2008 Olympia Experience: Newbie Makes Trip To The Big Show!

Push comes to shove... Vegas it was! A few of us decided to take a quick trip to not only get away from the everyday life, but to take up the advantage of watching the Olympia. Here's my review from a very exciting trip!

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Newbie To The Olympia World
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Push comes to shove... Vegas it was! A few of us decided to take a quick trip to Vegas to not only get away from the everyday life, but to take up the advantage of watching the Olympia. I have been to a couple tiny shows in Boise, but this took it all. Every person that competed looked absolutely amazing and was definitely inspiring. Each outcome was extremely shocking and unexpected.

Danielle
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Each Outcome Was Extremely Shocking & Unexpected.

We arrived to the show Friday evening for the Women's Bodybuilding finals, Women's Fitness competition and the Pre-Judging for the Mr. Olympia title. First up were the Women's Fitness routines.

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Women's Fitness
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As always the girls knocked out amazing performances and overall Jen Hendershott took home the first place price followed by Tracey Greenwood.

Jen Hendershott Jen Hendershott
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Jen Hendershott At The 2008 Olympia.
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I definitely feel Hendershott did an amazing job with her routine however Tracey Greenwood should have taken the first place spot. Her performance was much more entertaining and seemed like it was more physically challenging and put together. Both however came in great shape and overall Tracey looked like she had a little bit more softer look to her.

Tracey Greenwood Tracey Greenwood
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Tracey Greenwood At The 2008 Olympia.
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Women's Bodybuilding
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Next was the women's finals. The conditioning these women go through is absolutely amazing. Everyone came in looking great but were not all at the finest in my eyes. Overall, to no surprise, Iris Kyle stole the 1st place spot hands down. However the rest of the lineup was a bit shocking not only to my and the audience I am sure, but to one main competitor for sure.

Iris Kyle Iris Kyle
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Iris Kyle At The 2008 Olympia.
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The moment that the 5th place title was announced to Dayana Cadeau, all you could here were a bunch of gasps from the crowds. The look on Dayana's face was nothing shy of a shocked, unhappy look.

Dayana Cadeau Dayana Cadeau
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Dayana Cadeau At The 2008 Olympia.
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I definitely do not think that she deserved a 5th place spot. By no means do I feel she should have been first or anything however 5th? To me the only thing that put her far off from the other girls was it looked like she was holding a bit of water, however she still deserved to be in that top 3.

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The Expo
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Since we arrived in Vegas early morning Friday and needed to sleep were unable to hit up the Expo at the convention center so we hit it up on Saturday for a little bit. We ended up arriving a bit late so we did miss a lot of the action during the day, however it was still an awesome event to go to and the we were able to meet some amazing people.

Danielle
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It Was Still An Awesome Event To Go To.

The one person I was mainly excited to see and meet was Jennifer Nicole Lee. She is such an inspiring woman, and her beauty? Unspeakable. She was very cordial and definitely willing to meet or take a picture with anyone.

Expo
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2008 Olympia Expo.
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As for my boyfriend and his friend, it was like two little kids in a candy store. The looks on their faces said it all. Not only were they of course gaga over all the beautiful women, but for my boyfriend, the men were much more of an "eye candy". Yeah, I know, that sounds really bad right?

Well, to a man that is planning to be a pro bodybuilder within a year, seeing these men is well... the next best thing to sex. (He would kill me for saying that). In all actuality, this was a swift kick in the @ss for him and I.

Expo
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2008 Olympia Expo.
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For me, any woman surrounded by amazing bodies would quickly realize something has to change. For my boyfriend, it made his alpha side quickly hide. Walking through the doors, his first words were "I am about to be put in my place". And that he was.

Being able to see the competitors up close and personal, standing by them, shaking their hands... knowing one day he would be up against most of these men, really made him lean back and think. And of course, as all men do, he sized himself up against almost every one of the men. It was quite the site to see if you know what it is like dating a bodybuilder.

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Jerome Ferguson At The 2008 Olympia Expo.
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There was one thing I did notice about all of the people at the Expo, sitting all comfy at their booths, marketing themselves... It was the attitudes. For me, if I was someone people looked up to and inspired to be, I would be much more willing to socialize with others and speak to them or at least meet those that are inspired by you. H#ll, you could let your head grow fuller than it already is.

However, not everyone was as nice as Jennifer Nichole Lee. To my surprise, some of the competitors we actually very rude. One person who I will nicely not mention the name, refused to shake hands or even look at my boyfriend when he walked up to meet him. Then, as quick as can be, the guys manager or whomever the guy was, quickly mentioned if we wanted to pay $20 for a pic then we could have that .

