The 2021 edition of the Rising Phoenix women’s bodybuilding show took place on Sept. 11 in Scottsdale, AZ at the Talking Stick Resort and Casino. 2020 champion and 2020 Ms. Olympia Andrea Shaw was crowned champion for the second straight year after a showdown with runner-up Helle Trevino. The Arizona Pro also took place on the same date and in the same location.
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When the Ms. Olympia was discontinued in 2014, promoter Jake Wood felt that the sport of women’s bodybuilding needed a world championship. So he created the Rising Phoenix World Championships in 2015, and it has taken place every year since. Now that the Ms. Olympia has been reenacted and is a part of the Olympia Weekend, the Rising Phoenix show continues as a second major title to the athletes in that sport, much like the Arnold Classic is for the Men’s Open division.
The scorecards reflect that Shaw was in first place in both prejudging and finals. Some questioned her decision to defend this title with less than four weeks to go before the Olympia, but her confidence and physique shined on the stage as she flowed through each pose. This victory gives her momentum going into the Olympia because many of the opponents she faced on this stage will see her again in Orlando, FL, on Oct. 7-10.
Trevino won this contest in both 2017 and 2019. She placed second to Shaw in both rounds this year, but it was obvious that she made the judges’ jobs difficult — both women were compared consistently throughout the show.
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It’s safe to assume that the two competitors will have a similar stand-off at the Olympia.
This podium finish is a tremendous improvement for Poursaleh. The native of Canada placed 11th at this contest one year ago. She improved upon her size and conditioning this time around and moved all the way up to the first callout. She will be making her Olympia debut this year as well.
The Arizona Pro show was running in conjunction with the Rising Phoenix at the same location. The other five women’s divisions were showcased in Scottsdale, and the winners of each contest are below. Each champion also earns qualification to the Olympia. The only winner that had yet to qualify before this contest was Fitness winner Darrian Borello.
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