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September 17, 2008


Following the Atlantic City Pro, the 17-woman field is now set for the 29th IFBB Ms. Olympia competition. The top six from last year's event automatically earned a berth into this year's show, yet each of them (except Heather Armbrust, who took the allotted time to attempt to improve on her fifth-place debut) played a significant role at the 2008 Ms. International five months later and should be the source of most of the attention at this year's O tilt.

Conventional wisdom states that the Olympia champion needs to be "knocked out" to give up the title. But what do you have to do to beat someone who has won three out of the last four? Reigning champ Iris Kyle may be the best ever to bring proportionate muscularity to the contest stage. But she slipped up at the Ms. International in March, falling to seventh in the final placings. Yaxeni Oriquen-Garcia, last year's third-place finisher, could be Kyle's biggest threat to a three-peat. Oriquen-Garcia won the Ms. International and seems to have regained the form that saw her win the 2005 Olympia. Dayana Cadeau, probably the most massive per square inch, has a knack for collecting the runner-up spot whenever Kyle or Oriquen are off, as she has in each of the last two Olympias. Armbrust, with a year to improve under her belt, could surpass them all in only her second Olympia.

Lisa Aukland has won at the Atlantic City Pro three years in a row; she may be the best in this lineup at shredding her physique even as she passes her 50th birthday on September 16. Betty Pariso is another competitor past age 50 who continues to improve with time.

Cathy LeFrancois (New York Pro), Nicole Ball (Tampa Pro Bodybuilding Weekly Championships) and Jennifer Sedia (Europa Super Show) each won during the season, but as all are on the lighter side, a spot in the posedown of this muscle contest may be the best result they can realistically hope for. Oklahoma City firefighter Sherry Smith should be applauded for her heavyweight win in Dallas, but her O debut will be only her third pro show. The rest of the rookies and seasoned veterans in this contest will be planning to unveil personal-best showings. At the epitome of the sport, that's something to be proud about.

WHAT: Ms. Olympia
WHEN: Friday, September 26
PREJUDGING: Friday at 11 am, Las Vegas Convention Center South Hall
FINALS: Friday at 7 pm, Orleans Arena
FOR MORE INFORMATION: Go here or call 888.234.2334

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