All year long, bodybuilding fans have anticipated the 2021 Olympia and the biggest event of bodybuilding is now halfway over. On Oct. 8, 2021, six divisions participated in pre-judging on Friday morning, and now the finals are underway for five of them.
The Wellness division — making its Olympia debut in 2021 — participated in morning pre-judging, but the finals for that division (along with the Wheelchair division) takes place Saturday morning (Oct. 9). The Men’s Open division also quarter-turned their way through pre-judging and will have their finals Saturday night. Here are the divisions participating in Friday night finals:
The overwhelming favorite for the Figure division was four-time champion Cydney Gillon, and nothing appeared to change after prejudging. She was in the center of the first and last callout in the first round. The question was, can she slam the door behind her and win her fifth title? Turns out, yes, she sure could.
After each lady was introduced to the crowd individually, the top five awards were announced, and Cydney Gillon made history as the first five-time champion in the history of the Figure division.
- Cydney Gillon, $50,000
- Natalia Soltero, $20,000
- Stephanie Gibson, $10,000
- Jessica Reyes Padilla, $5,000
- Nicole Zenobia Graham, $4,000
Many experts would say that the two greatest athletes in this division are champion Sarah Villegas and the popular Natalia Abraham Coelho. The fans made their support for Coelho well known earlier in the day, and she was right next to the champion in the final callout.
After the comparisons, routines, and posedown of the top five contenders, it was time to get down to the reason they were here — to see who the best is. For 2021, the best Women’s Physique competitor in the world is still Sarah Villegas. This is her second straight year as the Olympia champion.
- Sarah Villegas, $50,000
- Natalia Abraham Coelho, $20,000
- Brooke Walker, $10,000
- Barbara Menage, $5,000
- Ana Harias, $4,000
After the greeting from announcer Bob Cicherillo, the Friday night Finals opened with the Fitness Olympia and the competitors’ routines. The prejudging round for Fitness is one-third of the overall score. The routines are where legends are made.
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The buzz going into the finals was around reigning champion Missy Truscott and two-time champion Whitney Jones. Jones’ physique was as good as it had ever been, and Truscott always comes to competitions in great shape. So now it’s a matter of how her routine would be.
In the end, Whitney Jones recaptured her title after battling it out against a very competitive and fit Missy Truscott.
- Whitney Jones, $50,000
- Missy Truscott, $20,000
- Oksana Grishina, $10,000
- Ariel Khadr, $5,000
- Jaclyn Baker, $4,000
Andrea Shaw went into this weekend as the champion and favorite to repeat. Her poise and confidence in the first round was obvious. However, she was standing next to someone she has become very familiar with in Helle Trevino. The former Rising Phoenix champ was second at the 2021 edition of the Rising Phoenix, and Trevino was obviously in hot pursuit of Shaw at the Olympia as well. The final comparisons for this group were held to determine the finishing order. Shaw and Trevino were the clear contenders for this year’s title. They both appeared as if they could hold the poses all evening. Neither bodybuilder was shaking at all.
When Shaw performed her individual routine, her song started with “I ain’t going anywhere.” She was clear with her intentions of going back-to-back. The top five then put on one of the more entertaining posedowns that the fans have seen in recent years. The song lyrics in Shaw’s song would prove to be true. Olympia owner Jake Wood and eight-time Ms. Olympia Lenda Murray presented Shaw with her second straight gold medal and title of Ms. Olympia.
- Andrea Shaw, $50,000
- Helle Trevino, $20,000
- Margie Martin, $10,000
- Mona Poursaleh, $5,000
- Irene Anderson, $4,000
The prejudging round saw three men emerge ahead of the pack: reigning champion Shaun Clarida, 2019 champion Kamal Elgargni, and fan-favorite Derek Lunsford. All three would be placed in the center for the final callouts, so fans were discussing who would be the champ at the end of the night.
The pre-judging round saw three men emerge ahead of the pack: reigning champion Shaun Clarida, 2019 champion Kamal Elgargni, and fan-favorite Derek Lunsford. All three would be placed in the center for the final callouts, so fans were discussing who would be the champ at the end of the night. The top ten came out for the Finals to be compared one last time for the judges. The two fan favorites were finally compared on their own, and head judge Steve Weinberger made both men hit numerous poses. Weinberger even allowed both men two extra poses of their own choice.
In the end, Lunsford came in sharp enough and won the 212 title. It was incredibly close between Clarida and Lunsford — illustrated by the meticulous posing Weinberger subjected both men to — but Lunsford’s package was close to perfect.
- Derek Lunsford, $50,000
- Shaun Clarida, $20,000
- Kamal Elgargni, $10,000
- Angel Calderon Frias, $5,000
- Nathan Epler, $3,000
2021 Olympia Schedule
Olympia Weekend runs from Oct. 7-10, with the pro competitions taking place on the eighth and ninth. Here’s the complete competition schedule:
- Friday, Sept. 8, 9:00 a.m. EST: Morning Pre-judging (Fitness, 212, Figure, Women’s Physique, Ms. O, Wellness)
- Friday, Sept. 8, 7:00 p.m. EST: Evening Finals (212, Fitness, Figure, Women’s Physique, Ms. O, Mr. O Prejuding)
- Saturday, Sept 9, 9:00 a.m. EST: Morning Pre-judging (Classic Physique, Men’s Physique, Bikini, Wellness Finals, Wheelchair Finals)
- Saturday, Sept 9, 7:00 p.m. EST: Evening Finals (Mr. Olympia, Men’s Physique, Bikini, Classic Physique)
Featured Images: Will Wittmann (@w_wittmann on Instagram)