Olympia, Day 1

Hey everyone, Just got back from "Meet the Olympians" here at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas. The place was packed - the lines for Ronnie Coleman and Jay Cutler were huge. We also had the press conference earlier today (see the full report posted in the Main Story box on our home page). Nothing earth-shattering was said, but it's always interesting to hear from the competitors before the show. It is a unique opportunity for fans to ask questions, so that's always cool. This year, they moved the event into a much bigger space than last year (probably because last year the ballroom it was held in was packed, standing-room only) - and it was still overflowing, not an empty seat in the place. So tomorrow will be a crazy day, to say the least. The Expo starts up, we have women's prejudging during the day, and at night, the women's finals and - for the first time - the men's prejudging, moved from its usual Saturday afternoon time slot. The question came up during the press conference as to whether the guys minded the contest spread over two days. Surely, they would prefer one, because going two days makes it a bit harder to hold a peak, but on the other hand, it will give the fans two awesome nights of men's bodybuilding, which hopefully makes the extra efforts on their part worth it to them. Only Melvin Anthony spoke up, simply stating, "Two days sucks." We'll see - there's a ton of fans here, and there's a buzz for the Friday night show I've never seen before. And, truth be told, while it's always said during the hype to any Olympia (or Arnold, for that matter) about how great this lineup or that is, we on the Flex staff keep looking at this particular one in amazement. There will be many a great bodybuilder not making this top ten, most likely including some guys who have won other contests this year, just because of how deep this show is. We have to wait and see how it shakes out, of course, and who comes in in shape and who misses their peak, but 11-15 will be some solid physiques. We hope to provide some reports to you from the Expo hall starting tomorrow. The Weider booth will have a lot going on, with a full slate of top athletes appearing, and the rare treat of having Joe and Ben Weider stopping by for a few hours on Saturday to sign copies of their new autobiography, Brothers of Iron. It's gonna be a madhouse. That's it from Vegas for now - we'll catch you tomorrow. -Team Flex


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