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Total Controversy
Welcome to Women?s Night at the O

Here are the three big stories from girls? night in at the ?03 Olympia weekend: Lenda won again. Susie won again. Monica didn?t win. Say what?

Reported October 31, 2003

Total Controversy
Welcome to Women’s Night at the O

Here are the three big stories from girls’ night in at the ’03 Olympia weekend: Lenda won again. Susie won again. Monica didn’t win. Say what?

That incredulous query could have come from many who witnessed the first-ever Figure Olympia, which joined the Ms. and Fitness Olympia competitions on the fit-female bill at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas on October 23’24. Sure, some might say that Murray’s second-in-a-row win over Iris Kyle in the heavyweight class was questionable, and Curry’s second repeat victory over Kelly Ryan was bound to get the buzz buzzin’. But it was Davana’s conquest of Mo that really revved motors up.

Let’s take the shows in ascending order of controversy. Fitness Olympia
In the eyes of the 12 guys and gals who sat on the Fitness O panel, Curry did the impossible: She beat high-flyin’ Ryan in the long routines. By one point. Ouch.

The explanation: Despite a high degree of difficulty, Susie’s routines frequently take a backseat to showier performances, probably because she makes it look so easy. In this, her presumed final romp on the Olympia stage as a fitness competitor, the now-four-time champ let loose with a high-wattage number that kicked her own showmanship up a couple of notches. Kelly’s routine was adorable, featuring, Flyin’ Ryan, a superhero who’s able to leap, flip and do pommel horse moves over tall buildings with a single bound. Arguably, she bobbled once or twice, but I thought it was the best of the best-I’ve-ever-seen bunch. Every one of the 14 athletes who hit the Events Center stage went above and beyond in the two-minute routines, and all who earned top-six scores in the round’including Klaudia Kinska, Stacy Hylton, Jen Hendershott and Adela Garcia-Friedmansky–were deserving. As emcee-for-the-evening L.T. said, “The bar just got higher.”

Physiquewise, Ryan, who scored a perfect five in the mandatory routines, presented her best contours and condition to date. She lit up like a Christmas tree when she got the first callout in round 4, one-piece suits, but couldn’t catch Susie’s solid second-place finishes in the body rounds. She ended the evening trailing by 13 points.

Garcia-Friedmansky and her perfect-scored 5’1/4″ physique won both swimsuit rounds to land in third overall, five points behind Ryan, in this top-five qualifier for the ’04 Fitness O. Tracey Greenwood and Hendershott finished fourth and fifth, respectively.

’03 Fitness Olympia
1) Susie Curry*
2) Kelly Ryan*
3) Adela Garcia-Friedmansky*
4) Tracey Greenwood*
5) Jen Hendershott*
6) Anna Level
7) Klaudia Kinska
8) Stacy Hylton
9) Julie Palmer
10) Jenny Worth
11) Kimberly Klein
12) Stacy Simons
13) Shannon Meteraud
14) Kary Odiatu
*Qualifies for the ’04 Fitness Olympia.

Ms. Olympia
Murray was hot’no doubt about it’and in a highly defined condition, and her sensuous posing routine, involving a long black silk scarf, made a major impression in the house. Still, if you’re going strictly by bodybuilding standards, you’ll find a fair number of ticket holders who thought Iris’ fuller legs trumped Murray’s trademark upper body. They had a point. Big, symmetrical and beyond separated, Kyle’s physique was everything she presented in 2002 and more. In this competition, however, the panel went for total-package ability, and the clash of the heavyweights wasn’t even close. Murray scored ones across the board in all rounds, after the high and low votes were tossed out, to finish with a perfect score of 20, while Kyle lagged 21 points behind in second.

The top three in each class earned Olympia qualifications for 2004. Ms. International Yaxeni Oriquen, who beat Kyle at their past two encounters, was not quite as sharp as she’s been and landed solidly in third in this seven-woman lineup to pick up the last of the ’04 invites. In fourth, ’03 NOC champ Betty Viana gave promise of higher Ms. O placings to come.

The lightweight crown also went to the panel’s choice for best total package, a decision plenty of fans weren’t thrilled with, as siren of symmetry Juliette Bergmann scored a not-so-perfect 34 to earn her third consecutive win. Just four points behind in second, Dayana Cadeau was in her best shape in a long time, with her waist nipped, her symmetry flowing and plenty of cuts. She won the muscularity round and the posedown, but it wasn’t enough to stop the 44-year-old Bergmann, who has said she’ll retire from competition (again) and go back to the judging panel next year.

Denise Masino displayed her best body ever in her Olympia debut to pick up the third qualification for next year, while a superbly conditioned Cathy Priest had to be disappointed with her fourth-place finish.

’03 Ms Olympia

Overall: Lenda Murray


1) Juliette Bergmann*
2) Dayana Cadeau*
3) Denise Masino*
4) Cathy Lefrancois Priest
5) Angela Debatin
6) Fanny Barrios
7) Kim Harris
8) Rosemary Jennings
1) Lenda Murray*
2) Iris Kyle*
3) Yaxeni Oriquen*
4) Betty Viana
5) Helle Nielsen
6) Betty Pariso
7) Vickie Gates
*Qualifies for the ’04 Ms. Olympia.

Figure Olympa

As for the brutal body battle that was the first Figure Olympia, predictions proved correct that it would come down to Medina , winner of two pro shows this year; Brant, a former Fitness O victor who was second at the Figure International; and International champ Jenny Lynn. The round of contention took place at the prejudging, when the women were compared in one-piece suits. The lowest score, which went to Medina, was eight. Lynn, who was getting married two days later and whose physique was understandably not quite as complete or polished as in previous outings, was not really in the running. Somehow, though, she beat Mo for second by two points in the two-piece suits, the same two points that cost Mo the title. For those who saw the condition Brant displayed in Nice in ’98, when she walked out in her bikini and walked off with the Fitness O crown, and who thought she looked even better at this show’in both rounds’that was one controversial call. Medina, who is a fierce competitor, just wasn’t up to her own best body of the year’the one from the New York Pro in August’and Brant, who later won round 2 handily–looked fine in her one-piece suit.

Twelve competitors came to Vegas to quarter turn for this premier event, which awarded ’04 Figure O qualifications to the top five finishers. A sharper-than-she’s been Mari Kudla took the number-four prize, while Dina Al-Sabah finished fifth.

Look for more detailed reports, plus Pump & Circumstance commentary, on all three Women’s Olympia competitions in the February ’03 IRONMAN, and visit our Olympia photo galleryonline.

’03 Figure Olympia

1) Davana Medina*
2) Monica Brant*
3) Jenny Lynn*
4) Mari Kudla*
5) Dina Al-Sabah*
6) D.J. Wallis
7) Jaime Franklin
8) Aleksandra Kobielak
9) Sharon Kouvaras
10) Hannah Park
11) Elaine Goodlad
12) Theil Bradford
*Qualifies for the ’04 Figure Olympia.

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