Bodybuilding fans usually flock to either the Arnold, the Olympia, or if they're lucky, to both. However, the New York Pro is fast becoming one of those must-attend shows. It's now one of the most anticipated shows of the year!
A fantastic mix of new talent and recognizable veterans makes the New York Pro one of the most popular IFBB shows. Long-time friends are in the running to beat one another for a winning spot on the battle field at the 2013 New York Pro.
The list of possible competitors includes teammates who visit each other's homes and participate in joint family gatherings, colleagues who work out and diet together, and pals who have turned pro within months of each other. This combination creates a very personal competition.
While the official competitor's list has yet to be released, the bodybuilding community is buzzing about which athletes are expected to hit the stage. In the Men's Bodybuilding open class, Victor Martinez will make the most anticipated comeback in the lineup. Martinez has had a difficult past few years, to put it mildly. He suffered an injury late last year, hindering his workouts. Regardless of where he finishes, the crowd will revel in his return as he poses on stage.
Jon DeLaRosa, long-time friend and mentee of Martinez, will return from his fifth place finish at last year's New York Pro. Juan Morel returns after a fourth-place finish last year. These men are close friends, quiet rivals. I suspect that Victor, Jon, and Juan will create one of the most exciting lineups of the year.
Last year's 212 winner, Kevin English will return to the stage to redeem himself. Kevin fell victim to plenty of criticism about his lack of conditioning and unsymmetrical physique.
It's usual for guys like Kevin to retire from the spotlight and go into the shadows of silence only to return even stronger than ever. MHP athlete Marco Rivera will join him after placing third in his first show of the season, the Orlando Europa.
Other big names in the 212 division are MuscleTech athlete Seth Feroce, last year's crowd favorite Sami Al Haddad, and Al Auguste. But the excitement doesn't stop there. Newcomers like Aaron Clark, Darron Glenn, and Antoine Vaillant will bring their best to New York's Tribeca Center.
All three of these young men have amazing potential and will surely make an impact as pros. But how will they fare in a lineup with the veterans in the game?
Finally, underdogs like Charles Dixon, who earned sixth place at the Orlando Europa, and Mark Dugdale, second-place winner at the 2012 Desert Muscle Classic, will creep silently to the stage and then demand the attention they deserve. They might be underdogs, but you'd be wrong to count them out.
At this year's New York Pro, be prepared to see competitors fight for redemption against familiar foes, for their reputation, and for a much-coveted Olympia qualification. New York is undeniably the place where dreams come true.