Juanita's Tampa disaster

Juanita Blaino says she is excited to make her Ms. Olympia debut next month – despite the disaster she had at the Tampa Pro last weekend. The 44 year-old Cook County cop was one of the favorites going in to the show after winning the overall at Nationals last year (left) and placing second on her pro debut in her hometown in July. She says that her prep went well and that, the morning of the show, she looked as good as she did in Chicago. “I was ready!” she says. But just as she was leaving her hotel room to go to pre-judging, her fingers and toes started to cramp and she took magnesium to combat it. She thinks that was probably the reason her body suddenly “fell apart”. When she didn’t make the second callout, she “knew something had to be wrong.

A lot of people at the show thought Juanita should have made top 10 on the basis of her size and shape alone  it seemed like they were judging her against her previous condition rather than the other competitors onstage. But although she didn’t place, she already had enough points from placing second in Chicago to qualify for the O regardless of what happened in Tampa  though she didn’t realize that until after the show. “Had I known that I already qualified, I would not have done Tampa”, she says. “I didn't need a first place win or the money  I work for a living!” But even though it turns out she competed unnecessarily, she says she has no regrets. “I learned a few lessons from Tampa, so it was worth it!” she says. Next up: the Olympia in Vegas on 27 September. “I’m going to get to live my dream of being on the O stage!” she says. 

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