Fresh off a big win at the 2020 IFBB Northern California Pro, Lucia Malavaze is kicking it into high gear ahead of her Bikini Olympia debut. The bikini pro’s turn on the Olympia stage is years in the making, and it hasn’t been without struggle. But come December, she’ll join the best in the world to compete for the coveted Bikini Olympia title.

Here’s how Malavaze is prepping for the 2020 Olympia and what she’s looking forward to as the show quickly approaches.

M&F: What are you most excited about now that you’ve qualified for your first Olympia?

Lucia Malavaze: Going on stage for Mr. Olympia is a dream come true for me, because winning my place was very difficult. I worked as a cleaner, delivered food and worked as a personal trainer so I could compete.

So being able to compete on the Olympia stage is the greatest achievement of my life!

How and when did you get into competing?

I started competing in 2015 in the state of Santa Catarina, Brazil. I had a tragic loss of a person very close to me, and in order to overcome depression I started competing.

What do you love most about the sport?

I love bodybuilding for the way it transforms our life, teaches us discipline and focus. It shows us how strong we can be, but not only physically, more psychologically, being able to diet, train, prepare and never give up. I love how this sport saves lives just as it saved mine!

Have you had to change your training during quarantine? How have you been able to stay on track?

I continued on a diet, but I had to adapt completely — I did free training in the park or in the backyard of my house and I felt my body falling behind, but with the return of the gyms I made up for lost time!

Favorite body part to train?

Shoulders and back

Favorite exercise?

Arnold Press

Favorite cheat meal?

Caramels and Kinder Bueno

Who is your inspiration?

I am inspired by myself, my history, and my daily struggle. My arrival at Olympia was very difficult, I went through many difficulties, so what better person to inspire me, than me!

Now if you ask me another athlete that I admire, I’d say Angelica Teixeira.

If you weren’t a bikini athlete, what would you be doing?

I would be an MMA fighter. It’s my second dream, because my first dream was to step on the Olympia stage!

What has been your biggest hurdle when it comes to preparing for the O?

There were so many that I don’t even know where to start, but the biggest one was the lack of sponsorship. I thank God for providing a sponsorship for bikinis, because the rest is all up to me.

Has there been one particular moment in Olympia history that made you realize you had to stand on this stage one day?

Actually, on my trajectory to the Olympia I heard a lot of people tell me that the Olympia was not a place for me. I was poor, I had no money for anything, I wasn’t well-known, and I didn’t have many followers on my social networks. I didn’t have a sponsor, and I have many tattoos, which is sort of radical as far as bikini pros. Everyone said that I would not go very far, and all those negative words served as fuel for me to fight for my dream. I felt that in my heart I deserved to be there, because I was going to show athletes who are poor like me, that this dream is not impossible. Just fight, day after day. There were days when I cried because I just wanted to sleep and I was working a lot, but I knew that if I stayed at home I would not have money to do my competitions, so I went to work thinking, it’s for your dream!

Every cleaning I did, every bathroom I cleaned, every food order I delivered, I thought, “This is another brick for you to build your dream of going up on that Olympia stage, and here I am, enjoying my dream.

Follow Lucia on Instagram at @luciamalavaze to keep up with her training and competitions. 

Muscle & Fitness will continue to highlight Olympia rookies leading up to the show, so stay tuned for more “To the O We Go” profiles. Buy tickets to the 2020 Joe Weider’s Olympia Fitness & Performance Weekend HERE.