The return of the Ms. Olympia contest in 2020 brought back many old-school fans and generated some new ones. Since that return, only one champion has reigned atop the division, Andrea Shaw. The native of Michigan has made it a priority to represent her sport and division both on and off the stage, but now is the time that she takes off the ambassador hat and gets into champion mode.
The two-time defending champion will look to make it three in a row when she competes against 20 contenders at the 2022 Olympia Weekend on the weekend of Dec. 16-17, 2022, in Las Vegas, NV. Those contenders are listed below in alphabetical order.
2022 Olympia Roster — Women’s Open
- MayLa Ash
- Michaela Aycock
- Alcione Santos Barreto
- Leyvina Rodrigues Barros
- Reshanna Boswell
- Nadia Capostosto
- Chelsea Dion
- Stephanie Flesher
- Asha Hadley
- Theresa Ivancik
- Michelle Jin
- Lisa Kudrey
- Margie Martin
- Eva Montgomery
- Branka Njegovec
- Mona Poursaleh
- Donna Salib
- Andrea Shaw
- Helle Trevino
- Danielle Willis
- Angela Yeo
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Shaw is the only previous champion in this lineup. She started her 2022 campaign by winning the Rising Phoenix World Championship (RPWC) on Nov. 5, 2022, in Chandler, AZ. She is a three-time defending RPWC champion and looks to match that streak at the 2022 Olympia in Las Vegas. Many fans and experts credited her definition and extra muscle density for her victory in the RPWC. It’s widely believed that a third title is as good as hers if she shows up the same or better at the Ms. Olympia.
Should Shaw lose the title, a 13th Ms. Olympia champion will be crowned. Coming out of the RPWC, the number one contender for Shaw’s title appears to be MayLa Ash. Ash placed second to Shaw at the RPWC — a significant jump from her 11th-place finish at the 2021 Ms. Olympia. Ash qualified for this contest by winning the 2021 Toronto Pro in December 2021. With five career wins to her credit, Ash knows what it’s like to win on the pro stage, but she’s never finished higher than fourth at the Olympia, which she did in 2020.
The 2021 Ms. Olympia runner-up was 2017 and 2019 RPWC winner Helle Trevino. She hasn’t competed in 2022, so the Olympia will be her first appearance of the year. With a whole year to prepare, this could be the best version of Trevino we’ve seen.
Lining up next to her will be 2016 RPWC winner Margie Martin. “The Marvelous One” was third in the 2021 Olympia and was out of this year’s RPWC. Martin has a pair of the best arms in bodybuilding and is an entertaining poser. Martin is one of the few competitors in the Ms. Olympia before it was discontinued in 2014. She placed 10th that year to champion Iris Kyle.
Michaela Aycock was sixth in Orlando in 2021 but third at the RPWC. She originally started as a Women’s Physique competitor but switched to the Women’s Open in 2019. The 2022 Atlanta Pro winner looks to move up to the top five or higher this year.
Then, there’s Mona Poursaleh, who was fifth at the RPWC, but she won the Best Poser award. She will have a spot in the first callout but has to match Shaw’s definition and symmetry. Poursaleh was fourth at the 2021 Olympia in Orlando, FL.
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Along with the current crop of stars and veterans, some athletes are making their debuts on bodybuilding’s biggest stage. Among them will be Angela Yeo, who won her pro debut at the 2022 Chicago Pro in July after winning the 2020 NPC Nationals. Yeo’s shape is perfect for bodybuilding — lean with full muscle bellies. Shaw’s muscle maturity, along with Yeo’s first time on the big stage, may prove too much for Yeo to overcome, but it isn’t unheard of for a new entrant to make a significant impact. Yeo could be that athlete in 2022.
2022 Omaha Pro winner Danielle Willis will also make her Olympia debut in 2022. She was 16th in the 2021 Lenda Murray Savannah show, and her transformation between those two contests garnered much attention. If she wants to stand alongside the favorites, she must be even more impressive in Las Vegas.
Eva Montgomery will also walk onto the Olympia stage for the first time, and she will do so with incredible legs. Her quads are striated, and her hamstrings stand out in both side and back poses. Her upper body isn’t small, but her lower body stands out.
Some athletes who have been on the big stage before are much better now. One of those is Theresa Ivancik. She was 14th at the 2020 Ms. Olympia but made a big statement this year when she won the Indy Pro. There’s a good chance she will be in the top 10, potentially contending for a top-six spot in Las Vegas.
Chelsea Dion was eighth at the RPWC and won the 2022 Tampa Pro to qualify for the Olympia. This will be her first Olympia. Seeing her reach the top 10 won’t be a shock. Michelle Jin is another competitor to pay attention to. She qualified on points and ranked third in the 2022 New York Pro and the 2021 Toronto Pro. If she peaks properly, she will be a challenging matchup for the rest of the field.
The 2022 Olympia Weekend will be streamed live on pay-per-view, and you can order the premium package to watch all competitions for $59.99 by going to www.olympiaproductions.com.
Featured Image: @mzprettymuscle on Instagram