Something's happening in Alaska, especially in NPC Bikini, with huge stars like Alectra Kelley, Paola Terry, Candice Perfect, and of course... Zlata Sushchik, who will be doing an interview with StrengthAddicts/FigureBikini in the near future.
What I find incredibly promising about Zlata (as well as the other great stars mentioned), is that she's a young woman that understand the value of hard work. It's not easy making it in the fitness industy. Whereas the Men are divided into divisions, the Women are divided into five! And while that factor alone may prove troublesome to the Pros, it's even more of an issue for NPC Stars that are winning shows but not earning any prize money to show for it. This is an expensive sport, one that requires almost complete dedication to training, nutrition, and supplementation. Most sports have an off-season, even bodybuilding has one. But the Men that compete in Physique - and the women of Figure & Bikini, they seldom venture off their diet or training for more than a few days. There are literally hundreds - if not thousands - of women trying to place, trying to get noticed. This is serious work - and women like Zlata Sushchik are on their way to the top.
Zlata - and many of the women mentioned and/or reading this article - started competing in their teen years. When their friends may (or may not...) have been out partying and getting smashed, they were in the gym 5x a week and eating clean year-round. This is not meant to dissuade ladies in their 20's, 30's, or even in the Masters from competing. But it should serve a wake-up call to those ladies (like Men in bodybuilding and physique) that just plan to show up at a show for fun. Zlata and many of the ladies of her generation take the stage very seriously. They work hard to do battle - they're going there just for fun.