Oxford resident competes in Olympia bodybuilding competition

By Wendi Reardon Price
Sports Writer
SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS — Madison Dinges finished in 13th place in the Figure division in the Olympia Fitness & Performance competition, Nov. 2-5 in Orlando, Florida.
Dinges, a 2017 graduate of Oxford High School who now lives in San Antonio, Texas, was excited when she won and qualified for the Olympia in her first show this year, the 2023 International Federation of BodyBuilding and Fitness Professional League Charlotte Pro in the Figure division, April 22 in Charlotte, NC.
“It’s defnitely an honor,” she said. “I can’t wait. It’s definitely something I have been working toward. I have only been competing for just over a year, but it’s something that’s been a dream of mine for a lot longer.”
Dinges added the Charlotte show was one she jumped into at last minute.
“I hadn’t been expecting it, but I was extremely thankful we were able to get it done that quickly. I was extremely surprised but grateful as well,” she said.
Dinges added qualifying for the Olympia did help going into her next show which was May 12 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where she finished in fifth place.
“My goal at any show this year was to qualify,” she said. “So regardless of how long that took I was ready to mentally be prepared to do as many shows as we needed to do as long as we were somewhat close. The fact it happened first one of the year going into the next show with a qualification, I was less stressed. A weight had been lifted. I got to enjoy it a lot more because I didn’t have the pressure of knowing I had to or wanted to qualify. I felt like I could go out there and just focus on enjoying all of it instead of being more nervous.”
Nina Dinges, her mom, shared the Olympia is the biggest event of the year for bodybuilding.
“It’s like the Stanley Cup of hockey or the World Series of baseball,” she said. “She just started over a year ago which is unheard of. People will work for three to seven years before they qualify to go to the Olympia.”
Madison shared preparing for any show, especially the Olympia, is very demanding.
“It’s pretty tasking on your body and your mind,” she said. “There’s good days and there’s harder days. Then, you just have to find that balance of pushing through when it’s taunting and coasting through when things feel a little bit easier. But never losing sight of that end goal and knowing that every single thing that you’re doing every single day needs to be executed as close to perfectly as possible.
“In the end that will reap the highest reward,” she continued. “It’s hard when you look at the whole picture because it’s a long period of time. If you take it day by day, and give your absolute all at the end you know you did everything you could to be successful. Following the plan and doing my best, that will pay off in the end.”
Madison has been an athlete her entire life and played basketball, volleyball and softball for Oxford. She played softball at Ferris State University for two years.
She shared she got into bodybuilding because her interest in athletics shifted.
“I always had an interest in working out and fitness,” she said. “I was an athlete my whole life. As I got into the last couple years of high school and into college I was playing softball I felt that passion shifting to instead of being at practice all the time, I started loving the aspect of team training and being at the gym. I was able to take that competitive side of me from the sports I played. When done with college I was able to put that into something else and still be a competitor at something.”
Madison added she it is an individual sport.
“The work you put in it’s all you, if you succeed or you don’t. If you put in the work you reap the results,” she said.
Madison competes in the Figure division. She shared every division has different criteria the competitors are judged on in terms physique, conditioning, how lean they get, amount of body fat, and posing.
“Each division has their own criteria,” she said. “When it’s time to go, you are on the stage three different times. You do your individual routine which is something you make up. Then, you have comparisons and they will bring out all the ladies in your division. They will go through the mandatory poses in the division. Then judge you based on the criteria and score everybody. At the end they do a final show and they will reward with your placings.”
Madison has competed in five shows. Her first show was June 4, 2022 in Austin, Texas where she won overall in her division.
Her second show was 14 days later in Chattanooga, Tennessee where won overall in her division and it enabled her to get her pro card to get into the pro circuit.
Nina shared with the pro card Madison gets to perform in larger shows which allowed her to qualify for the Olympia if she won.
Madison’s third show was August 5, 2022 in Tampa, Florida where she took fifth place out of 32.
“It was her pro debut,” Nina said. “It was her first show performed as a pro bodybuilder.”
When a competition is done, Madison treats herself to a cheat meal and admits she leans towards hamburgers and fries.
“I love burgers and fries,” she said. “There is a specific restaurant here in San Antonio – Hopdoddy Burger Ba – that is my favorite place to go. They have the best sweet potato fries I have ever had.”
Nina shared Madison also makes her own competition suits from scratch.
“She did not know how to sew before a year ago,” she said, adding Madison bought all the items – elastic, material, beads – and put together several suits. “Each one is different and unique.”
Madison shared thank you to friends and family for their support.
“Just being there for me every step of the way,” she said. “Even since I was a kid being at all my sporting events. Seeing how that’s evolved to what it is today. Coming from a community, where I played all my sports, playing those sports and having those experiences throughout high school at my time at Oxford set me up to have the discipline to set me up for a prep like this, to able to do well in this particular sport.”

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