The wait is over. The world championships of bodybuilding are officially on. The 2023 Joe Weider’s Olympia Fitness and Performance Weekend kicked off with the Friday prejudging session featuring six of the IFBB Pro League’s 11 divisions. Media and fans joined the competitors from Fitness, 212, Figure, Women’s Physique, the Ms. Olympia, and Wellness divisions. If you weren’t in Orlando or watching on pay-per-view, here’s a quick glance at the 2023 Olympia Prejudging.
Missy Truscott was counting on facing former champions Oksana Grishina and Whitney Jones as well as two-time Fitness International winner Ariel Khadr. Jones and Khadr were in the final callout, but they were joined by Jodi Boam, which was a surprise. The opening round of this division was for Physique. Two-thirds of the overall score come from the Routine round, which will be held on Friday night. Can Truscott win number three, or will we see a new champion crowned?
Two-time champion Shaun Clarida was also seeking a third overall win, but Keone Pearson had different plans. The Texas Pro winner was larger and appeared to have similar conditioning as the “Giant Killer,” which will make the evening showdown interesting. Clarida has beaten bigger men before, and this is a new position for Pearson. Fans were split on who was going to win after the prejudging round concluded.
As many expected, the Figure division came down to six-time champion Cydney Gillon and 2023 Masters Olympia winner Jessica Reyes-Padilla. They were also joined by Lola Montez and Cherish Richardson in the final callout, signaling they may be the top four for this round. Gillon appears to be on track for number seven, but anything can happen at the finals.
Women’s Physique Olympia
Sarah Villegas wants to be the first woman to win this title back after losing it. Natalia Abraham Coelho wants to hear “and still” at the end of the day. There was no shocking development here, either. Coelho and Villegas had center stage to themselves in the final callout of the morning. Villegas is larger, but Coelho appears more confident than ever. Nothing was settled in the opening round of this battle.
Andrea Shaw is the three-time Ms. Olympia, yet she has never appeared more confident in herself than she did today at the prejudging for this year’s contest. The four-time Rising Phoenix World Champion put on a show as did last year’s runner-up Angela Yeo. Fans would be shocked to see Shaw defeated, but she will be putting her best foot forward in the finals to leave nothing to chance.
The expo stage area was packed for the Wellness division. 25 athletes took to the stage for their moment in the spotlight and each competitor had fan support. The loudest cheers were for both Francielle Mattos and Isabelle Nunes. This is Nunes’ second attempt to dethrone defending champion Mattos. We’ll find out tonight if she can do it.
If you’re not in Orlando for the Olympia, go to www.olympiaproductions.com to watch from home live and see bodybuidling history be made.