- I couldn't believe it. This is supposed to be sunny California. Last year, it rained on the Ironman Pro, both for the press conference and the contest. This year, it looks like it is going to do the same, as it poured on the day of the press conference, and the weatherpeople say it will rain on Saturday too. What luck? Two years in a row - it rains on the Ironman - when John Balik and the Ironman team pour the time and efforts into the addition of an awesome fit expo and various seminars. Before this year and last year, it had not rained on the Ironman in 10 years or so.
In the weeks leading up the press conference, we were fortunately to have a number of athletes give to Getbig.com various preview pictures of them getting ready for the show. It was great, seeing the progress of some of the best competitors in the lineup, including Gustavo Badell, Lee Priest, Craig Titus, Idrise Ward-El, Melvin Anthony, Heiko Kallbach, Eduard Van Amsterdam, Yousef El-Zein, and others. These competitors had the courage to put some pictures up, and they should be commended. Others, well - they prefer to show their physique on the day of the contest.
This year, the Press Conference was held in the Fit Expo hall on the main stage, unlike last year, where it was held in one of the smaller rooms. It definitely drew more people to the press conference, the entire area by the main stage full of people. There were many pros in the audience watching, including Bob Cicherillo, Ronnie Coleman, Chris Cook, and Kelly Ryans. One major superstar in the audience was Jim Lorimer, Arnold's partner and major promoter of the Arnold Classic. He came all the way to this show from Columbus two weeks before his extravaganza begins. Brenda Kelly, Stan McQuay, Chad Nicholls, Hany Rambod were all lurking around too.
The press conference began with Lonnie Teper introducing the competitors one by one, then weighing them. The competitors came into the stage from the back, via a red carpet. 24 Competitors walked the red line up to the stage.
- Here is the results of the weigh ins.
- Troy Alves - 221 pounds
- Melvin Anthony - 233 pounds
- Gustavo Badell - 250 pounds
- Jimmy Canyon - 183 pounds
- Mark Dugdale - 208 pounds
- Youssef El Zein - 247 pounds
- Derik Farnsworth - 171 pounds
- David Henry - 191 pounds
- Rusty Jeffers - 235 pounds
- Heiko Kallbach - 275 pounds
- King Kamali - 254 pounds
- Christian Lobarede - 262 pounds
- Patrick Lynn - 223 pounds
- Francesco Mazzotta - 232 pounds
- Mike Morris - 238 pounds
- JoJo Ntiforo - 225 pounds
- Jocelyn Pelletier - 153 pounds
- Lee Priest - 203 pounds
- Frank Roberson - 243 pounds
- Craig Titus - 238 pounds
- Massimo Valli - 225 pounds
- Eduard Van Amsterdam - 305 pounds
- Idrise Ward El - 250 pounds
- Hidetada Yamagishi - 194 pounds
- Notes: Of the competitors who competed last year, Gustavo Badell is 16 pounds heavier than last year; David Henry is 4 pounds heavier than last year; Lee Priest is 4 pounds heavier than last year; Craig Titus is 3 pounds lighter than last year; Idrise Ward-El is 1 pound lighter than last year. Let's also note that each competitor wears his shoes and clothes, so you can deduct about 3-4 pounds from the weight to figure out his actual weight, unless some of them had rocks in the pockets.
Some of the competitors gave us a preview of what they will look like on the stage in the prejudging the next day. When Gustavo pulled off his short, the audience was stunned. Gustavo has become to front runner of the show, followed by Lee Priest and Melvin Anthony, followed by Craig Titus, King Kamali, Troy Alves. However, we all know that anything can happen, like last year, when no one thought Gustavo would be in the top 10, yet alone having the year he had.
Also impressive was David Henry, who looked very balance in his physique. King Kamali weighing in at 254 pounds raised some eyebrows, as this looks like his heaviest weight ever, and since King Kamali is very quiet the day before the show and hardly said anything, he may just surprise us yet. Heaviest in the show this year was Eduard Van Amsterdam, at an astounding 305 pounds. Second heaviest, Heiko Kallbach, whose preview pictures on Getbig.com looked great. Lightest in the show, Jocelyn Pelltier - who should not even be in the show. Second lightest - Derrick Farnsworth - who is making is rookie pro debut here at the Ironman.
The crowd really started going when Frank Roberson challenged Melvin Anthony for the title of Best Poser. Melvin seems to think that he can win this award easily, and Frank Roberson, who wears his Texas Cowboy Hat, showed him why good ol' Texas hip hop may just beat California's style. Melvin wasn't impressed, and the battle will rage on during the finals tommorrow.
- Lonnie Teper presented a balance objective view of the competitors, although he did comment to Kamali that his award that he won twice was Kamali's Jackass of the Month Award. He even praised Flex Magazine for the latest great cover with Chris Cook and the two dogs. All in all, the press conference was a success, and a great addition to the Ironman Pro!