2010 Olympia Weekend Recap
Olympia Weekend is the highlight of the year for the bodybuilding community. It was a lot of fun for me again this year. Here's a very quick recap of my weekend.
I was scheduled to write reviews of all the men's bodybuilding events and submit them immediately after the event. Immediately ends up being about an hour because I take some time to finish what I've written during the show and then proofread it and then I'll do a little more editing and then send the article off via e-mail. It ends up being a very hectic pace and traveling between the Convention Center and the Orleans makes things more challenging, but I have to admit that I loved every minute of it.
I checked in with Kris and Marika Gethin and Richard Barnet at the Convention Center when I arrived with my wife early on Friday afternoon. We had about an hour to walk around the Expo before we needed to get over to the Orleans and check in and get ready for the men's open judging.
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We Had About An Hour To Walk Around The Expo Before
We Needed To Get Over To The Orleans And Check In.
After changing clothes we went down to the Subway where Rosemarie and I shared a six-inch Subway Club. Those were my first carbs of the day and they tasted great! Then it was off to the judging. (I've already written extensively on that in my other articles.)
The judging went until about 11:00 p.m. and it seemed to last forever. This year they included the Bikini Olympia Finals on Friday night also. It added about 45 minutes extra to the show. Judging from the reaction of the audience, it wasn't a very popular addition either. Even with Bob C's prodding, the crowd was very quiet. I got the feeling the "walk it back" part seemed - how shall I say it politely? Offensive is the word I guess I'm looking for. I looked at the faces of many of the women in the audience and they didn't seem to appreciate that part. There really wasn't a negative reaction for the Fitness, Figure or Ms. Olympia, so Bikini might be a better fit back at the Expo again next year. It would really help speed things up for the Friday show too.
We got back up to the room shortly after the judging was over and then I finished off the judging review and submitted it by midnight. After a couple Supreme Protein Bar samples it was time for bed.
6:30 a.m. came very quickly, but we needed to get up early so we eat a decent breakfast and get back over to the Convention Center before 10:00 a.m. to get ready for the 202 Showdown judging. Rosemarie walked around the Expo during the 202 judging and gathered up samples for me. She had a blast grabbing T-shirts as they were tossed into the crowd. I think she pulled down five of them this year.
After finishing the judging review we stayed at the Expo a while longer so I could browse the booths and displays since I still had a few hours before I needed to be at the finals.
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Rosemarie Walked Around The Expo During The 202 Judging
And Gathered Up Samples For Me.
The Olympia Expo is filled with people from all walks of life and a few of those people seem to be on a walk through life all by themselves, know what I mean? People watching in Las Vegas is fun in itself, but add thousands of bodybuilders, powerlifters, fitness addicts, and a few all-around weirdoes and you'll have a grand old time of people watching.
The people at the Expos are not your normal group of people. For instance if you go to the mall, you'll see typical people who come in all shapes and sizes. Many people in our society are carrying a few extra pounds around the midsection and aren't too concerned about proper posture. Not so with the bodybuilding population. They walk around looking like superheroes from Marvel comics with their heads held high, shoulders back and chests puffed out like proud peacocks. If you fit into this stereotype, you (we) were in our element the entire weekend.
The Expo crowds are not for the weak and they're not for people who hate crowds. You are shoulder to shoulder - or should I say huge deltoid to huge deltoid - with thousands of people who are jostling for position to get the free packets of fat burners or protein powder. If t-shirts are being tossed into the crowd, it's a free-for-all and people leap over one another to grab those valuable items as they sail through the air. It doesn't matter which company is tossing them or what the t-shirt has on it, people turn into MMA stars trying to grab those shirts.
There are some people, maybe first-time attenders or anti-socialites, who aren't used to the Expo culture. A few of these people think they deserve to be first in line and have usually taken their I-will-be-crabby-today pills when they got up that morning. There was one woman who yelled at Rosemarie when she leaned over to tell me something when we were in the Weider booth trying to get a glance at all the former Mr. Olympia's with Joe Weider. The woman actually put her foot in between Rosemarie and me so Rosemarie couldn't go forward. Rosemarie apologized for stepping on the woman's foot and then she accused Rosemarie and I of cutting in line and said how rude we were. The funny part was is that there was no line and Rosemarie was just standing in the area because I wanted to see if there was a chance of getting a photo with Franco after the crowd died down a bit. We were both steaming but decided not to even acknowledge this woman so we just ignored her. It just wasn't worth making a scene. I've attended more than a dozen Expos in California, Nevada and Ohio and I've never met anyone with such an attitude - even when people are diving for t-shirts. Most of the people I've met over the years are polite and just happy to be there. I will say it put a damper on things for us for just a little while that afternoon.
And for anyone's who is wondering, I did sort of get my photo with Franco, but he's in the background. I'll take what I can get for now. I'll wait for another opportunity to get the blessed handshake pose.
