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When Lenda Murray was preparing for the Ms. Olympia contest in 1990, she had her doubts. After earning her pro card at the North American Championships in 1989, many friends and supporters had told her she shouldn’t expect to win the Olympia on her first try and that she needed to “pay her dues” first.
She recalls her confidence level went up when the Weider magazines published an article on her and predicted an Olympia victory. “I posted that article on the wall of my gym,” Murray recalls. “I would look at that article whenever I needed a boost in motivation.”
The 1990 Ms. Olympia was promoted by Wayne DeMilia in New York City, and Murray was indeed the winner. I remember talking to her backstage after the show. She was excited, elated, but somewhat in doubt about what to do next.
There was a bus outside to take everybody back to the host hotel. “I’d really rather not ride on the bus,” Lenda told me.
“Relax, Lenda – you are Ms. Olympia. You can do what you like. I’ll get you a cab.”
We shared a cab to the hotel to get ready for the after-contest banquet dinner. “I have a lot of my family here for the contest,” Murray said. “Do you think Wayne will let them into the dinner?”
Of course he will, I told her. You are Ms. Olympia.
We got to the banquet and I went inside to tell DeMilia that Murray and her family were there. He immediately cleared a table in the center of the room for the group. They all sat down and got something to eat.
After a while, Lenda started looking abound at all the other competitors, IFBB officials and bodybuilding celebrities in the room and said, “I’d like to move around and talk to people, if that’s all right.
“Of course, Lenda,“ I explained to her. “You are Ms. Olympia. You can do whatever you want!”
And she’s been the same humble Lenda Murray ever since, despite her record of eight Ms. Olympia victories.
Bill Dobbins is a legendary bodybuilding photographer and founding editor of FLEX magazine.