August 12th 2008
Monica Carlson was the season one female winner of the new American Gladiators. Besides winning some cash and a new car, Carlson was given the opportunity to return to the Gladiator Arena, but this time as a Gladiator herself. Given the name Jet, Carlson came back stronger and faster than ever, giving contenders a run for their money.
Jet is the mother of 8 year old twins, a sports model, and a disciplined athlete. Here's a glimpse of her journey from contender to Gladiator.
Question: Hi Monica! What was it like returning to the Gladiator Arena on the other side this season? Was it strange to be working with the other gladiators instead of against them?
Jet: I have to admit I was a little nervous, however it is a sport in a sense, and when you play with good intent and sportsmanship I think any athlete is more than willing to add a new athlete to the team. As I expected they welcomed me with open arms. I think I had an advantage being a contestant first, then a Gladiator. I had both perspectives. It has been a blast! I can't wait for next season!
Q: How has your family reacted to your sudden celebrity status?
Jet: I think they enjoy it more than I do! I will say we have been more places, seen more things, and had more adventures in the past year than ever before. Let me tell you, I don't need any publicist with two 8 year old twins!
Q: You came back this season looking incredibly buff! Did you spend a lot of time training to be a Gladiator?
Jet: Oh yes! The second I got home from filming I was in the gym. Totally changed my diet to nothing but protein and veggies. Daily Doubles as we call it, where you work out twice a day. It took a lot of discipline! Tiny little silver spandex had a little to do with it!
Q: How did the name "Jet" come about? Were there other names being considered?
Jet: I think mostly from my Eliminator times, and just the way I performed. Straight and to the point! Yes there were a few others in the works: Blaze, as I was a Blazer Dancer, Flame, and SPARQ. Speed, Power, Agility, Response, and Quickness. It is a high school placement company funded by Nike. Lots of tape to get through. I liked them all, however Jet fits to perfection and I love it!
Q: Are you still a sports model? Are there other career avenues you're planning to explore?
Jet: Yes I still do sports modeling as much as possible. I love it. Always a new adventure around the corner. I would love to continue Gladiators as long as possible. I am open to quite a bit as far as the future goes. Hosting a show, adventure films doing my own stunts of course, anything in the workout world. I'm pretty open.
Q: I saw your appearance on Celebrity Family Feud - what was that experience like?
Jet: Crazy fun! I was ready to do it all over again the second it was over. I really feel fortunate to be a part of all the excitement regarding the show.
Q: How much time is spent doing publicity for the show? Do you enjoy that aspect of your job?
Jet: I love it! I guess it comes with the territory. Before the airing there is a bit, but not too much. Any involvement with the show is a blast, but of course my pure passion is the competition.
Q: As a contender, you were fearless in taking on the gladiators in all of the events. What was going through your head before the events?
Jet: Thank you! I'm glad it appeared that way! I was terrified most of the time, but maybe because I was having so much fun at the same time you couldn't tell! Right before I would compete there was lots of prayer, a few melt downs, and an attempt to finding their weaknesses. I can't disclose that of course since I am now on the same team. Ha! But seriously, I thought there is no way I'm going to take this much time off and away from my family if I'm not coming home a winner. It was not about the money or the status, I think it was more of a life lesson of overcoming impossible odds. It has changed my life!