Ms. Olympia

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Ms. Olympia is the title given to the winner of the women's bodybuilding portion of Joe Weider's Olympia Weekend—an international professional bodybuilding competition that is held annually by the International Federation of BodyBuilders (IFBB). It was first held in 1980, and since 2000 it has been held at the same time as the Mr. Olympia contest as part of the "Olympia Weekend". The 2000 contest also saw the introduction of weight classes. No overall winner was named in 2000, but starting in 2001, a posedown between the two class winners decided the overall title. In 2005, the contest returned to the one open class format. The top overall winners are Iris Kyle (nine overall and one heavyweight), Lenda Murray (eight), Cory Everson (six), and Kim Chizevsky-Nicholls (four).

The 2013 Ms. Olympia was held as part of the Olympia Weekend on September 27, 2013 in the South Hall at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Winchester, Nevada and in the Orleans Arena at The Orleans Hotel and Casino in Paradise, Nevada.[1]

History[edit]

1980–1989[edit]

In 1980, the first Ms. Olympia (initially known as the "Miss" Olympia) was held with Rachel McLish winning and becoming the first Ms. Olympia. Rachel was dethroned by Kike Elomaa in 1981, but regained the title in 1982. George Snyder lost the rights to the Ms. Olympia in 1982, and after this the contestants were no longer hand-picked, but instead qualified for the Ms. Olympia through placings in lesser contests. As female bodybuilding grew and progressed, the competitors' level of training gradually increased, with most of the competitors in the earliest shows had very little weight training experience, and the sport slowly evolved towards more muscular physiques. This trend started to emerge in 1983, with McLish not competing in the big shows, Carla Dunlap won the 1983 Ms. Olympia. Dunlap possessed a much more muscular physique than previous Ms. Olympia winners McLish or Elomaa.

In 1984, Cory Everson won the Ms. Olympia title and She would go on to win six consecutive Ms. Olympia titles in a row before retiring in 1989 undefeated as a professional, the only woman ever to accomplish this.

1990–1999[edit]

Normally, competitors must qualify for the Ms. Olympia by achieving certain placings in lesser pro contests. However, the cancellation of the Women's Pro World contest in 1990 left only the Ms. International as a Ms. Olympia qualifier. Consequently, the IFBB decided to open the 1990 Ms. Olympia to all women with pro cards, and a field of thirty competitors entered. This is also the first Ms. Olympia without the incumbent Ms. Olympia champion defending her title. Lenda Murray earned a decisive victory by winning her first Ms. Olympia competition she attended in 1990 and emerged as the successor to Cory Everson. The 1991 Ms. Olympia was the first to be televised live. Lenda Murray barely edged out Bev Francis, a former Australian powerlifter, by a single point that year. Lenda Murray faced a serious challenge from Denise Rutkowski in 1993, and some argue that Rutkowski, not Murray, should have won that year. Rutkowski shocked the Ms. Olympia contest by retiring in 1994, just as her career was gaining mainstream popularity and her potential for winning a Ms. Olympia title was high.

In the 1996 Ms. Olympia, six consecutive Ms. Olympia champion Lenda Murray was dethroned by Kim Chizevsky-Nicholls. Chizevsky-Nicholls had previously placed 2nd in the 1995 Ms. Olympia, but her victory came as something of a surprise, since many had regarded Murray as virtually unbeatable. After being defeated by Chizevsky-Nicholls and placing 2nd place again in the 1997 Ms. Olympia, Murray retired from bodybuilding. Chizevsky-Nicholls went on to win the 1998 Ms. Olympia. The 1998 Ms. Olympia was held in Prague, Czech Republic, the first and only time the competition had been held outside the United States.

1992 Ms. Olympia changes[edit]

In response to the increased size displayed by Murray and Francis at the previous Ms. Olympia, the IFBB made an attempt to "feminize" the sport. The IFBB, led by Ben Weider, had created a series of "femininity" rules; one line in the judging rules said that competitors should not be "too big". The judges’ guide to the competitors stated that they were looking for a feminine, but not emaciated physique. Advertising in Muscle & Fitness for the 1992 Ms. Olympia featured Schreiner prominently, relegating two-time defending champion Murray to a small "also competing" notice. Nevertheless, Murray apparently met the "femininity" requirements, and managed to retain her title; Schreiner finished sixth, and promptly retired from competition. After 1992, the judging rules were rewritten. The new rules retained provisions for aesthetics, but allowed the contests to be judged as physique contests. Murray went on to win six consecutive Ms. Olympia's between 1990 to 1995, matching Cory Everson's record.

