For every athlete participating in bodybuilding and body competitions, the ultimate goal is to reach the Olympic level. Performing under the bright lights of this stage in front of the jury and the audience means that they are among the best in the world.
There are several ways to qualify for the Olympics. Olympic champions have lifelong qualifications within their division, athletes who win competitions during the season are also invited, and then there is the Olympic scoring system. Athletes who do not win shows but place in the top 5 receive points for their efforts. The more shows you place well, the more points you will earn. At the end of qualifying, the three athletes with the most points are allowed to compete in the Olympics.
This week’s episode of Femme Flex Friday featured three women sitting in such a position. Ashlyn Brown Little, Tanya Chartrand and Jeannie Feldman joined host Lenda Murray and guest co-host Whitney Jones for further insight into the battle for a spot at the Olympics.
Little is a bikini professional and knows this position. She was the top scorer of the 2020 season, which led her to compete in the Bikini Olympia in Orlando, Florida. Ultimately, Janet Layug won that title. At the time of recording this episode, she was back on top thanks to her participation in four pro shows so far in 2021. She talked about how she could be on the competition track for so long.
“So I have sponsors who are helping me a lot, which is great,” said Little. “And then I work as a coach so I can travel and work and do whatever I have to do when I’m gone. With this flexibility it is very, very beneficial in this sport. “
Note: Since this episode was taped, Ashlyn Brown Little won the 2021 Grl Pwr Championship show, qualifying for the Olympics, so it is no longer in the scoring.
Feldman is now a participant in Women’s Physique, who has graced the Olympic stage for the last two seasons. Murray asked her about her plans to come to Orlando next October and obviously she would prefer to win the big competition without playing as many shows as last season.
“Right now I’m shooting for the Tampa Pro, which I enjoy doing every year. It’s my favorite show. I’ve done it four times, “she said proudly. “I’m trying not to do as many shows as last year because I did five shows and when I got to the Olympia I mean, I was so mentally and physically exhausted and my body just shut down.”
Another Women’s Physique professional, Chartrand, joined the IFBB Pro League from Canada. Staying in the Great White North complicates their season due to the country’s travel restrictions related to the pandemic. Even so, she made it to the big show, finishing in the top 15. She’s hoping that this year she can have an easier path to the Olympics both on and off stage. Along the way, she will spend a lot of time competing in America, hoping to either win at least one or at least score a lot.
“This year I’m trying to look at the strategy a little differently,” says Chartrand. “I think my first show will be the Puerto Rico Pro, and then I’ll probably stay in the States for the next few months, piggybacking from one show to the next.”
The ladies go into detail about their individual grinds, including travel, finances, to compete, and more. To learn more from the three pros, check out the full episode and each episode of FFF every Friday at 6 p.m. EST on www.wingsofstrength.net.