One thing was clear as the impressive lineup of thirty-five female fitness competitors converged upon the stage: the SportLab Model Search was about competition and fun.
While the SportLab Model Search contest was a personal victory for each competitor that gave heart and soul for the contest, only one competitor could be crowned as the first winner, and only one could be awarded the coveted title; as a judge, I can say that choosing the winner was not an easy task, as every woman looked phenomenal.
When all was said and done, one woman emerged victorious: Stacey-Lynn Mlinarevic.
It was obvious right away that Stacey-Lynn worked hard to win the contest, and I predict that you'll be seeing more of her in the future.
Here's the interview I did with Stacey, hot off her victory.
[ Q ] Hi Stacey-Lynn. For the record, where were you born and what's your age?
I was born in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, but raised in Stoney Creek, Ontario, Canada. I'm twenty-eight now, and turn twenty-nine on Nov 23.
[ Q ] How tall are you and what is your contest and off-season weight?
I'm 5'4 1/2". My contest season weight 135 lbs., and in the off-season my weight is around 150 lbs.
[ Q ] Do you have any brothers/sisters?
I have two younger brothers. The oldest is 26, and the youngest is 24.
[ Q ] What is your contest history?
The first year that I competed, I competed in the MuscleMania, in the bodybuilding category. The following year I competed in
FAME Fitness Model Expo, and I was trying to figure out what I really wanted to do.
This year I thought I would try doing OPA Figure competitions which I felt was more my thing. While I was going to register online I noticed they had a SportLab Model Search going on the same day and I thought: I should try it out since I am already in condition and since I am already there; it doesn't hurt to try, and what do I have to lose?
It was a very successful day. I placed first in figure short class Level 1 and placed first in the SportLab Model Search. On May 14, 2005 I competed in Mississauga for my Figure Level 2, working towards the Ontario's Natural June 25, 2005.
[ Q ] What got you started in fitness?
To expand my interests, I decide to take up personal training. I love helping others to achieve the goals that they desire regarding their body and self-esteem. As a child I always wanted to do gymnastics, but my mom always told me that I wasn't allowed because I would hurt myself.
Throughout high school, I ran track, figure skated, and was introduced to the weight room during physical education. As I headed into my mid-twenties, I became determined to try all that I had missed out on. I've taken up snow boarding this past winter and I practice yoga regularly. Now that summer is here, dragon boating season has started, and I am looking forward to being on the water again.
I had my foot in the door in weight training for many years, but I didn't really develop a passion for lifting until 4 years ago. I started reading books on effective training and eating. It has helped me to transform my body to what it is today.
[ Q ] What keeps you motivated to keep training hard and eating right?
Seeing the results and transformation and pushing my body to the limits is what keeps me
motivated. Shortly after I began training seriously, people started coming up to me asking me if I do competitions, so I became interested in competitions and modeling.
[ Q ] What does your supplementation plan look like during the year, and also before you go into a show?
Fifty-percent of me goes, "eat whatever you want! Enjoy yourself!" While the other fifty-percent goes, "I don't think so. You worked really hard to get where you are; don't blow it"
I try to eat sensibly off season. I have a cheat day once a week, but when you work in an office environment it is really hard to avoid the cookies, donuts and lunch meetings.
[ Q ] What kind of routine do you follow?
I work out 6 times a week now because I'm getting ready for a competition. I do 2 hours of
cardio, usually 1 hour in the AM and 1 hour in the PM, and an hour of lifting weights.
[ Q ] What is the biggest highlight of your career?
The biggest highlight of my career so far is winning the 2005 SportLab Model Search, and the figure level 1 short class all in one day.
[ Q ] What tips can you give to women who want to get into bodybuilding and make it a career?
There is a lot of time and preparation, but you meet many like minded people along the way and can learn a lot from them. You can travel quite a bit so prepare to fund the cost on your own. At the end of it the entire process it's rewarding.
Women, Be Sure To Check Out Bodybuilding.com's Women's Guide.
[ Q ] What future shows will you be in?
I will be doing the Ontario's Natural June 25th, 2005. If I make top three I will go to the Canadian's July 9th in Saskatchewan.
[ Q ] In five years from now, where do you see yourself and your career?