THE OLYMPIA EXPO: 9/26 -27/08 10:00 am
The Las Vegas Convention Center was packed with behemoths, mass
monsters, ripped abs, beautiful figure competitors, pretty fitness
models, and a slew of muscleheads from across the nation and the world.
They crammed themselves in an exposition hall that contained a maze of
attention-grabbing booths representing companies that were shilling
products and giving away free stuff (supplements, energy drinks,
protein bars, T-shirts, fitness magazines, calendars, shaker cups,
water bottles and other forms of logo-laden paraphernalia).
The Expo also hosted a circus of
events from bikini contests, powerlifting challenges, martial arts
championships, model searches, boot-camp obstacle courses and a "Mr.
In addition to the stars of the
bodybuilding world, celebs from other segments of the
sports-entertainment industry made appearances, including UFC stars
Wanderlei Silva and Forrest Griffin; WWE stars Batista and John Cena;
and "American Gladiators" stars Militia, Titan and Helga.
Though Las Vegas was the location of the event, the theme seemed to be all about Hollywood.
I spoke with my friend, fitness model and actress Christina Lindley,
who was stationed at the BSN Booth. "I'm happy to be with BSN. They
treat me the best I've ever been treated," said Lindley. Christina
still keeps one foot in Hollywood and is currently pitching a reality
I also caught up with my buddy and
perennial cover boy Sagi Kalev at the ThermaLife booth. "I'm doing
photo shoots all weekend," Kalev remarked. "I'll be appearing on ABC
in fitness segments, and I hope the TV pilot I shot gets picked up
soon. We've pitched it to HBO and others." The former gym-owner is
considering relocation to California to pursue his entertainment
I stopped by my buddy Rico Elbaz's
booth where the fitness model and popular Vegas showman was selling his
2009 calendar alongside photographer George Kontaxis. "I've scaled back
my client load, so I can make it to Hollywood, California more often,"
Elbaz explained. "I need the flexibility to audition. Right now, I want
to put together a demo reel that shows off my acting , as well as my
other skills, like martial arts. I don't want to become a giant
bodybuilder. I don't have an off-season. I like to be lean and always
ready to work. I'm versatile and I want to find an agent who can market
me that way. "
My friend fitness model and actress
Sherry Goggin looked like a vision in white at the FitGum booth. In
addition to promoting her sexy 2009 calendar, she talked about a
reality show she's involved in. "We've already shot many episodes. It's
going to be on a network. It's going to be big."
Spotted at various booths were
bodybuilding legends Lee Labrada, Lou Ferrigno, and Ed Corney, and IFBB
Pros Hidetada Yamagishi, Quincy Taylor, Mark Dugdale, Victor Martinez,
DeShaun Grimez, Paco Bautista, Flex Wheeler, Branch Warren, Troy Alves
and Kai Greene.
Though Hollywood was on the tips of
the tongues of many at the Expo, it could not be forgotten that Las
Vegas still had big announcement to make: Who would be crowned 2008 Mr.