It hardly seems possible to believe that 30 years have passed since Cory Everson won the first overall NPC National title in 1984 when she contributed mightily to a staggering growth in the popularity of women's bodybuilding through the decade of the ‘80s. Still, after all the passing years since then, over a thousand female bodybuilders have also contributed to what has become the crown jewel event on the annual NPC calendar.
Winning the overall NPC Nationals is the crown jewel of contest victories annually, and it has been that way since the earliest days of this event. The title goes to the top amateur female bodybuilder of the year, and it leads to the fast track of being recognized as a competitor who will likely become a very competitive pro and even Ms. Olympia. Yes, it could happen. But what are the chances?
As the third of four pro WPD events scheduled after this year's Physique Olympia, Jon Lindsay's Ultimate Warriors event was staged at the Scottish Rite Event Center in San Diego on November 1st. These events have given competitors the opportunity to take an early shot at qualifying for the 2015 Physique Olympia eliminating the time, expense and stress of having to enter additional contests that will run until next year's Olympia date in September. So far, Tamee Marie and Teresita Morales have punched their tickets to next year's 'O' with their October victories, joining the top five finishers from the recent Olympia won by Juliana Malacarne.
The Europa Games and Sports Expo in Phoenix on the weekend of October 25-26 was a monster collaborative effort spearheaded by Ed and Betty Pariso and Scott Templeton. But it was best described by Betty Pariso at the athletes’ check-in on Friday evening when she pointed out that it was a family effort as well. And she was spot on in that explanation.
The event definitely had that close-knit feel to it, and she had gathered family members and close friends to assist in making this huge event successful. Now in its third year in Phoenix, the Phoenix Convention Center offered up 500,000 square feet of space to fit the Expo's need to accommodate vendors and all the sporting competitions on the schedule. So, the Expo has doubled in size in just one calendar year and by the looks of the enthusiastic crowd it's a sure bet the event will grow again in 2015.
Promoter Jon Lindsay kicked off the first of the 2015 Olympia qualifiers of the Pro Women's Physique division events in the post-Olympia season as 16 contestants gathered at the Veterans Auditorium in Culver City, California on October 18th to compete in the Titans Grand Prix. Now a tradition in its third year, Lindsay's Titan contests have become October events that offer competitors an early start in the Olympia qualification process – either as a winner and automatic Olympia qualifier, or as part of the Olympia points race for those placing in the top five.
Progress. Growth. Looking to the future. The 2014 competitive season for the pro Women's Physique Division was a winner at several levels, and all of which point to a future within the division that will likely bring excitement and anticipation in the coming years. How could it not? As has been said on countless occasions – numbers don't lie. And the numbers created by the cast of characters who make up this division have provided a stunning array of physiques that have propelled – at warp speed – the growth and quality that already has fans waiting anxiously for the new season of Olympia-qualifying events to begin.
That Juliette Bergmann was a pioneering personage in the early years of women's bodybuilding is undisputed. And almost from her earliest years as a young entrant in local Dutch contests, few would argue that she was destined to become a full-fledged phenomenon becoming what many felt was the most symmetrically sound physique in the history of the sport. One thing is certain, Juliette Bergmann stands as a graphic illumination as to how blessed genetics, years of progressive-resistance weight training and special attention to specificity exercises can craft an extraordinary superstructure capable of winning a Ms. Olympia crown.
With little question, this year's second edition of the Olympia Women's Physique Showdown had been drawing major pre-contest anticipation since last year's inaugural event that saw Dana Linn Bailey flex her way to the first-ever title. In just three years this pro division has generated huge interest, and on a weekend when the enormous Olympia Festival was celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Mr. Olympia and the female bodybuilders were competing in the 35th annual Ms. Olympia, this rookie event was holding its own in attracting attention.