Interview by Ron Harris

As the best Bikini competitor on this planet, I believe it’s time individuals realized extra about you. I
know you had been born within the Philippines. Were you athletic as a child rising up?

I used to be very athletic. I attended a personal elementary faculty named Dominican College, and I swam
competitively there. A bit later I bought into Brazilian jiu-jitsu and gymnastics once I moved to Norway at age
13. My mother and father by no means needed to drive me into doing sports activities and being lively. I used to be all the time asking them to do
these issues.

When did you progress to the USA?
It’s been three years now, for the reason that 2019 Olympia.

Looking at you, I wager you may go for 19 or 20, however how previous are you?

Thanks, I simply turned 30 at two weeks out from the Bikini International developing.

How did you go from having completed these different sports activities to weight coaching after which Bikini
I all the time beloved competing and performing. I normally name it “performing” as a substitute of competing. Swimming
was a person sport. If I wished to win, all of it relied on me. I by no means preferred relying on a crew. If we
misplaced due to them, I might get very pissed off. When I moved to Norway, all my associates went into
gymnastics and cheerleading. I assumed, I'll do this out. Cheerleading was nice till one time we fell
throughout a stunt, and it wasn’t my fault. I stated, I believe I work higher alone. I began lifting weights at age 18.
That’s across the time you need to feel and appear good, placing on make-up. I used to be doing health coaching
anyway, so I began to search for one thing I might do competitively that match that. I had all the time wished to
compete in magnificence pageants, however at 5 toes tall I used to be too brief. Then I noticed the Bikini Olympia on YouTube,
and the lady who caught out to me probably the most was India Paulino. She was my first idol! I assumed it regarded
so cool. The girls regarded superb, and this was the closest factor to a magnificence pageant I might do. I
thought I might simply go compete within the Olympia. I had no thought you must flip professional first, then qualify, the
complete lengthy course of. But in my head, I solely had one purpose, to go to the Olympia.

Did you begin competing regionally in Norway?
It’s very totally different in Europe. You must do the regional stage first earlier than you may go to the Nationals.
Then you may compete exterior the nation. There had been no professional playing cards in Norway again then. I went to San
Marino, Italy to get my professional card in 2015. There had been seven top lessons. You have to win your class
and the Overall to get a professional card, which I did. I nonetheless didn’t actually know what that meant on the time.

I don’t suppose I knew who you had been till you probably did make it to the Olympia for the primary time in 2019,
though now I do keep in mind you profitable the Tampa Pro that summer season.
That was a troublesome 12 months. Usually, I by no means do greater than three exhibits in a 12 months as a result of it’s laborious to get well.
My physique wasn’t responding by the Olympia, my fourth present of that 12 months. I do know my limits.

What made you resolve to maneuver to the USA three years in the past?
I met my accomplice, Fran, on the Meet and Greet on the 2019 Olympia Weekend. We bought alongside very properly, and
quickly he requested me to maneuver in with him in Los Angeles. Three years later, I’m nonetheless right here!

And you practice at Gold’s Gym Venice. It is probably not what it was once, however to me it’s nonetheless The

Yes. People nonetheless come there from throughout. Even although there aren’t as many professionals coaching there as there
was once, the spirit remains to be there. They nonetheless have all of the champion’s photos up on the wall, and all of the
nice tools. It’s nonetheless The Mecca.

You skipped the Olympia in 2020, the worst 12 months of the pandemic.
Yes. I used to be prepping for 2 exhibits main as much as that, and each bought canceled once I was simply two weeks
out from the primary. I didn’t need to sabotage my physique when there was no option to even know if the exhibits
would occur. I made a decision to maneuver into an “improvement season” and are available again stronger for 2021.

And you had been. Jumping forward to your Olympia win in 2022, in your victory speech you stated you
felt you'd win however didn’t suppose it might be that quickly. I wasn’t too shocked, since you had
been shifting in an upward trajectory. But man, that was an enormous lineup. Was it 60 girls within the 2022
Bikini Olympia?

It was 54, which was a report for the Olympia. When I used to be backstage ready to be launched, it felt like
it was endless, so many ladies! I simply felt everybody had their favorites, and everybody had their
predictions, and I used to be nonetheless one of many newer athletes. I've very lifelike expectations about myself.
When I positioned fourth in 2021, that was already like profitable as a result of I had positioned ninth the 12 months earlier than. I
was so comfortable. My purpose for 2022 was third place, the highest three. When they referred to as Ashley Kaltwasser in
third and it was simply me and Jennifer Dorie, I used to be like, whoa, possibly I've an opportunity!

This is an odd query to ask an athlete somewhat than a choose, however how do you suppose you pulled off
the win? To me, it was so shut between you and Jennifer that it might have gone both method.

Honestly, I don’t know. I don’t have a look at the opposite girls up there, and it’s not intentional. I'll go have a look at
photos and movies afterward in my lodge room. I do know I got here in higher than ever, and I believe the
judges discover enchancment. I regarded method totally different from the 2021 Olympia. And I used to be so chill as soon as I bought to
the stage. I used to be like, I bought this.

