Previewing the Rising Phoenix

By Ruth Silverman
Managing Editor

Expect high drama this Saturday (Sept 8th) when the Wings of Strength production team along with Tim Gardner Productions brings the IFBB Professional League Rising Phoenix Women’s World Bodybuilding Championships to the Wild Horse Pass Hotel & Casino. Twenty of the world’s best-built female flexers are set to hit the stage, vying for a prize purse of more than $100,000, including $50,000 and a new Corvette to the champ!

This New Corvette and $50k to the Winner!

Much of the drama comes courtesy of four serious title contenders, with no sure winner, despite the presence of defending champ Helle Trevino.

Promoters Jake Wood & Tim Gardner

For one thing, Trevino will have to outmuscle Margie Martin, the shapely symmetrical sensation who won the first two Rising Phoenix contests in 2015 and 2016. For another, veteran Sheila Bleck, second last year, is always waiting in the wings.  Add to that the return of Alina Popa, and you’ve got a clash-of-titans heating up in the desert.

Popa, whom I once thought would be the successor to Iris Kyle as the top female bodybuilder in the world, was off in 2016, when she finished third, but she looked in fine form winning the Tampa Pro a month ago. Wendy McCready and Virginia Sanchez, fourth and fifth last year, will also be fighting for a spot in the winner’s circle.

I’m making no predictions—this one is too close to call—only that I’ll be glued to the LIVE Digital Muscle Webcast of the event.

The biggest night in women’s bodybuilding is held in conjunction with the Arizona Pro, an all women’s event featuring Fitness, Figure, Physique and Bikini.

Tune in LIVE on Saturday at 9 am PT/12 pm ET for the judging -and- 5 pm PT/8 pm ET for the finals.