The 2022 Olympia Weekend will feature 11 pro divisions hosting world championship bodybuilding events. One of the more recent additions to the Olympia lineup was Women’s Physique, which started in 2013 with the popular Dana Linn Bailey being crowned the first champion.
There have been four Olympia champions in total leading up to this year’s contest, the tenth for the division. The 2022 Women’s Physique Olympia will take place Dec. 16-17 as a part of Olympia Weekend in Las Vegas, NV. Twenty-five athletes have qualified for this monumental contest, and they are listed below in alphabetical order:
2022 Women’s Physique Olympia Roster
Natalia Abraham Coelho
Ji Hye Lee
Claudia Gabriela de Leon Pardo
Caroline Alves Dos Santos
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The only previous winner in this lineup is the two-time defending champion, Sarah Villegas. Since the division was first featured at the Olympia in 2013, only one athlete has won at least three titles — Juliana Malacarne. Malacarne won four years in a row from 2014 until her retirement in 2017.
Villegas is considered the strong favorite to win her third straight Olympia. She fanned the flames by sharing a recent photo on Instagram, showing how ripped she is with two weeks to go before the contest.
In the last few years, the number one contender for this title has been the 2021 runner-up, Natalia Abraham Coelho. Coelho is a fan favorite. She won the Women’s Physique International title at the Arnold Classic in both 2019 and 2020. She also has two wins this year, the New York Pro and Pittsburgh Pro. Many fans feel it’s a matter of time before Coelho hoists an Olympia trophy.
A new athlete on the block made her presence known in 2021. Brooke Walker surprised the fans last year, placing third in her first time competing on bodybuilding’s most prestigious stage. Walker has had a year to grow and make improvements that will make her a formidable challenger to both Coelho and Villegas. Her posing and confidence are both strong assets. A top-three finish wouldn’t be a shock, and she may even be one of the last two standing at the end of the contest.
Barbara Menage of France was in fourth place at the 2021 Olympia. She is a relative newcomer to the pro ranks, having turned pro at the 2020 NPC Worldwide European Championships. She hasn’t competed yet this year, either, so expect a bigger and fuller physique this time around. Menage will push for a top-three finish in 2022.
Melissa Teich was sixth in the 2021 Olympia. In 2022, she won the 2022 Texas Pro to qualify for the Olympia and displayed a wide back with full quads. She can very well break into the top five, thanks to the absence of last year’s fifth-place finisher Ana Haris as well as her improvements since she last graced the Olympia stage.
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A new challenger to watch is Chelsey Worster, who won the 2022 Omaha Pro to punch her ticket to Las Vegas. She was also the 2020 NPC Junior USA winner, which helped her turn pro. The bright lights may be intimidating, but Worster can catch some athletes off guard and move up the standings if she peaks her physique properly before prejudging.
2022 Chicago Pro winner Ashley Jones will also make her inaugural Olympia appearance in Las Vegas. She also won the Texas Pro in 2021. She has a great upper back and is working to maximize her conditioning and be as ripped as possible when she takes the stage to face the judges.
A Cinderella story in the making could come at the hands of Evon Pennington, a Masters competitor who won the 2022 Legion Sports Fest open title. That was only her second pro show. Her third will be the 2022 Olympia. A top-10 finish for Pennington would be a great way to ignite a momentous 2023 season.
There are a few competitors who haven’t received the attention they should. One of those is Rachel Daniels, who finished seventh at the 2020 Olympia but didn’t compete in 2021. She’s a former New York Pro winner and has had plenty of time to make the kind of improvements that will catch the judges’ eyes.
Antoinette Downie surprised many people in attendance at the 2022 Arizona Pro by placing first in the Women’s Physique division to qualify for the Olympia. It will be her first appearance in four years. She finished 15th at the 2018 Olympia, which was also in Las Vegas, NV. Downie will likely not be satisfied with anything below a top-10 finish.
Ivie Rhein has been a pro since 2016 and finished in the top 10 at the Olympia in the last two years — fifth in 2020 and seventh in 2021. Her goal is to be better than her 2021 form and return to the top five. Christelle Zarovska was in eighth in the 2021 contest and is ready to take the next step to the top five as well. Last but not least is Anne-Lorraine Mohn. She was 10th in 2021 but goes into this year’s Olympia with momentum thanks to winning the 2022 Arnold Classic UK title.
All 11 contests at the 2022 Olympia Weekend will be live-streamed on pay-per-view, and you can pre-order the Premium package that will include every pro contest for $59.99. For more information and to order the pay-per-view, go to www.olympiaproductions.com.
Featured Image: @iamsarahfit on Instagram