In case you haven’t noticed, Jenn Gates’ name has quietly slipped off the competitor list for the Figure International. I’m not surprised, as I talked with the ’08 Figure Olympia champ a couple of weeks ago at the IRON MAN Pro/Los Angeles Fitness Expo, and she was definitely leaning in that direction. In the wake of the sudden death of her husband Derek in December, Jenn’s total focus has been on getting her two children and extended family through an unimaginably difficult time. Two months after the fact her hands were still very full and life decisions were still to be made.
A featured attraction at the Pro Fight supplements booth, Jenn was gamely greeting fans and posing for many photos at the Fit Expo, but she had brought her young daughter with her to L. A. rather than be away from her. Contest prep? Her lips said, “We’ll see,” but her eyes said, “Not gonna happen.”
Ironically, Gates is the cover model—along with Moe El Moussawi—and featured Hardbody for the May ’09 IRON MAN, which we’re working on now. That and other photo shoots and interviews she did right after her upset victory at the O will continue coming to light this winter and spring, so she’ll be very much a presence on the scene even if she isn’t onstage.
So, Jenn, you go, girl—do what you have to do. As they say in the old hotel ads, We’ll keep the light on for you.
P.S.: While she won’t be competing, Jenn did say that she will be appearing at the Pro Fight booth during the big Arnold Sports Festival weekend. For the record, that’s March 5 through 8 in Columbus, Ohio.