The Ruthless Report 6: Amanda and Michelle: The Yin and Yang of Persistence
On the list of qualities that make a good physique athlete—and by that I mean everybody from bodybuilders to bikini gals to, well, physique athletes—persistence, if not downright stubbornness, has got to be at the top. A couple of my favorite athletes who have been in the news this summer personify that quality, times 10, which, perhaps is the reason their doings are newsworthy. Interestingly, they come from the far ends of the NPC/IFBB spectrum.
The Ruthless Report 5: Candy Is Dandy…and More
Some competitors get their pro card, jump into a show and make the top five, if not the winner’s circle, right away. Others jump into a show and then take a while before suddenly popping into the spotlight. That's the story on Candice Lewis, who jumped to the top of the lineup at the Omaha Pro Figure on June 8, almost a year to the day after her sensational overall victory at the ’11 NPC Junior Nationals. Seventh at the ’11 Fort Lauderdale Pro last fall, sixth at the ’11 Border States and again at the ’11 Kentucky Pro Muscle, seventh at the ’12 Pittsburgh Pro in May.
The Ruthless Report 4: Waiting for Julianna…and More
Anyone who was surprised that Julianna Malacarne won the New York Pro Women's Physique Championship in her first stab at WPD on May 19 was not paying attention back a year and a half ago when NPC and IFBB officials were creating the new women's sport. To a man (or woman), when pressed to name someone who might be an idea WPD candidate—someone who was too big for figure but not as big as a bodybuilder—they cited Malacarne, a Brazilian-born bombshell and mesomorph who never found herself in the winner's circle in figure. So it was only natural that if Julianna decided to get back onstage in physique, she'd do extremely well.
The Ruthless Report: Cheryl Brown—Calm in the Eye of a Storm
You never know what's going on in people's heads, even in the obvious situation of an athlete competing at a major event like the Arnold Sports Festival. Take figure pro Cheryl Brown. The trainer, nutritionist and mother of three from Lake Mary, Florida, who won three contests in 2011, was her cool, calm and collected self when I snapped the accompanying photo at the expo—and happy with the eighth-place finish she'd achieved in the lineup of 29 the night before. Not an inkling of the challenges she was facing on the home front.
The Ruthless Report: Sonia’s Surge and Unintended Consequences and More
Time-warp note: Speaking of how our lives travel at the speed of sound,after I turned in this column and before it was posted, the IFBB Pro League took steps to correct the situation discussed in the first item—much more quickly than my source had indicated. So, in case you’re wondering why the Pro League and Olympia promoters just added a points system to their recent rule change for Olympia qualifications…