It’s late July, but thankfully, the Mr. Olympia, LLC, production crew can’t feel the triple-digit heat on the Strip as they stand in the air-conditioned Las Vegas Convention Center. “It’s the calm before the storm,” says Olympia Expo manager Craig Arthur as he looks over a vast empty space. “It’s not going to last.” No, it won’t. With about a month and a half to go before showtime, the O crew is in town for one last survey before visitors from all over the world come for the industry’s ultimate fan day (two of them, in fact!): the 2016 Olympia Expo. Held Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., with 220-plus vendors and 1,150-plus booths, it’s the bodybuilding and fitness equivalent of Rio’s Carnival and New Orleans Mardi Gras combined.
Last year, a record 55,000 fitness fans trampled every inch of the 500,000-square-foot South Halls of the LVCC. “We get all types of people coming here,” AMI Vice President of Events and Olympia Weekend promoter Robin Chang says. “Of course, you have your hardcore bodybuilders and fitness freaks; you get the sporting-event types, powerlifters, strongmen, martial artists, and other extreme athletes. But you also get a lot of people who are just middle of the road.” Olympia Weekend event coordinator Maria Ibarra adds: “You also have people who are new to it all. That’s the beauty of it. You get a great cross-section of people, and with so much to choose from, there will be something for everybody.” We think Team Olympia just might be on to something. For the complete schedule of all the happenings, go to mrolympia.com.
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