WILKINS READY FOR NEW YORK

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Nicole Wilkins makes her pro fitness debut in New York

by Isaac Hinds

April 9, 2008

FLEXONLINE.COM

As thousands of competitors can attest, earning a pro card is no small task. So when Nicole Wilkins managed to qualify for two - in the same contest - at the 2007 NPC Team Universe, we all knew we were witnessing something special.

The 24-year-old Wilkins took center stage in New York last August by winning both the overall fitness and figure overall titles. Wilkins kicked of her pro career by competing in the Figure International at the Arnold Classic in March, where she placed 11th. Now, Wilkins is hoping her return to the Big Apple this weekend is a successful one as she prepares to make her professional fitness debut at the 2008 New York City Pro Fitness Championships.

WHAT: 2008 New York City Pro Fitness Championships
WHEN: Saturday, April 12
WHERE: Tribeca Performing Arts at Manhattan Community College
FOR MORE INFORMATION: (516) 933-1111

FLEX: How did it feel competing in your first pro show?
Nicole: Competing as a pro for the first time is exciting, especially when your first show is the Arnold Classic. What an honor! The athletes were treated so well, and it was close to my home, so my friends and family all came to support me. It was definitely an eye-opening experience. Everyone on stage looked amazing.

FLEX: Was there anything you weren't prepared for now that it's over?
Nicole: I think I was as prepared for this show as I could have been at that time. Every show is a learning experience, and you just have to take it and improve for the next time you hit the stage.

FLEX: How did you get started competing in fitness?
Nicole: I was a gymnast for 13 years until I graduated high school. In 2002, I competed in gymnastics at the Arnold Classic and went with my teammates to the fitness finals. I thought, “I want to do that!” And, in 2003, I did! The rest is history.

FLEX: You'll be returning to the stage where you were the only one in NPC history to win both the overall figure and fitness titles. Does it motivate or intimidate you to be going back to this stage?
Nicole: It doesn't intimidate me. I am more excited than anything. I love New York and I feel more comfortable because I am familiar with the venue and the stage. I’m just going to go out there and do my best!

FLEX:What is your goal for this show?
Nicole: My goal is to obviously qualify for the Olympia, but I would be happy with a top-five finish.

FLEX: If you had to choose, which would you rather compete in: fitness or figure?
Nicole: They are both very rewarding. I don't think I could pick one or the other. I have a great time every time I'm on the stage.

FLEX: Thanks Nicole, we wish you all the best in your pro debut!

Competition photos courtesy of Isaac Hinds

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