harder and more muscular than ever, which should be a spectacular sight to behold. Will Yaxeni win it all this year? Stay tuned to find out.
[ Q ] What is your training approach as you prepare for the 2006 Olympia?
Because the past several years have brought me great success at major competitions, my training approach has been relatively constant. I maintain my muscularity year round through regular weight training six-days-per-week. Because of the 20% reduction in muscularity requirement, I have not increased my mass in the past two years.
[ Q ] What kind of physique will you be looking at bringing to the stage come September 28?
I hope to be harder for this contest. At the 2006 Arnold Classic, I brought a softer look because I had believed that the judges were looking for more femininity. After a disappointing 3rd place finish, I believe their message was clear - they were looking for hard and ripped athletes.
[ Q ] How do you feel you will go this year? Any predictions?
I will come with a dryer physique this year. I have been working extremely hard. My mother passed away from cancer several months ago and I would really love to win this for her. I predict I will.
[ Q ] As the defending champion, do you feel any added pressure going into this show?
I do feel some added pressure. However, all anyone can do is prepare to the best of their ability and hope for a favorable outcome.
[ Q ] Who is your closest competition?
I believe Iris Kyle will be very prepared. She is very competitive and would like to capture a 2nd Olympia crown for herself.
[ Q ] To have qualified for the Olympia means you are among the best of the best. What improvements have you made to your physique this year?
I have tried to harden my glutes. This has always been a trouble spot for me. I think I have to blame this on my Latin heritage.
[ Q ] As a Women's bodybuilding competitor how does it feel to represent your sport at the highest level at the Olympia?
It is an honor and a privilege to be competing at this level. However, it came with a lot of hard work... and a little luck.
[ Q ] How do you feel physically and mentally going into a show as prestigious as the Olympia?
I feel prepared physically and mentally. I have been competing in major shows for several years now, and although I still get nervous before a show, experience has brought some calmness.
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At The 2005 Olympia.
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[ Q ] What are you competition plans following the Olympia?
I just had my 40th birthday and I ask myself this very same question every day. I really am not sure, but clearly I cannot compete at this level forever.
[ Q ] What message do you have for your fans regarding your Olympia appearance?
I thank them for supporting me and supporting the sport of women's bodybuilding. Obviously if there are no fans, there would be no sport. May God bless each and every one of them.