What do you attribute the enhancements to? Was it a brand new coach, a brand new coaching or vitamin
I’ve all the time regarded good, however we by no means actually nailed the height week and had the fullness I wished to indicate
till this final Olympia. I did begin working with a brand new coach, too, Francisco Espin from Spain. I’m the one
Bikini competitor he coaches. I look to see which coaches carry their athletes in with actually nice
situation. Once I noticed what he did with my accomplice, I used to be very impressed and thinking about that method.
Why not strive working with him? I had nothing to lose. I’d been coming in flat each time anyway. It labored
out fairly properly!

The Bikini International is simply 10 weeks after the Olympia. Did you already know you wished to do
it earlier than you gained the Olympia?

I’d all the time wished to do the Bikini International together with the Olympia, and I positioned second to Lauralie
Chapados the primary time I competed there in 2022. That felt like profitable. I already signed the contract to
compete within the 2023 Bikini International earlier than the Olympia. Ten weeks is directly a very long time and a brief
time between contests. But I used to be already lean, why not attempt to get that title too? Then I might have the 2
largest titles within the sport!

I assume you had been already prepping 16 weeks for the Olympia.
I began prepping for the Olympia proper after the Boston Pro in March, in order that was seven months. It was a
very chill prep as a result of I used to be consuming clear, however I used to be consuming greater than ever in a prep. I used to be nonetheless weight-reduction plan,
nevertheless it was extra energy, and I did have one cheat meal per week. Now I see that is the very best method for
me: an extended prep however with extra meals.

How a lot does your weight differ from low season to contest day?
I’m round 109-110 kilos onstage, and I don’t get a lot heavier than 115.

I assume you've got by no means been a lot heavier than that?
I did strive bulking as soon as. My regular low season weight is 53kg/116, and that point I bought as much as 65kg/143
kilos. I used to be consuming six meals a day with meat and rice, 100 grams of fries, simply making an attempt to bulk like a
bodybuilder and achieve some muscle. I couldn’t breathe! I used to be getting out of breath simply going upstairs. It
was method an excessive amount of weight for my body.

You’ve by no means been on this place earlier than because the reigning Olympia champion. Do you're feeling extra
strain than ever to win now?
I’ve been getting this query lots. I've a special mindset than most. My purpose was to win the Olympia.
Now that I’ve completed that, I nonetheless hustle the identical, however I can benefit from the course of extra.

The massive information with you is that you're now a MuscleTech athlete. You’re too younger to recollect,
however they used to have actually each prime athlete below contract, and now it appears to be like like they're
returning to their roots. How did you develop into a part of the crew?
It wasn’t deliberate in any respect. It was a “Blessing” in disguise. I used to be coaching at Gold’s, and I occur to be
pal of Blessing Awodibu. We had been each working for a similar complement firm in Europe in 2015.
We went to Shanghai collectively for them, Barcelona, throughout. Blessing was out representing MuscleTech
on the LA Fit Expo. I went to that and met Scott Welch, and all of us related very properly. Now I’m a
MuscleTech athlete!

I’m simply curious, did you go proper again onto your food plan after the Olympia, or did you loosen up for at the least
a couple of days?
I did go on trip to Hawaii with my accomplice the week after the Olympia. That was on my bucket record. I
did cardio daily, however I took 5 days off from weights. I had a few treats, however nothing loopy.

Thank you a lot for the interview! Belated congratulations in your Olympia win and I want you
the easiest of luck in Columbus.
Thanks a lot!

“Sometimes we win, typically we lose. That’s a part of the sport. All I can do is hold working laborious and
present up with poise and satisfaction.”
In the tip, Maureen was narrowly defeated by a margin of simply two factors to defending Bikini International
champion Lauralie Chapados, precisely the best way it had turned out a 12 months earlier than in Columbus. She posted
this the subsequent day:

“Of course, the purpose was to win the title, however second place is nice too! Our purpose was to return in a bit
tighter than my Olympia form and we positively achieved that. I do know I did the whole lot I might, and the
relaxation is as much as the judges. Sometimes we win, typically we lose. That’s a part of the sport. All I can do is
hold working laborious and present up with poise and satisfaction. Huge congratulations to all my women this

Instagram @maureenblanquisco.professional

Contest Highlights
2016 Olympia Amateur San Marino – Winner – Earned Pro Card
2018 Alicante Pro – Winner
2018 Dennis James Classic Germany – Winner
2019 Miami Muscle Pro – Winner
2019 Tampa Pro – Winner
2019 Bikini Olympia – Ninth Place
2021 Chicago Pro – Second Place
2021 Janet Layug’s Battle of the Bodies – Winner
2021 Bikini Olympia – Fourth Place
2022 Bikini International – Second Place
2022 Boston Pro – Winner
2022 Bikini Olympia – Winner
2023 Bikini International – Second Place


Maureen Blanquisco’s Winning MuscleTech ® Stack

2022 Bikini Olympia champion Maureen Blanquisco is the top-ranked Bikini professional on this planet, with six professional
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The submit Maureen Blanquisco first appeared on FitnessRX for Women.