I've been going through a leaning-out phase for a few weeks so I've been restricting my carbs. I was glad the Country Cafe in the Orleans casino featured a Bodybuilder's Menu. I ended up eating three of their egg-white omelets while I was there. The peppers and onions made it very tasty and I actually looked forward to each omelet, well except the first one because it was cold when it arrived at our table. I sent that one back and they brought out a fresh, hot replacement.
Speaking of low carbohydrates, Layne Norton was one of our team from Bodybuilding.com covering the weekend events. He was doing the live play-by-plays at the men's judging and finals. He competed in his first natural pro show a couple weeks ago in Kansas City and he won his class. He has another show in about two weeks so he was toting all of his food with him in a little cooler. He had been doing video shoots at Gold's for a few days and staying very busy. He was doing fine until Saturday night when he was starting to feel depleted. I thought he did unbelievably well considering the ripped condition he was in. Anyone who's done a couple shows in a row knows the feeling of having zero energy with no reserves to call upon. I have to give props to Layne for plowing through it all. And good luck in your next show, Layne!
Freebies And Vendors
I was glad Gaspari Nutrition was handing out sample packets of their Banana Myofusion. I love that stuff. I've ordered several five-pound jugs of the stuff. On Monday after I got back, I gave a few packets to guys I work with and they're hooked on it now too. (First one's free and then you're hooked!) I also got a few samples of their brand new SpiroDex and I'm looking forward to giving that a try. (I know I sound like a commercial, but I really do use and like their products.) Daniel from Gaspari sent me about a month's worth of Mitotropin sample packets to help me get ready for a photo shoot a couple years back. I liked that product and started purchasing several other products from their line. I haven't been disappointed yet.
Scivation was giving out samples of their pre-workout supplement, Quake. I really like the award-winning Xtend and I'm looking forward to giving Quake a try before my workouts. Just a tip, don't confuse Quake with Xtend like my brother did when he gave his daughter a shaker of it before she went to work earlier this year. Suffice it to say she had PLENTY of energy at work that day.
I saw Joel Stubbs at the VersaGripps booth. He's really hard to miss at six-feet-three or four and about 300 pounds. His overwhelming size is unreal. Mike Parker, the vice-president, was on hand at his booth again. I met him in 2004 at the Olympia Expo when I first tried out his VersaGripps. I was instantly "hooked" on his straps. I've had the same pair since then and even though that pair is still holding up just fine, I have been sweating in them a couple times per week, so it was time for a new pair. Mike's a great guy with a great product. Many of my training buddies have purchased these straps and love them too. And if their straps are good enough for big Joel Stubbs, they're good enough for me!
Incidentally, even though I was very tired from the drive back from Las Vegas on Sunday and the entire weekend's schedule, I couldn't wait to get to the gym and train. I got home at about 2:00 p.m. and I was training in the gym by 4:00 p.m. I mean, come on, it was back day and I had new straps to try out. I wasn't going to wait. No way!
The 202 Showdown judging was at the Convention Center on the Expo stage on Saturday morning. The Bodybuilding.com team was there taking up about almost an entire row. Chris Dickerson, Mr. Olympia 1982, was sitting in the row in front of us and I was able to get my photo with him. I've been trying to get my photo with him for years. If you've read my articles in the past, you'll remember I've made a goal to get my photo with all the Mr. Olympia's so I was able to cross Dickerson off of my list. The photo turned out a little blurry because I bumped the little dial setting on the camera before I handed it off to Eric. But it's me and Dickerson and that's all that matters.
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The Photo Turned Out Blurry But It's Me And
Dickerson And That's All That Matters.
As you probably have heard by now, Kevin English successfully defended his title. He looked humongous on stage next to the other 202 competitors. He sucked way down to make the weight limit and then carbed back up and literally blew up in size in a matter of hours. He was easily the biggest competitor in the lineup. His size just dominates the class. With that being said, I still don't think English was the best physique on the stage. I did last year when David Henry was off, but Henry was on this year. Most people I talked to after the judging thought Henry had edged English out. To me it looked like Kevin started to fade at the end of the judging and Henry began to pick up energy and looked stronger and stronger as he posed. Evidently the judges didn't see things the way I did as English was awarded the title at the finals on Saturday night.
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Kevin English At The 2010 Olympia.
View More Pics Of Kevin English At The 2010 Olympia.
The coolest thing about the whole weekend - even bigger than Jay Cutler grabbing his fourth title - was seeing all the Mr. Olympia's on stage at one time with Joe Weider. (Having Arnold attend in person instead of via video really would have been incredible.) I started training when Frank Zane was the reigning Mr. Olympia and there have been many winners since then. A lot of memories came flooding back in the short moment these guys were all on stage. It was an awesome event and I'm so glad the promoters decided to do this. Thank you to anyone and everyone who had even a small part in making that happen.
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The Coolest Thing About The Whole Weekend Was Seeing All The Mr. Olympia's On Stage At One Time With Joe Weider.
To sum it all up - like I said earlier - it was a great weekend for us. If you're a bodybuilder and you've never been to Olympia Weekend in Las Vegas, you really need to make plans to go next year. Believe me. You will not regret it.
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