1999 Ms. Olympia controversy and retirement[edit]

The 1999 Ms. Olympia was originally scheduled to be held on October 9 in Santa Monica, California. However, one month before the scheduled date, the IFBB announced that the contest had been cancelled. The main cause was the withdrawal of promoter Jarka Kastnerova (who promoted the 1998 contest in Prague) for financial reasons, including a low number of advance ticket sales for the 1999 event. The backlash following the announcement led to a flurry of activity, with the contest being rescheduled as part of the Women's Extravaganza (promoted by Kenny Kassel and Bob Bonham) in Secaucus, New Jersey on 2 October. Last minute sponsorship came from several sources, most significantly in the form of $50,000 from Flex magazine. Amid all the turmoil, Kim Chizevsky-Nicholls won her fourth consecutive Ms. Olympia title. Also notable about the 1999 Ms. Olympia was that this was the first Ms. Olympia Iris Kyle competed in. However after the 1999 Ms. Olympia, Kim Chizevsky-Nicholls retired from bodybuilding and began competing in fitness and figure competitions in 2001.

2000–2005[edit]

The 2001 Ms. Olympia featured a "surprise" win from Juliette Bergmann who returned to competition after not competing since 1989. Entering the Olympia as a lightweight, she defeated heavyweight winner Iris Kyle for the overall title. In the five years that the Ms. Olympia was contested in multiple weight classes, this was the only time that the lightweight winner took the overall title.

After five year absence, six-time Olympia winner Lenda Murray returned to the 2002 Ms. Olympia, with Bergmann won lightweight and Murray winning heavyweight and overall. Murray went on to win both the heavyweight and overall in the 2002 and 2003 Ms. Olympia. Murray was for the second time in her career was dethroned of her Ms. Olympia title by Iris Kyle in 2004, who won the heavyweight and overall. After her 2004 Ms. Olympia defeat, Murray, retired from bodybuilding.

2000 Ms. Olympia changes[edit]

The IFBB introduced several changes to Ms. Olympia in 2000. The first change was that Ms. Olympia contest would no longer be held as a separate contest, instead became part of the "Olympia Weekend" in Las Vegas and held the day before the men’s show. The second change was when heavyweight and lightweight classes where added. The third change was the new judging guidelines for presentations were introduced. A letter to the competitors from Jim Manion (chairman of the Professional Judges Committee) stated that women would be judged on healthy appearance, face, makeup, and skin tone. The criteria given in Manion's letter included the statement "symmetry, presentation, separations, and muscularity BUT NOT TO THE EXTREME!" The 2000 Ms. Olympia is the only Ms. Olympia with no overall winner, with Andrulla Blanchette winning lightweight class and Valentina Chepiga winning heavyweight class.

2005 Ms. Olympia changes[edit]

The IFBB introduced the so-called '20 percent rule', requesting "that female athletes in Bodybuilding, Fitness and Figure decrease the amount of muscularity by a factor of 20%". The memo stated that the request "applies to those female athletes whose physiques require the decrease". Another change added to the 2005 Ms. Olympia, was the abandonment of the weight class system adopted in 2000. In 2005 Ms. Olympia, Iris Kyle was dethroned by Yaxeni Oriquen-Garcia.

2006–present[edit]

Iris Kyle reclaimed her Ms. Olympia title in 2006. Iris Kyle has went on to win eight consecutive Ms. Olympia's in a row from 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013. With nine overall wins, Kyle has won more Olympia titles, male or female, than any other bodybuilder.

Qualifications[edit]

The IFBB holds six professional female bodybuilder competitions a year. In order to quality for the Olympia, the IFBB Pro Olympia Qualification Series, set up an award point system for competitors placing in the top 2 to 5 of all Pro League events. At the end of the Olympia qualifying season, the five competitors with the highest points totals in the IFBB Pro Olympia Qualification Series will qualify to compete at Olympia Weekend. In the event of a tie, the competitor with the best top five contest placings will be awarded the qualification. No points will be awarded for first place, since the winner qualifies automatically. Also competitors placing in the top 5 at the Olympia automatically qualify for the following year.[2]

Points and qualifications in the IFBB Pro Olympia Qualification Series will be awarded as follows:

Tier 4 – All other IFBB Pro League Competitions

  • 2nd – 4 Points
  • 3rd – 3 Points
  • 4th – 2 Points
  • 5th – 1 Point

Winners[edit]

