2012 Olympia Weekend: Sonia Gonzales Interview

The 2010 Olympia bikini winner is on fire in 2012. Count on Sonia Gonzales to make a strong showing.

When an accomplished bikini athlete like Sonia Gonzales promises to present her best shape ever at this year's Olympia, it's no idle claim. Sonia knows what it takes to win in Vegas, having walked away with top honors at 2010's inaugural Olympia bikini. She has yet to lose this year, winning both the Arnold Classic and Musclecontest Pro IFBB pro bikini events.

The exotic Gonzales routinely wows audiences with her perfect proportions and glittering stage presence. She has 15 top-2 finishes and has won an amazing eight times in 20 pro outings since stepping up to the big time in 2007.

This year, she has the added incentive of redemption, having missed the mark with an unexpected fifth-place finish at the 2011 Olympia.

Her track record makes her a favorite. Can she deliver in 2012? All will be revealed at 7 p.m. on Friday, September 28.

What keeps you motivated to be at your best as a bikini athlete?

My motivation comes from being better than I was the last time I stepped onstage.

As a previous Olympia bikini winner, you are considered one of the best competing today. Do you feel this your year to win again? Why might you be the one to beat at this year's Olympia?

Well, of course I train to win. Bikini is an individual sport and you are only as good, or better, than your last package.

As one of the IFBB's top bikini competitors, what is it about your physique and stage presence that so often places you ahead of the pack?

I believe it's the confidence and poise I present, and that comes from practicing my posing with my coach and nutritionist Kim Oddo (of Body by O) who critiques me until we get it right.

What is it that appeals to you most about bikini competition? What do you enjoy most about competing in this division?

What appeals to me most is that my physique can provide the perfect balance: not too hard and not too soft. And the bikini division also allows for more sass with class onstage!

How have you approached your training for this year's Olympia? What program changes, if any, have you made?

For this year's Olympia, Kim and I have really put more emphasis on glute work, making them rounder and fuller.

What is your current nutritional strategy? Did you have a productive offseason? If so, what gains did you make during this period?

My nutrition is a very balanced three meals and three snacks per day. I had a great offseason. I like to keep between a 5-to-7-pound range. Here, I was able to maintain fullness in my backside.

What physical improvements can your fans expect to see once you hit the stage at the Olympia?

My fans can expect fuller and rounder
glutes, as this is what my coach and I
focused on this time around.

What training and nutritional changes will you be making
as the 2012 Olympia draws nearer (especially in the final
2-3 weeks)?

I really don't have the answer. Changes can be made daily depending on how my body is responding to my training and nutrition program.

What is your competition mindset? How do you maintain your focus in the weeks leading up to a big event such as the Olympia?

It's not hard to stay focused. I feel very blessed and honored to compete at this event. Being qualified or invited is all the focus I need.

How do you handle the pressure associated with competing in a major event such as the Olympia?

I pray and I know God has put me in this event for a reason; it's all his plan and that's truly what I believe. It's not an accident that I'm there. I believe it's truly a gift from God.

Compared to other high profile IFBB pro events, what is it like competing at Olympia level? Is there greater pressure to be at your best?

To me, the Olympia is my Super Bowl, so you better show up at your very best! It's prestigious. It happens once a year, and what an honor to compete with the best.

Placing fifth in the 2011 Olympia bikini category, and winning 2010's event, has positioned you as a top contender for this year's division. What do you feel will separate you this year, physique and presentation-wise, from your nearest competition?

Coming off my two wins at
the beginning of the year has
really given me my
confidence back and has
helped me focus on what
shape Kim Oddo and I want to bring my physique in for the Olympia.

Where do you feel you will land at the 2012 Olympia, and why? Do you see yourself as a favorite to win?

I am going to bring my best shape ever. Let the best woman win. It's God's plan, and he will put me where he thinks I need to be!

What message would you like to send out to your many fans who will be cheering you on at this year's Olympia?

I would like to thank my husband, family, friends, fans, coach/nutritionist Kim Oddo, my management company and FMG Family, for all the love, support and encouragement, and the IFBB Pro League for providing the athletes with the opportunities to live their dreams. And God, as this is his plan for me. Thank you and I love you all.