2021 Olympia Friday Evening Recap: Shaw repeats, Jones brings again Olympic title

Many members of the bodybuilding and fitness community gathered with excitement and anticipation for the 2021 Olympic weekend in Orlando, Florida. The biggest event of the year began with the coronation of five Olympic champions at the Orange County Convention Center. The fans in attendance heard Bob Cicherillo say, “And another,” “And new,” and even “And again”.

Two new champions crowned

Courtesy of Olympia

Every time someone wins the Olympics for the first time, it's like witnessing bodybuilding history. You can tell you were a small part of such a significant moment. Derek Lunsford fans know that feeling now, because after five years as a professional, he has finally achieved his ultimate goal of becoming Olympia 212 champion in 2021. He narrowly defeated incumbent Shaun Clarida, who took second place. The top three of this competition were rounded off by the 2019 champion, Kamal Elgargni. After seven years with Flex Lewis as the sole winner, the 212 has seen three new champions in as many years.

2021 Olympic champion Whitney Jones with the runner-upCourtesy of Olympia

The other title change would be in the fitness department. After Whitney Jones bowed to what she called a “false positive” COVID-19 test from the Arnold, she had an added incentive to win the Olympic fitness victory. Reigning champion Missy Truscott and four-time winner Oksana Grishina had other plans. Jones was undeniable, however. Grishina finished third and Truscott took silver. This brought Jones her third Olympic victory in her career, which she dedicated to her sons in the subsequent interview.

Three champs remain at the top

5x Olympic figure winner Cydney Gillon wins Olympic champion 2021Courtesy of Olympia

Cydney Gillon could be considered the most dominant champion in the history of the figurine department. In the past few years she has taken the stage, faced the judges and wins. 2021 would be no different for Gillon, making her the first five-time figure to be Olympic champion.

The second edition of Ms. Olympia since her return was similar to the first. Andrea Shaw said she felt more pressure this time, but she certainly didn't show it. Shaw looked as cool as the other side of a pillow and repeated himself as an Olympic champion. Helle Trevino came second. Margie Martin rounded off the top 3.

Then there was the Women's Physique department. Sarah Villegas wanted to prove that 2020 was no coincidence. Fan favorite Natalia Coelho wanted to finally reach the top of her league. These two were clearly the favorites in the line-up, and it was not an easy decision for the judges to make. Coelho was perhaps her best ever. The size and density of Villegas seemed too much to Coelho, and she repeated them as Ms. Physique Olympia. There may have been a new breakout star in the division in Brooke Walker. Her fan base grew in third place thanks to her performance.

Mr. Olympia prejudiced

2020 Mr. Olympia Big Ramy poses in 2019 Mr. Olympia Brandon Curry at the 2021 Mr. Olympia bodybuilding competitionCourtesy of Olympia

The main event of the weekend was the 57th Mr. Olympia, and Friday evening ended at the Olympia without prejudice. Reigning Champion Mamdouh "Big Ramy" Ellsbiay and former Champion Brandon Curry were the two favorites, and the judges had them at the center of the first and last callouts. Curry had over 10 pounds more muscle than last year. Elssbiay was calm, cool and, like last year, it was important to be the first to take every pose. The crowd was mixed as to who would take the title, but everyone will find out by the end of Saturday night.

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