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Femme Flex Friday co-hosts Alina Popa and Whitney Jones are no stranger to big titles. Popa is a past Rising Phoenix World Champion while Jones holds two Fitness Olympia titles to her credit. On the latest episode of FFF, they were joined by two more world champions. 2012 Bikini Olympia winner Nathalia Melo and four-time Women’s Physique Olympia Champion Juliana Malacarne were the special guests and the four ladies talked about life after the stage.
Malacarne is considered by many fans, insiders, and athletes as the greatest Women’s Physique competitor in that division’s history. She retired after her fourth Olympia win in 2017. After a long career in the bodybuilding world, she had decided to focus on her personal life.
“I dedicated so many years of my life to the fitness career, and I did that for about 20 years. I thought it was now time to dedicate that to myself. So that’s what I’ve been doing for the last three years, and it’s been great.”
Before Malacarne began the historic run in her division, Melo was one of the early champions of the Bikini division. Now a wife and mother of two, she explained that the time to move on became clear when it stopped being fun for her.
“You need to be having fun and enjoying what you’re doing in order for you to keep doing it. I told myself that the moment I stopped having fun and I was no longer enjoying what I was doing, I would walk away. And I still remember to this day the 2014 Arnold, I woke up and I didn’t have the butterflies. Like, I didn’t have the butterflies, when I got on the bus to go to the arena, I just didn’t have that fire in me. My stage presence was off, and I wasn’t having a good time. That was the moment that I knew I was done with the sport.”
Juliana Malacarne verified Melo’s point and also expressed that going out on top was another factor in her deciding to move on to the next chapter in her life.
“I just decided it was time for me to leave on top. I had won four times. I didn’t think it would make a difference it I had five or six titles, and I just thought it was the right time for me. My body was tired.” The full episode can be seen in its entirety over at www.wingsofstrength.net. New episodes of FFF drop every Friday at 6 p.m. EST.