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Lenda Murray to Flex at the O?

Plus pro figure competitions, NY Pro Fitness, Laura Creavalle and Nicole Bass.

April 2, 2002 Report

Don’t count it out. The six-time Ms. Olympia is reportedly thinking about coming out of retirement to go for the gold once more. Wow and double-wow. That ought to have fans of female muscle salivating at the idea of shape queen Murray going delt to delt, quad to quad against shape legend’and current champ’Juliette Bergmann, who came out of a 12-year retirement to wipe the Olympia stage last year. Of course, to do that, she’ll have to get past Iris Kyle, Yaxeni Oriquen, Vickie Gates and a hostess of Heavyweight contenders. Lenda last competed at the ’97 Ms. Olympia, where she took second to Kim Chizevsky for the second year in a row. As a former Ms. O she has a lifetime qualification. All those who think this is a fabulous idea, please raise your hand. Stay tuned to find out if it comes to pass.

Rumors Are Flying

About pro figure competition becoming a reality before the end of 2002. Don’t believe it’although it is true that someone was actually thinking of staging such an event. Promoters of the GNC/Physical Pro Men’s and Women’s Bodybuilding and Fitness Championships were talking about adding the first-ever pro figure event to their jumbo physique show and expo weekend on November 8-10 in New Orleans, but the notion was nixed by IFBB Pro Division honcho Wayne DeMilia. ‘We don’t have a division, rules or contest setup,’ he pointed out. ‘When we were going to do fitness, we talked about it for a couple of years.’ The obstacles to the IFBB’s giving out pro cards for just quarter-turning are the same as they’ve been ever since the NPC introduced its figure division in 2001: None of the other amateur federations are sanctioning figure contests yet, and before we can have pro figure, the rest of the world has to catch up. Plus, DeMilia said, it’s not exactly an exciting event that’ll have ’em lined up to buy tickets’or even begin to cover the investment of prize money, sanction fee and assorted other expenses.

We haven’t heard the last of this searing controversy. I figure the guy or gal who figures out how to make figure competition interesting will probably win the Barbell Prize for Humanitarianism.

New Show on the Schedule: New York Loves Pro Fitness

Or at least Big Apple promoters Bev Francis and Steve Weinberger must think it’s kinda special. Thanks to the success of their New York Pro Fitness Classic, which took place in March in conjunction with their NPC New York Metro Championships, they’ve decided to do it again real soon. The Atlantic States Pro Fitness’to be held with the NPC Bev Francis Atlantic States Bodybuilding, Fitness and Figure Championships’will take place at the Tribeca Performing Arts Center on June 8. Weinberger estimates the pro fitness show increased his ticket sales by 30 percent in March and expects to sell out the auditorium this time. New York Pro winner Adela Garcia-Friedmansky is aiming to repeat her success as well, hitting the stage with a bevy or two of the pro circuit’s coolest cookies. For info or tickets call (516) 933-1111.

Speaking of Pro Fitness

A double handful of U.S high flyers will be hightailing it to Slovakia on April 27 to challenge hometown honey Klaudia Kinska for the top prize’and the three Olympia invites up for grabs. Of course, with Kinska in the show, look for Beth Horn, Carla Sanchez, Jenny Lynn, Libby Streeter, Allison Bookless, Bethany Howlett, Julie Palmer and possibly Poland’s Aleksandra Kobielak to be battling it out for the two remaining Olympia qualifications. Good luck, ladies.

Speaking of former Ms. Olympias.

Kim Chizevsky has indeed signed on the dotted line to test her talents in the fitness waters at the Southwest Pro in Dallas on May 3-4. The four-time Ms. O, who made her fitness debut on the pro level at the prestigious Fitness International in 2001, finishing sixth, will face routine royalty like Jenny Hendershott, Nicole Hobbs and Cynthia Bridges and bodies like Libby Streeter, Christine Bergeron and D.J. Wallis in Texas. For tickets call (817) 498-3631.

One athlete who won’t be competing at the Southwest Pro’or any other fitness show this year’is ’01 USA Middleweight winner Sharon Christian. She’s expecting a baby.

More Lineup Ins and Outs

Speaking of bodybuilders coming out of retirement. The rumors that Laura Creavalle is thinking about competing again are absolutely true. Although her qualification expired a year or so ago’Creavalle last appeared onstage at the ’99 Olympia, where she finished third’according to Pro Division head and Olympia impressario Wayne DeMilia, ‘Laura will get a special invitation if she wants it.’

Also talking of returning to onstage flexing. New York towering inferno Nicole Bass is telling folks she wants to compete at the Jan Tana Classic on August 16-17. The 6’2′, 230-pound ’97 NPC National champ’a.k.a the world’s largest woman bodybuilder’had some serious health problems a while back, so she must be feeling a lot better. Glad to hear it.

Speaking of What Nobody’s Talking About

In case you’ve heard the one about the top Fitness I competitor whose behavior at the Doubletree Hotel in Columbus may not have been all suite-ness and light, rumors that she was punished by not being allowed to compete in the New York Pro Fitness two weeks later are simply not true. Sources close to the gal in question say her decision to skip New York was made before the alleged Ohio incident came to light’although, in fact, she was never on the lineup list for that show. Sources close to IFBB central say it isn’t so as well. Said competitor will have to pay the hotel’s bill for repairs and to cover the cost of the time said suite was out of commission. The list of sins ranges from things your mother told you never to do to property that had to be cleaned or replaced. Not to make light of the situation’the implied bad behavior speaks for itself’but considering the fuss, the total of $598 seems like a cheap thrill. All who stayed in the accommodation reportedly say they didn’t dood it. The lady’s got a couple of weeks to dispute the above list in writing. Otherwise, the money will be deducted from her winnings. Whatever happens, it’s a fair bet she won’t be at the top of the guest list for the Veterans Memorial Auditorium stage in 2003.

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