Venice Beach Gossip
Our last article we discussed the future of the Team Universe winner Chris Faildo of Oahu, Hawaii. No sooner then we finished the article when Nov 2, 2007 arrived where in Waikiki, Hawaii; contest Promoter Guy Leong put on the 24 Annual Paradise Cup Bodybuilding and Fitness Championship. This show is a national qualifier that always attracts a large audience and a large number of competitors.
This year held true as seen in the audience were IFBB Pro’s Chris Faildo who was the first guest poser of the night, Chris Comier who after landing at the airport was picked up by IFBB Pro Mike Dragna where they both came straight to the show. Flex Wheeler was there with his booth set up. Leo Ingram who’s now stationed in Hawaii with the Navy was looking rather thick in the audience.
I had the opportunity to interview Leo and what a down to earth nice guy he is, the sport could use more athletes with his demeanor. Shavis Higa who won the LA Championship was with his beautiful wife and baby girl checking the show out.
Being friends with Silvio Samuel, I was lucky enough to pick his fiancé’ Laquita and him up at the airport which gave us some time alone to discuss his recent success and future plans in the sport. This was the first time either of them had been to Hawaii so after Hidetada Yamagishi, Silvio and myself trained at the new Powerhouse Gym, my girlfriend Joan was able to show them Hawaiian style hospitality as she played tour guide.
Funny thing is most of out time was spent at various restaurants. For me this was to be my first time meeting Hidetada and training with him. This guy was very genours with his time and answering all my questions along with giving me pointers during our workouts.
The Night Show:
When the night show arrived it was a sold out show and the fans loved the chance to talk and take pictures with all the Pro’s. All the guest posers were in great shape as the crowd went wild when they each took the stage. Hidetada’s posing routine was very graceful and dramatic.
Silvio on the other hand loves the crowd and he loves to play with them while he’s on stage. Both these guys showed up in great condition so if that’s an indication of their focus then 2008 should be a good year for both these guys.
Men's Novice Bodybuilding Division:
The show itself had a novice class where Lt Hwy Wt. Carlito Camat Jr.walked away as the Novice overall winner. He should do well as he moves up into the open class.
As the figure competitors took the stage the athletes had the audience attention with a lot of great competitors for one show. Taking 1st Place in the Short class was - Lori Cruz, who was in great condition with a complete package and a big favorite with the audience.
Moving up to the medium class Christi Ah-Nee, walked away with 1st and the overall victory, which she gave it her all up until announced as the winner.
Shelly Storozuk captured the 1st place in the Tall class, maybe next year will prove to be her time if she keeps up the same effort as she did this year.
Men's Open Bodybuilding:
Hawaii itself can be a small place to live as everyone seems to know each other and their business. This in turn can make it a very competitive atmosphere to live and train in. Rumors were flying for months that the show would be between Heavyweight competitors, Steven Preza, Ernest “Mongo” Chang.
Light-Heavyweight contenders Everett Lacro and Lance Tanaka. What a surprise for the audience but well deserved when Middle Weight winner Tryson Shigemoto stood his ground with the heavier guys to take the overall 1st place trophy . Tryson who was trained by Pro Chris Faildo came to do business this night.
After taking the overall novice class in 2006, Tryson weighed in as a Middle Weight but had added more quality in size then back in 2006 when he was a novice. One word for this guy is SHREDDED, as his hams, glutes and quads had deep cross striations. He’s still young to the stage so if he brings his upper body in line with his legs then he could do some damage on a National level.
Lance Tanaka took 1st place in the Lt. Hwy Wt with Everett Lacro at 2nd place. The Hwy. Wt class was very close but in the end Steven Preza (who had size, shape and good lines, will do well on a higher level with some added back development) edged out Ernest Chang.
Ernest “Mongo” Chang seemed to be a crowd favorite and given another two weeks of diet his condition might have been enough to take the whole show. What he did take was the Best Poser Award, with this being only his second show you couldn’t tell by his posing as he posed like a Pro.
Ernest "Mongo" Chang's Posing Routine.
Ernest later told me that he took parts of Melvin, Real Deal Comier and combined things to come up with a great routine that the crowd loved. At the end of the night the crowd was pleased with the placing of the competitors.
Off To The After Parties:
So after depriving themselves with their contest diets most athletes headed to local restaurants to eat and then out to various nightclubs where there were a lot of parties put on from the clubs for the competitors. Hawaii really seems to be growing in the Fitness and Bodybuilding industry, maybe this might just be the new Pacific Mecca of bodybuilding!