While the Arnold Weekend is best known for its founder's eponymous bodybuilding contest, the female physique sports always set the tone with style, grace and attitude (the good kind, that is).
This year's themes: Domination. Continuity. Incumbency. Nicole Wilkins, Adela Garcia and Yaxeni Oriquen Garcia came in as favorites in figure, fitness and bodybuilding, respectively. They left having rebuffed the would-be upset crowd.
Ms. International: Oriquen, Again
The evening show began with the ladies performing a routine to the music of their choice. Some flexed against classical strains, while others rocked and rolled. Here are some notes on the top-6 ladies of muscle, ranked in the order they finished:
This was Yaxeni's show to lose - and she didn't. She came in lean, vascular and symmetrical; in short, the complete, winning package. This was her year, and she shined on stage, taking home her 5th Ms International title. You want to try and wrestle this title from her grasp? Um, good luck with that.
Yaxeni Oriquen Garcia
This flex was on fire! Debi couldn't have done anything more to help her placing. She was lean, her striations had striations, her symmetry was unparalleled, and her muscle bellies were poppin.' She truly came to win, but it wasn't her night for gold. She should feel extremely proud for bringing a world-class physique to the stage, however.
Looked incredible tonight. With her amazing symmetry and full muscle bellies, she definitely earned her placing among these women. Tough to come away with only third, but remember, these are the world's best muscle women.
The always-stylish LeFrancois hit the stage flexing and muscled her way into fourth place. This was the best she's looked in a while. Great to see her on stage lean, mean and clean! You go, girl.
The Buck stopped in fifth place, a nice showing that rewarded her outstanding symmetry and conditioning. Even though her physique needs some work, she put her best foot forward and stepped it up.
The very name sounds strong and muscular, and Brezovac has the body to back it up. She was tight, full and sixth in Ohio.
Fitness International: It's Official—Adela Wins Again!
For the fifth time, Adela Garcia rolled into Columbus and tumbled off with the Fitness International crown. If she weren't such a talented and engaging performer, this would be getting a tad tedious right about now. If there's a challenge on the horizon, it may come from Oksana Grishina, who catapulted to third this year. For the moment, however, this remains Adela's contest. Hell, this remains Adela's sport. Here are some notes on the top-6, ranked in the order they finished:
Latin inspired! My kind of music! Adela was as energetic and fiery as ever. She nailed her routine. The champ made her-story tonight!
With her beautiful physique and a smile to match, Camala delivered an energetic and well-choreographed routine. Her just dessert for bypassing desserts for months on end was a 2nd-place finish.
Camala Rodriguez Garcia
The "Tainted Love"-inspired routine was pure Oksana. The whole presentation had an edgy feel to it. Amazing!
The "Footloose" theme came with a tres cool upside-down ballerina-twirling intro. The physique had at least six degrees of separation. Okay, that's enough Kevin Bacon references for this lifetime. Well done, Bethany.
A whole new routine from this star! The presentation echoed "I have a dream," and then she made her dream a reality by securing a top-5finish. She was energetic and didn't hold anything back, leaving everything she had out on the stage.
With the Spanish matador routine, the bull was back on stage! She definitely didn't disappoint with a well-choreographed routine and beautifully executed gymnastics moves.
Figure International: Where There's A Wilkins, There's No Way
No surprises here tonight! The show was definitely competitive, with the usual suspects packing into the top spots. Nicole Wilkins and Erin Stern fought for the top two spots, and few were surprised when Stern was called second. Cowan and Keene looked incredible, and the FL girls should be super-proud! Congrats to all the beautiful ladies tonight!
The 2-time defending champ made it three in Ohio. Beautiful lines, great conditioning, a smile that threatens to blind the audience-what' not to love?
Like many great athletes, Stern finds that her prime is coinciding with that of a dominator. A challenge, to be sure. No shame in finishing second there. She looked amazing.
Crisp. Great lines. Well done from head to toe.
Ava Cowan, who finished third in 2011, slipped to fourth this year. Great physique.
Excellent showing from this shapely competitor.
She's consistent: 6th in 2011, 6th in 2012.