My non-fitness friends don’t see why I get excited about attending Olympia every year. They say that it looks like the same old thing every year, and to a certain extent it is. But there is something so powerful about getting bodybuilding greats to descend upon Las Vegas that I wouldn’t want to miss it for the world. The energy in the Expo Hall is incredible, and with so many of the world’s top competitors there to compete, I pick up on that buzz and enjoy it immensely. When I attend Olympia, I bump into so many friends in the industry that it serves as a regular reunion. This year in particular is a milestone because it marks FIFTY years of Olympia. This year’s Olympia will be televised, hopefully generating more interest from the mainstream and portraying bodybuilding in a favorable light.
I think I maintain a certain balance and guard against boredom at the Olympia by working a booth each year. I have been extremely fortunate to work with wonderful companies, representing great products, and I never run the risk of sensory overload that sometimes hits spectators who go up and down the aisles endlessly. I am happy to stay within the confines of my booth, handing out product and talking to fans, friends and attendees. One disadvantage is that I rarely get enough time to explore the Expo and have to plan out which booths I need to visit during my lunch break on each day, but the list has gotten smaller over time as a result of my more established name and a different objective for visiting the booths. I used to visit booths to get myself on the fitness map, but now I visit booths to see friends and conduct meetings, so I am much more focused.
The noise in the Expo hall can be deafening at times, but I love it because it is reflective of the energy that builds up. People in the industry are very bold about showing their excitement and passion. There is no restraint at the O! At the end of each Expo day, my feet are sore, my legs are tired, my forearms are cut up from the magazines I pass out to people, and my voice is hoarse, but I absolutely love it. You better believe I will be back at the O next year and for many years to come.