The Ms. Olympia contest was disbanded in 2014 due to falling ticket sales. However, the contest returned in 2020 and saw a new champion crowned — American Andrea Shaw. Thanks in part to promoter and new Olympia owner Jake Wood, Women’s Bodybuilding has seen an uptick in attention.
Now, the athletes in the Women’s Bodybuilding division are set to compete for the second year in a row (since 2020) for a shot at the coveted Ms. Olympia title and a piece of the $1.6 million prize pool. The 2021 Olympia Weekend takes place from Oct. 7-10 in Orlando, FL. Shaw will defend her title against 19 potential competitors looking to call themselves Ms. Olympia.
2021 Ms. Olympia Qualified Athletes List
The full list of qualified athletes (in alphabetical order) is below. Note: this is the list of qualified athletes, not the actual competitor list. This article will be updated to reflect the competitor list when the Olympia releases it.
- Irene Andersen (Sweden)
- MayLa Ash (USA)
- Michaela Aycock (USA)
- Reshanna Boswell (USA)
- Nadia Capostosto (Italy)
- Leah Dennie (USA)
- Stephanie Flesher (USA)
- Monique Jones (USA)
- Janeen Lankowski (USA)
- Anastasia Leonova (Russia)
- Margie Martin (USA)
- Silvia Matta (Italy)
- LaDawn McDay (USA)
- Sheena Ohlig (USA)
- Mona Poursaleh (Canada)
- Virginia Sanchez (Spain)
- Andrea Shaw (USA)
- Helle Trevino (USA)
- Margita Zamolova (Czech Republic)
Only one athlete can leave as champion. The six athletes below are who we consider favorites going into the big contest.
In September, the defending champion has already won the 2021 Rising Phoenix contest in Arizona — clinching both the prejudging and finals round. (The Rising Phoenix contest is one of the most prestigious women’s bodybuilding shows other than the Olympia, similar to the Arnold Classic for the Men’s Open division.)
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Shaw has the total package — size, shape, symmetry, and definition. If she shows up to Orlando on point, it’s hard to imagine her losing the title. In 2020, Shaw managed to win both the Rising Phoenix and the Olympia last year. Can she do it again?
Trevino was last year’s third-place finisher at the Olympia, but the Danish competitor finished as the runner-up to Shaw at the Rising Phoenix show. She is the 2019 Rising Phoenix World Champion, so Trevino has experience on the big stage and knows how to present her physique in a winning way.
Though she ended up in second, being compared so closely to Shaw at the 2021 Rising Phoenix contest gives Trevino an idea of what she needs to improve upon compared to the reigning champ.
Margie “Marvelous” Martin was last year’s Olympia runner-up. However, she wasn’t in the Rising Phoenix contest, so it’s hard to gauge her progress as she prepared to return to the big stage in Orlando.
Martin revealed on Instagram that she has been working with renowned trainer Charles Glass — who has coached several champions over the years, including Dexter Jackson and Flex Wheeler. His unique approach to training — which focuses on muscle contractions and working each body part from different angles — will help Martin bring a powerful-looking physique to the show.
Poursaleh was absent from the 2020 Olympia contest. Her most recent appearance was in Arizona at the Rising Phoenix show. She was in third place in both rounds of judging. Poursaleh revealed on social media that she hadn’t liked the way her back has looked in the relaxed position in the past, but she saw improvements during this prep.
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Fans and members of the media consider her legs to be her best feature. They specifically stand out when she hits an abs and thigh pose. Her legs and back will need to be on point when she stands next to Shaw, who is incredibly well-rounded.
Aycock was fourth at the Rising Phoenix show, her first show in 2021. Like Poursaleh, she wasn’t in the Olympia last year. Aycock is on the smaller side but has wide lats that stand out in the relaxed poses and the front lat spread. She is also impressive in the side poses. Though she has stiff competition, Aycock possesses the potential to place on the podium.
Dennie may be the dark horse of the Olympia. She cracked the top five in Arizona, making her presence known among the best in the sport. According to a recent post on Instagram, she will be focusing on coming in with tighter skin for the Olympia.
Every bodybuilder plans on coming in her best shape, but that doesn’t always happen. If Dennie is on and any of the other favorites miss their mark, she can and likely will take that spot for herself.
Don’t Miss the Olympia
2021 Olympia Weekend is set for Oct. 7-10 in Orlando, FL. The pro competition will take place from Oct 8-9. For fans who can’t be in Orlando, the Olympia is available to watch on pay-per-view (PPV) for $59.95 on Olympiaproductions.com.
Featured Image (left to right): @mzprettymuscle and @mpkach on Instagram