2019 Olympia Recap
This year's IFBB Mr. Olympia took place in Las Vegas, NV on September 13th. It was a monumental year for the ladies of the event specifically. The women took home over $400,000 worth of prize money in addition to being broadcast to an audience of 120 million. Women are continuing to make their stand in the fitness industry. There's no doubt to chairman, David Pecker, and chief officer, Dan Solomon, that there should be more opportunities for the female athletes. They are striving to offer just that to their competitors, and the increased winnings are only a start.
The Shoe Fairy was proud to be represented on stage by four of our beautiful athletes - Jessie Palmer, Maureen Blanquisco, Ashley Kaltwasser and Alexandria Ross. Jessie and Ashley completed their stage looks with a debut of The Shoe Fairy's own Olympian Heel. All four girls looked absolutely amazing and crushed the stage with their presence and phenomenal physiques.
Elisa Pecini took home a win in the Bikini Division, while Cydney Gillon won first in Figure and Whitney Jones won Fitness. Congratulations to all competitors! To view a full list of placements, click here.
Want to get the inside scoop on the day? Read on to hear from TSF's own 2019 Olympia competitor, Jessie Palmer:
The Olympia week kicked off with the Amateur competition on Wednesday. I coached one NPC bikini client into winning her height class! This was such a great way to start of my week in the city of Las Vegas. It was a very proud coaching moment for me!
Thursday evening of the Olympia week, we completed our Athlete check ins. We heard met with the show promoters and expeditors, got our competitor numbers, information packets, and signed Olympia posters. Shortly after, we had the “Meet the Olympians” event. This was easily one of my most favorite memories from the whole week. It was exciting! It was so much fun meeting fans/followers/friends/supporters from all around. It meant so much to me to meet people who I have made an impact on, simply by following a passion of mine. How cool is that?! And it was just really great to meet the other Olympians in the other divisions.
Friday, was very laid back for me. I focused on getting proper sleep and rest, getting my meals in, and meeting with my coach multiple times throughout the day to see how my physique was responding. Once my tan went on Friday night, the only thing left to do was rest up and get my beauty sleep in!
Saturday morning, kicked off with makeup and my last coat of tan. Per usual, I checked in with my coach multiple times throughout the morning to ensure we were on track. There was an athlete bus provided to transport everyone to the venue, and we were escorted backstage upon arrival. Bikini was up first for prejudging, so we really didn’t have much time back stage. Before I knew it it was show time! Prejudging went very smooth and was very organized.
Stepping on the Olympia stage was somewhat of a dream really. The bright lights, the camera flashes, the music, the noise and literally all eyes on you as you executed your posing routine. I remember being calm, proud, and just happy. I really had a general feeling of accomplishment, pride and peace while I moved through my routine. I knew in that moment that I had done everything I could and left no stone unturned. All that was left to do in that moment, was to soak it all in and ENJOY my time.
My general experience with the Olympia week was great! It was everything I imagined and more. The only thing that was a let down for me, simply because this was not told to us before hand.. was that only the top 10 athletes would return for finals. In years past, the athletes who had not placed in the top 10, attended finals and were acknowledged on stage by having their name called and hitting a pose or two. We found out that those who were not in the top 10 were not going to be getting on the finals stage. So, that being said, I had the rest of the day to hang out and enjoy before finals! I attended the Olympia finals that evening with my husband, and had such a great time as a spectator. It truly is an amazing show to watch live in living color. The top 10 in every division were stunning and absolutely deserved to be there. It was very motivating and inspiring to watch my fellow IFBB Pros stand so proud on that stage that we all work so hard to reach.
Most people who are familiar with the 2019 Olympia qualification system, can argue that it was historically the hardest year to qualify for the Olympia. The qualification system for the Bikini division required us to compete all year long to stay in the top 20 in points until the cut-off date. For me specifically, I competed 11 times within the qualification period. Which is a lot!
My prep into the Olympia was not ideally what a competitor would want, being that I had minimal time off to refresh my health, my physique, and my mind. I did have to stay within stage weight and low in body fat, with such a short “improvement season”. I took about 6-7 weeks to reverse diet after my string of competitions wrapped up mid May 2019. I started my Olympia prep around the end of June, and competed in one “warm up” show about 8 weeks after we started a prep. I placed really well and gathered great feedback to apply towards the Olympia just 3 weeks later.
The 2019 Olympia was my FIRST Olympia ever. So it was such a HUGE accomplishment for me. It had been a long term goal, since I first achieved my IFBB Pro Card status in 2015. I truly have fought to make it to that stage for years, and finally lived out my dream of accomplishing that.
I knew going into the show that regardless of where I placed, I was a true champion and I earned my way there. Things that we focused on, were things that I could control specifically. Obviously, bringing in my physique that best that we could, along with nailing my stage presentation and my overall look. I felt that I performed the best I could have, given the circumstances of having to compete so much in one year, to make it to the Olympia stage. Being top 25 in the world is just such a great feeling of accomplishment and I am extremely proud to say I am officially and IFBB Olympian!