Fit Fam, happy monday! I wanted to share an exciting experience with you all from this past weekend, the 2018 Mr. Olympia!
I received a message a couple of months back from one of my girlfriends that I competed with in Korea; she is head of sales for Gorilla Wear in the United States and asked if I would like to come help out with their booth for the Mr. Olympia 2018. If you have been around the bodybuilding scene for a descent amount of time, then you are familiar with the brand, Gorilla Wear. GW is based out of the Netherlands and has been a staple apparel brand in the bodybuilding industry since 1982. GW is sold in 48 countries and house some of the most notorious athletes in the bodybuilding community: Dennis “big bad” Wolf, William Bonac, “Big Ramy,” Dennis James, Kevin Osazee, Patricia Alamo, Catharina Wahl, and Valeria Ammirato, just to name a few.
When my girlfriend approached me with this opportunity, I was beyond ecstatic to say the least. Little did I know, not only would I be in the same venue with the biggest names in the fitness industry, I would have the chance to talk with these individuals and hug the people that I have admired and followed for so long!
It all began bright and early on Wednesday morning. I was up at 4 am to get in a quick bout of cardio before heading to the Las Vegas Convention Center to begin set up for the “O.” I met my team there at 8:00 am, scooped up my all access, fast-pass badge and we went to work. To see the convention center on day 1, and then again on day 4 is like day and night. I can say that I now fully understand all of the work that goes into such an extravagant event.
Wednesday and Thursday were long and tiring, but the build up to the weekend kept us eager and excited. Friday morning I was up at 5am and getting ready for the day! I arrived at the venue at 8am, and while walking to the front entrance I see a familiar face, Michelle MacDonald. I have admired this woman for years, and if you check out her Instagram you will see why. Any woman that can hold a physique such as hers at any age is an incredible feat, but even more impressive, Michelle is 47 years old! I was in a bit of a hurry because of traffic on the way in, so I didn’t get to stop and fangirl. However, once arriving at our booth, another member of my Korean team was there as well, and I told her who I just passed on my way in; she grabbed my hand, walked me three booths over and introduced me to her old coaches wife, Michelle! The expo still had about 30 minutes before the doors opened to the public, so both being die hard foodies, we gabbed about recipes and nutrition. Can you all imagine?! It was truly a surreal moment for me, and exhibited promise for an amazing weekend ahead.
Friday afternoon, I had the chance to walk around for a bit while scarfing down a protein bar. I got about three booths down and realized I didn’t have my phone, which meant no camera. I turned around to go back to get it, and thought to myself, “you will have more of these moments, just enjoy this moment.” And that’s what I did. I walked around and was able to see what I had only seen on social media and just enjoyed being part of such a spectacular event.
Friday evening when wrapping up, I walked over to the booth directly behind us and said hello to the beautiful Cass Martin. I have followed Cass for a long time, and it was such a pleasure to say hello and to see that she was just as sweet in person as she always appears to be.
Friday night the Gorilla team went for sushi. After a good 10 platters or so (have you seen bodybuilders eat), we called it a night. Saturday morning I was up once again at 5am to get the final day of the Olympia rolling. Saturday was just as busy and exciting as Friday. I got the chance to meet the rest of the GW athletes, as well as many other Olympia competitors.
Overall, this weekend was so incredible! To be a part of something within a community that I am so passionate about was extremely cool, to say the least. Most of all, this weekend allowed me to spend time with my old teammates who became family so many years ago. Almost five years later, and we are all still grinding and chasing our dreams and following our passions in this incredible industry.
Thank you Gorilla Wear for having me and allowing me to be part of this amazing Olympia weekend!!