I’m not a gambler nor a drinker. What brought me and my friend Alycia to Las Vegas, Nev. for 4 days in September, you might ask? The Mr. Olympia competition.
If you’ve not heard of the Olympia, I’ll give a brief synopsis. Think Arnold Schwarzenegger. He won this seven times. It was not in Vegas every time he competed, but has been located there for many years. It is one of the world’s most well-known bodybuilding competitions. Athletes and spectators from across the globe traveled to network, sight see and witness the fitness shows during a weekend in September.
As an amateur natural figure competitor, I aspire to be like Nicole Wilkins. She has won Ms. Figure Olympia titles four times and is the epitome of the sport for female bodybuilders. One reason Alycia and I arrived early was to meet The Olympians.
I had the pleasure to not just meet, but talk to Nicole and several other Olympias, including Sheena Jayne Martin, who is a bikini athlete from New Zealand.
Outside of meeting these top-caliber athletes, Alycia and I explore the Vegas strip, walked through many casino hotels and enjoyed some tasty treats along the way.
Friday evening, we went to a Cirque du Soleil Beatles LOVE show and the Omnia night club where The Chainsmokers and Calvin Harris performed. It was an awesome evening! However, it reminded me that 1) staying up until 3:00am while on a different time zone messes with your sleep cycle and 2) I need to revive my love for older genre music.
Alycia and I also attended the Olympia Expo, where hundreds of vendors had product samples, special discounts and promotional offers and a great networking opportunity. Little did we know that just talking to some of the representatives at companies could get us additional free samples and tickets to a special 30th Birthday Event for Optimum Nutrition! It was remarkable meeting these sponsored athletes and getting to hear their stories. That night before the Olympia, Alycia and I dressed up, went to dinner and attended the Birthday Bash.
We even got to talk with Steve Cook in the midst of him floating around, taking snapchats and vlogging. Turns out, Alycia, me and Devon, an Optimum Nutrition athlete, were in Steve’s YouTube vlog for literally one second, at 6:32!
The Olympia finale was inspiring. Although neither Nicole nor Sheena one their respective divisions, the atmosphere demonstrated true discipline and passion. This was my first visit to Vegas and I can guarantee it won’t be my last.
The journey of an Olympian is neither easy nor simple. However, with the right mindset, talent and devotion, even you can become an Olympian in your sport.