A Retrospect Of The 2009 Emerald Cup Championships!

As competitors complete their last few workouts, tweak their diets and put the finishing touches on their posing routines I am sitting here reminiscing about the past twelve years... Here's a look back on an amazing show for amateurs!

Article Summary:
  • Mark Mason covers some highlights of the past NPC Emerald Cups.
  • The first show was held nearly three decades ago.
  • Every overall figure winner has gone on to the pro level within a year.
  • We are a week out from the twenty-seventh Emerald Cup bodybuilding, fitness, figure and bikini competition. As competitors complete their last few workouts, tweak their diets and put the finishing touches on their posing routines I am sitting here reminiscing about the past twelve years that I have been attending.

    We Are A Week Out From The Twenty-Seventh Emerald Cup.
    + Click To Enlarge.
    We Are A Week Out From
    The Twenty-Seventh Emerald Cup.

    Before I get to my remembrances, a little history first. It was 1983, Ronald Reagan led us, Michael Jackson thrilled us and Chevy Chase entertained us.

    It was also when a baby-faced gym owner and his lovely young wife, a competitive bodybuilder in her own right, conceived an idea of revolutionary proportions. A physique competition staged in the finest venue in the area that would attract the most popular guest posers in the world and provide the means for Northwest athletes to compete against the best of their peers.

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    Quest to the 2009 NPC Emerald Cup.
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    Quest to the 2009 NPC Emerald Cup.
    After following Mark's journal for a while now, he has inspired me to log efforts and training leading up to my next contest, the 2009 NPC Emerald Cup.
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    That first show at the Everett Civic Auditorium that was held nearly three decades ago moved through adolescence at Seattle's Paramount theater and has now matured into adulthood at Bellevue's Meydenbauer Center as the biggest amateur competition in the USA. Past Emerald Cup remembrances are as diverse at the people recalling them.

    I remember seeing a Pre-Olympian Dorian Yates at the Paramount Theater. "The Shadow" walked out and stood before the mesmerized crowd. He was backlit and his silhouetted physique was projected five times the size of life on a big screen.

    Dorian Yates Dorian Yates
    Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
    Dorian Yates At The 1994 British Grand Prix.

    A few years ago at evening's end the mother of all posedowns erupted with Ronnie Coleman, Jay Cutler, Gunter Schlierkamp, Troy Alves and Bob Cicherillo squaring off to the crowds delight. The Battle Royal spilled off stage and continued throughout the house for nearly thirty minutes.

    Bob Cicherillo, Troy Alves, And Jay Cutler.
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    Bob Cicherillo, Troy Alves, And Jay Cutler
    At The 2007 Emerald Cup.

    I vividly remember the fitness performance by Kelly Ryan, Tanji Johnson and Nicole Rollolazo. Ryan and Johnson's hip-hop moves nearly set the stage aflame while Rollolazo set record hang times in several of her aerial assaults.

    Tanji Johnson
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    Tanji Johnson At The 2007 Emerald Cup.

    Physique Artist Extraordinaire Russ Testo has been featured at least a couple of dozen times at the Emerald Cup. Russ' interpretation of the popular music of the day is always a treat to behold. Even more exciting is to watch the faces of spectators that have never experienced Testo in person.

    If you need a break from the on-stage action all one needs to do is retire to the back of the Meydenbauer Center and take a jaunt through the Emerald Cup's fitness expo. The expo features over eighty booths from every aspect of the health and fitness industry. Most of the exhibitors are long-term participants, which speaks volumes for the caliber of the event.

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    Emerald Cup.
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    Emerald Cup.
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    The list of competitors that have competed at the Emerald Cup and went on to achieve national prominence would be time consuming to compile. In men's bodybuilding Mark Dugdale, Aaron Maddron, Kevin Creeden, Nate DeTracy, and Michal Kindred come to mind. In the women's ranks Nikki Fuller, Shelley Beattie, Mah-Ann Mendoza and Sheila Bleck.

    A few of the fitness winners who went on to earn their pro status are Dale Tomita, Tanji Johnson, Rose Hendricks, and Michele Mayberry. The Emerald Cup boasts a unique distinction in the figure divisions. Every E-Cup overall figure winner has gone on to the pro level within a year.

    Sonia Adcock.
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    Sonia Adcock At The 2006 Emerald Cup.

    Indeed the Emerald Cup attracts a bevy of great competitors from around the country, but equally as exciting is how it brings out the best of the Northwest competitors. From the Juniors to the Masters and all points in between, the original dream of Brad and Elaine Craig is still alive and well. The Emerald Cup continues to provide the means for Northwest athletes to compete against the best of their peers.

    But as in everything in life it is the little things that stand out the most. There have been many for me. For example:

    • The James Brown parody posing routine by David Patterson brought tears of laughter to my eyes.
    • Ninety-Five year old Sang Hoon Park bringing the entire audience to a standing ovation after the final posing routine of his competitive career.
    • The bodybuilder who felt he needed a little bit more size in the front of his posing trunks and "enhanced" himself with a pair of rolled up socks.
    • Of course the irrepressible Kim "Kong" Farrison has been Master of Ceremonies of more Emerald Cups than he cares to remember. You never know what may come out of Kim's mouth at any given moment. And the list goes on.

    Sang Hoon Park
    + Click To Enlarge.
    Sang Hoon Park At The
    2007 Emerald Cup.

    All the while promoters Brad and Elaine Craig have managed to keep the speeding train from going off the tracks. Each step of their twenty-seven year journey they have never failed to debut something new, innovating and exciting. If the past is any indication of the future the Emerald Cup will surpass the excellence of years gone by in 2009.