With the 49th Olympia event in the books, 2013 was a year for many “firsts” in the bodybuilding industry. This year marked the first year for the International Federation of Bodybuilding (IFBB) Men’s Physique Division as well as the first year for the IFBB Women’s Physique Division at the Olympia. Check out some of the Olympia stats past and present on hardbodynews.com.
I was happy to be able to attend and represent Celsius at this event once again. This year I was stationed with two of our wonderful partners, The Vitamin Shoppe and Lone Star Distribution. Celsius, Inc. is proud to have the support of these two companies. Thank you so much for allowing us to be a guest at your booths!
The Olympia Expo is unreal, extremely crowded and exciting all at the same time. Even if you are not into bodybuilding, this is one event that you do not want to miss if you are a fitness enthusiast. Most of the large health and fitness/supplement brands are present and provide the attendees with samples of their latest and greatest products. Many of the vendors also run great show specials to make their products more affordable for the consumers to purchase. These brands also tend to bring their top athletes and models. So if you have a fitness inspiration that you follow in the magazines or online, there is a good chance they will be working with their sponsor, signing autographs and taking pictures with fans. Definitely an event you do not want to miss!
I got the chance to sit down and chat with IFBB Men’s Physique Pro, Stephen Mass, from Fort Worth, Texas. Stephen was part of the first ever Men’s Physique competition at the 2013 Olympia. Stephen obtained Professional status into the IFBB at the 2012 NPC Nationals and took most several months off from competing before he made his Professional debut. At his professional debut, Stephen placed high enough to earn points in the 2013 Olympia Points Qualification Series. This was an unexpected honor for Stephen which made him determined to qualify for the 2013 Olympia with the little time that was left. At the last Men’s Physique qualifying show of 2013, Stephen locked in his spot to be one of the lucky gentleman to be part of the first ever Men’s Physique Division at the Olympia. Stephen states, “The Olympia experience was a whole new level. It was amazing getting to meet people you follow on social media and in magazine spreads. When it came down to show time, I felt my nerves kick in as I walked out. The overall experience was great and I am happy to have been a part of this moment in bodybuilding history”. This was also Mass’ first time in Las Vegas, what a treat! Stephen is taking the remainder of 2013 off from competing in order to relax and work on his physique with hopes to requalify for the 2014 Olympia. Stephen would like to thank his team at Camp Hero Fitness and his sponsor Pro Tan for all of the support. You can follow Stephen on Instagram @stephenjmass or facebook at www.facebook.com/stephen.mass
The Olympia also had events in IFBB Women’s Bodybuilding, Fitness, Figure, Physique and Bikini. In the IFBB Men’s divisions, Open Bodybuilding, 212 and Physique were represented. Congratulations to all of the class winners and athletes who qualified and walked across the most prestigious stage in bodybuilding. I am sure you will all be back next year for the 2014 Olympia.
The Olympia Expo hosts an array of events from Crossfit and power lifting to amateur competitions such as the Flex Bikini Model search for women and the Muscle and Fitness Magazine search for men (which is similar to the Men’s Physique Division, board shorts and all). The winners of these amateur events get great recognition and exposure throughout the year in the bodybuilding and fitness industry. It is a great stepping stone for many athletes looking for a big break in the fitness modeling industry.
Melanie Galles, National Physique Committee (NPC) Bikini competitor from Miami, was one of the several women who competed in the FLEX Model Search. Galles has been a bikini competitor for one year and spent 8 weeks preparing for the Flex Bikini Model Search. Galles stated, “While it is a model search, the judging criteria and competition aspects seemed very similar to my experience in NPC Bikini competitions”. Galles enjoyed the experience and states the “Flex model search is great exposure with the judges as well as with supplement companies who are in the Las Vegas Convention Center for the Olympia Expo hall”. The FLEX Bikini Model Search is the season closer for Galles’ 2013 competition season. Her next show will be NPC Jr. Usa’s in Charleston, SC in May 2014 as she is on a quest to obtain her IFBB Pro Card. You can follow Melanie’s fitness journey on her Instagram account @melaniegalles.
Having been blessed to attend the Olympia as an amateur bikini competitor in 2012 and return in 2013 as an IFBB pro is a surreal experience. It goes to prove that a lot can change in a year and I hope to continue this yearly tradition of attending the Olympia and create more lasting memories with friends in the fitness world. If you have not been to the Olympia yet… what are you waiting for? Plan ahead and make a trip out of this yearly event, you won’t be disappointed.
Now that I can actually qualify to compete on the Olympia stage, one of my goals for the 2014 season is to gain points in the Olympia 2014 Qualification Series so that I can walk across that prestigious stage. With the support of my friends, family, coworkers and team- I know that I will be able to reach my goals. I know it will not be an easy road, but I am always up for a good challenge and I look forward to what the 2014 competition season has in store for me. Anything is possible!