Year Overall Lightweight Heavyweight Venue
1980 United States Rachel McLish Philadelphia, U.S.
1981 Finland Kike Elomaa Philadelphia, U.S.
1982 United States Rachel McLish Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.
1983 United States Carla Dunlap Warminster, Pennsylvania, U.S.
1984 United States Cory Everson Montreal, Canada
1985 United States Cory Everson New York, U.S.
1986 United States Cory Everson New York, U.S.
1987 United States Cory Everson New York, U.S.
1988 United States Cory Everson New York, U.S.
1989 United States Cory Everson New York, U.S.
1990 United States Lenda Murray New York, U.S.
1991 United States Lenda Murray Los Angeles, U.S.
1992 United States Lenda Murray Chicago, U.S.
1993 United States Lenda Murray New York, U.S.
1994 United States Lenda Murray Atlanta, U.S.
1995 United States Lenda Murray Atlanta, U.S.
1996 United States Kim Chizevsky-Nicholls Chicago, U.S.
1997 United States Kim Chizevsky-Nicholls New York, U.S.
1998 United States Kim Chizevsky-Nicholls Prague, Czech Republic
1999 United States Kim Chizevsky-Nicholls Secaucus, New Jersey, U.S.
2000 – None – United Kingdom Andrulla Blanchette Ukraine Valentina Chepiga Mandalay Bay Arena, Paradise, U.S.
2001 Netherlands Juliette Bergmann Netherlands Juliette Bergmann United States Iris Kyle Mandalay Bay Arena, Paradise, U.S.
2002 United States Lenda Murray Netherlands Juliette Bergmann United States Lenda Murray Mandalay Bay Arena, Paradise, U.S.
2003 United States Lenda Murray Netherlands Juliette Bergmann United States Lenda Murray Mandalay Bay Arena, Paradise, U.S.
2004 United States Iris Kyle Canada Dayana Cadeau United States Iris Kyle Mandalay Bay Arena, Paradise, U.S.
2005 Venezuela Yaxeni Oriquen-Garcia Las Vegas Convention Center, Winchester, U.S.
The Orleans Hotel and Casino, Paradise, U.S.
2006 United States Iris Kyle Las Vegas Convention Center, Winchester, U.S.
The Orleans Hotel and Casino, Paradise, U.S.
2007 United States Iris Kyle Las Vegas Convention Center, Winchester, U.S.
The Orleans Hotel and Casino, Paradise, U.S.
2008 United States Iris Kyle Las Vegas Convention Center, Winchester, U.S.
The Orleans Hotel and Casino, Paradise, U.S.
2009 United States Iris Kyle Las Vegas Convention Center, Winchester, U.S.
The Orleans Hotel and Casino, Paradise, U.S.
2010 United States Iris Kyle Las Vegas Convention Center, Winchester, U.S.
The Orleans Hotel and Casino, Paradise, U.S.
2011 United States Iris Kyle Las Vegas Convention Center, Winchester, U.S.
The Orleans Hotel and Casino, Paradise, U.S.
2012 United States Iris Kyle Las Vegas Convention Center, Winchester, U.S.
The Orleans Hotel and Casino, Paradise, U.S.
2013 United States Iris Kyle Las Vegas Convention Center, Winchester, U.S.
The Orleans Hotel and Casino, Paradise, U.S.
Ms. Olympia champion Year(s) Number of wins
United States Iris Kyle 2001 (heavyweight), 2004 (overall & heavyweight), 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 9 overall and 2 heavyweights
United States Lenda Murray 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 2002 (overall & heavyweight), 2003 (overall & heavyweight) 8 overall and 2 heavyweights
United States Cory Everson 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989 6
United States Kim Chizevsky-Nicholls 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999 4
Netherlands Juliette Bergmann 2001 (overall & lightweight), 2002 (lightweight), 2003 (lightweight) 1 overall and 3 lightweights
United States Rachel McLish 1980, 1982 2
Finland Kike Elomaa 1981 1
United States Carla Dunlap 1983 1
Venezuela Yaxeni Oriquen-Garcia 2005 1
Ukraine Valentina Chepiga 2000 (heavyweight) 1 heavyweight
United Kingdom Andrulla Blanchette 2000 (lightweight) 1 lightweight
Canada Dayana Cadeau 2004 (lightweight) 1 lightweight

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "2013procalendar". ifbbpro.com. Retrieved 2013-01-01. 
  2. ^ "Olympia Qualification Series Announced!". NPC News Online. Retrieved 2012-10-03. 

External links[edit]