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2002 Ms. Olympia: Lenda?s Back in Town

Lenda Murray blew in to the Mandalay Bay Events Center on October 17–18 looking to reclaim the crown she held for six consecutive years and accomplished her objective big time.

Reported October 21, 2002

’02 Ms. Olympia: Lenda’s Back in Town
LAS VEGAS—Lenda Murray blew in to the Mandalay Bay Events Center on October 17–18 looking to reclaim the crown she held for six consecutive years and accomplished her objective big time. The 40-year-old gym owner from Virginia Beach, Virginia, who lost the Ms. Olympia title to Kim Chizevsky in 1996 and then retired in 98, picked up perfect scores in all four rounds to take the Heavyweight class in her return to competition. Then in the battle for the Overall she did it again, doing to defending Ms. O Juliette Bergmann what Chizevsky had done to her and becoming the first ever seven-time Ms. Olympia. Seven Lightweights and eight Heavyweights made it to the big season finale this year. The top three in each class are automatically qualified for the ’03 Ms. O.

There’s no question that the perfectly proportioned Bergmann duplicated her mass and conditioning of last year. The 5’2”, 130-pounder who herself had ended a 13-year hiatus from the posing platform in 2001, dominated the class again with ones across the board, leaving ’00 Ms. O Heavyweight winner Valentina Chepiga 26 points behind in second. Chepiga, who dropped to Lightweight after finishing fourth last year, took second in all but the muscularity round. That honor went to Fannie Barrios, who was eight points behind Valentina in third.

In the Heavyweights Murray more than proved true predictions that she’d be in fantastic shape and unbeatable. Her 5’5” of Flex Wheeler–like lines were big, cut and symmetrical, so much so that sitting Ms. O Heavyweight Iris Kyle didn’t have a chance for anything but a unanimous runner-up finish—despite her being bigger, more cut and maybe even better proportioned than Lenda. Murray’s quality and charisma ruled the day. Vickie Gates’ size and proportion earned her the number-three spot.

’02 Ms. Olympia

Overall: Lenda Murray*

1) Juliette Bergmann*
2) Valentina Chepiga*
3) Fannie Barrios*
4) Sophie Duquette
5) Angela Debatin
6) Laura Creavalle
7) Susanne Neiderhauser

1) Lenda Murray*
2) Iris Kyle*
3) Vickie Gates*
4) Yaxeni Oriquen
5) Dayana Cadeau
6) Nancy Lewis
7) Betty Viana
8) Beth Roberts
*Qualifies for the ’03 Ms. Olympia.

’02 Fitness Olympia: Curry’s Three-peat—She Can’t Be Beat
LAS VEGAS—Multi–Fitness Olympia and Fitness International victor Susie Curry took another pass at the big crapshoot at the Mandalay Bay Events Center on October 17–18 and came up winner one more time, picking up her third consecutive title at the biggest show in pro fitness. Winning both physique rounds and taking second in the 45-second routines, the lithe and lovely lady from Raleigh, North Carolina, ended the competition with 45 points, 21 notches ahead of second-placer Kelly Ryan and her reputation as the most well-balanced fitness athlete in the bunch intact. All 15 contestants who earned their way to Vegas were in the shape of their lives, and the routines were top-notch, so much so that no one earned ones across the board in any round, at least before the high and low scores were tossed out. Ryan won both routine contests, but even those numbers weren’t perfect, with Jenny Worth, Jenny Hendershott, Stacy Hylton and Curry, in that order, deservedly getting some respect in the showpiece two-minute round as well.

Ryan finished second to Curry in 2000 but watched Worth pass her up for the runner-up spot last year. This time out it was Jenny W. lagging 16 points behind in third, with Adela Garcia-Friedmansky in fourth and Hendershott in fifth. In addition to Hylton, who took sixth overall, Olympia newbies making named for themselves included Tracey Greenwood, who got some key callouts in the physique comparisons to land in seventh.

For complete coverage of the ’02 Ms. and Fitness Olympias look for the contest reports and Pump & Circumstance in the February and March ’03 issues of IRONMAN—and check out the Olympia contest gallery on this Web site.

’02 Fitness Olympia
1) Susie Curry*
2) Kelly Ryan*
3) Jenny Worth*
4) Adela Friedmansky*
5) Jenny Hendershott*
6) Stacy Hylton
7) Tracey Greenwood
8) Shannon Meteraud
9) Christine Bergeron
9) Tanji Johnson (tie)
11) Anna Level
12) Stacy Simons
13) Laurie Vaniman
14) Lisa Reed
15) Aleksandra Kobielak
Qualifies for the ’03 Fitness Olympia.

View Olympia gallery here >>

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