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The Universal Booth At The 2008 Olympia Expo.
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This was extremely shocking to me and well as my boyfriend who loved this guy. Well not any more my folks. Others were a little stiff on having their picture taken, but at least shaking hands was not going to cost any money. Others just stiffed us and didn't want to say hi and were very concerned with selling their photos or the brands they were working for. This was definitely not something I had expected.

Danielle
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This Was Definitely Not Something I Had Expected.

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Women's Figure
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So after the Expo, we rushed over to The Orleans Hotel for the women's figure competitions and of course, the main event, the Men's title for Mr. Olympia. The atmosphere was quiet different from the previous night. I think we have all heard one time or another that Bodybuilding is a man's sport (of which I do disagree), but the crowd had almost doubled from the first night and I am sorry to tell you, but I doubt they were there for the figure competitors, as pretty as they are.

The night started off with the opening ceremony which was pretty cool. Being able to see the men that started the Olympia, and made this sport acceptable was quite inspirational.

The competition started off with the Figure competitors. One by one, to my surprise they flew through this. The women were up on the stage for seconds doing quarter turns, a curtsy, and done. I guess I just thought that each woman would be on stage much longer than they actually were.

It was a large difference from the other groups, I guess mainly since there really isn't a "routine" being done. All the women came in absolutely beautiful, and I think there was only one gal I thought should not be on that stage but that was it.

The final placing though was a bit shocking to me. Jennifer Gates looked absolutely amazing; however I thought Gina Aliotti had it. If you compared the girls at the actual show, Gina looked like she came in a bit more in shape, however when you look at the after pics, Gina looks like she was a little softer than Jennifer.

Jennifer Gates Jennifer Gates
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Jennifer Gates At The 2008 Olympia.
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I just figured Gina had it, but was shocked. Another competitor that I thought should have placed higher than she did was Mary Elizabeth Lado. I thought she came into the competition looking a ton better than Jenny Lynn. I think it was a tossup between her and 3rd place winner Zivile Raudoniene. Both of course looked amazing and I feel went head to head.

Gina Aliotti Gina Aliotti
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Gina Aliotti At The 2008 Olympia.
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The one thing I didn't like, however was such a small detail, was how they lined the ladies up when they were giving the titles. They double stacked them so it was hard to see everyone. I just thought that was odd... come on now, I know I am not the only one that wanted to see all of them!

Ms. Figure Olympia Finals
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Ms. Figure Olympia Finals.
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Men's Bodybuilding
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Now onto the men! This definitely was like watching the super bowl... the one thing people wait for every year and make such a huge fuss over. In the fitness industry, this definitely took the cake.

The energy the crowd had as well as all the competitors was awesome. It was crazy to see the difference between the pre-judging on the men from the previous night to the main night. They all looked a lot softer, including Jay. Not only did he not look his best in the pre-judging, but he was far off from looking his best at the main event.

I am not really up to par on the Men's bodybuilding and what is sought after, however from the word of others, it seems as though in the past the title went to the largest man on stage. This year however, it was about symmetry, not being the largest. If that were the case, Jay would have taken the cake and I think Toney Freeman or Dennis Wolf would have taken the other spots in the top 3.

The routines were absolutely awesome, and by far my favorite was Darrem Charles. His routine was fantastic, and the dancing skills, wow... just wow, and very entertaining at that. The second best routine in my eyes would have to go to Melvin Anthony. Again, busting those moves does it for me!

As for the ending line-up, I pretty much agreed with all of them excluding what Darrem placed as well Phil Heath. Phil looked absolutely amazing, don't get me wrong but I think that Toney Freeman had him. I also felt that Gustavo was placed a bit lower than expected. I thought he would be about the top 6 or so.

As for the title of the Mr. Olympia, I definitely agree on Dexter Jackson taking the cake! He came in the tightest and most symmetrical. He had mentioned after he had won (please don't quote me), that if Jay had not come in under his best then this would not have been his year. I definitely agree with that.

And the winnings, wow, $155,000 to the champion. That almost made me fall out of my seat. I had no idea that was the winning prize. Like I said, people say it is a man's sport, and that made it obvious as to who brings in the money.

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Conclusion
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The entire trip was absolutely the best experience I had had in awhile. Even working for a main company in this industry, I still was not expecting things to be the way they were.

Danielle
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The Entire Trip Was Absolutely The
Best Experience I Had Had In Awhile.

I have met many competitors, fitness models and such since I have worked for Bodybuilding.com, however actually going to a large show took the cake. Every competitor was so inspiring and is an example of why health and fitness has and will continue to make a name for itself.

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2008 Olympia Posing Routines
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