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2006 Ironman Pro Press Conference Report
February 17, 2006

    I couldn't believe it. Here I was at the first IFBB pro bodybuilding show of the year, a day before the official contest begins, at the press conference. And here again, for the third time in three years, it was raining outside. What the hell is going on? Is this some sort of a sign? Because it had not rained in Los Angeles or Pasadena for the last 30-40 days, and the chance of it raining three years in a row on the Ironman is very small. Yet here it was again, these raindrops coming down. Actually, I am amazed at this. Because before it was in Pasadena, I don't think it ever rained on the Ironman. But that is just some notes that I think are interesting.

    The press conference was on the main stage in the expo hall, and it started at 4pm. Lonnie Teper, who just celebrated his birthday the day before, was the emcee. In the middle of the stage was a scale, and the athletes were seated behind. One by one, in alphabetical order, Lonnie called them up for a weigh in.

    Now, it is not a 100% accurate weigh in. The competitors wear clothes, shoes, sweaters, and anything else they want to. So you should deduct anywhere from 3-7 pounds depending on the competitor. I am not kidding when it was said that Kai Green was wearing something like 4 shirts/sweaters, and 3 pairs of sweats. But still, it gives us a reasonable weight for the competitors.

    Here is the list of competitors that stepped on that scale today.

    • Oliver Adzievski - 220 pounds
    • Mo Anouti - 285 pounds
    • Paul Baker - 260 pounds
    • Eryk Bui - 200 pounds
    • Chris Cook - 268 pounds
    • Kris Dim - 200 pounds
    • Mark Dugdale - 211 pounds
    • Mo Elmoussawi - 239 pounds
    • Tamer Elshahat - 200 pounds
    • Daerik Farnsworth - 164 pounds
    • Toney Freeman - 282 pounds
    • Kai Greene - 241 pounds
    • Ahmad Haidar - 226 pounds
    • David Henry - 196 pounds
    • Heiko Kallbach - 275 pounds
    • Martin Kiellstrom - 290 pounds
    • Evgeny Mishin - 280 pounds
    • Mustafa Mohammad - 257 pounds
    • Dragan Paunovic - 223 pounds
    • Arnaud Plaisant - 250 pounds
    • Lee Priest - 209 pounds
    • Armin Scholz - 276 pounds
    • Heinz Senior - 234 pounds
    • Rodney St. Cloud - 230 pounds
    • Emmanuel Tzinidis - 224 pounds
    • Nathan Wonsley - 220 pounds
    • Hidetada Tamagishi - 206 pounds
    • Ntuk Ntuk - 207 pounds

    One noticeable competitor that was missing from the lineup was Troy Alves. No, Troy did not drop out of the Ironman, but his flight coming into Los Angeles was delayed, and he ended up missing the press conference.

    Still, it was quite enjoyable, as Lonnie Teper had the uncanny sense of predicting, almost exactly, the correct weight of many of the competitors. When asked if he was cheating via his notes, he threw the notes out to us so that we could verify that he guessed them without cheating.

    Some of the competitors were kind enough to show us what they got, to the pleasure of the audience. So while we all think that favorites Troy Alves or Lee Priest might sweep this Ironman without competition - we all forget that there are others that came here to compete and win.

    One which just entered this week was Chris Cook, who had worked with Kevin Levrone, and felt that he is ready to get on that stage before the Arnold Classic. It is noted that some of the competitors that should be here (Darram Charles, Gustavo Badell, Chris Cormier) have decided to just compete in the Arnold.

    Another missing that announced he would be here a while back was the comeback on Francis Benfatto. Originally, he was supposed to be here, but due to rumours that he couldn't get a passport visa, he will compete in the Australian Pro.

    But by the end of the press conference, many of us were excited and ready for the prejudging the following morning!