June 24th, 2004! - Previous News
Darrem Charles: From Rising Star To Superstar
Just two short years ago, Darrem Charles received unimaginable news. Preparing for his 4th career Mr. Olympia contest, Darrem learned that his Mother had been tragically murdered outside of her home in New York. The news traveled quickly throughout the bodybuilding industry. As his fellow competitors were gearing up for the biggest show of the year, Darrem's mind was suddenly a million miles away from bodybuilding.
2002 Mr. Olympia: View Scorecards
His thoughts to skip the Olympia were overshadowed by a profound desire to dedicate the show to his Mother's memory. So, Just five days after attending the funeral, emotionally and physically exhausted, Darrem boarded a flight to Las Vegas. The judges scored him 16th, but the event would ultimately be marked by Darrem's improbable display of courage.
That was the last we saw of the "old" Darrem Charles.
When Darrem returned home from Las Vegas, his fire burned deeper than ever before. Since making his pro debut back in 1992, he had been told countless times that his genetic potential could someday elevate him among the bodybuilding elite. Darrem had earned a reputation for his posing and showmanship, but his physique had so often taken a backseat. All of that was about to change.
Darrem returned to the gym with a renewed passion, well aware that bodybuilding's brief window of opportunity was an unavoidable reality. His time was now.
For the next several months, Darrem trained harder than ever, ate more and grew like never before. As he was quick to explain, "no more playing games. It's my time".
The approach was much different than many of his competitors. He avoided the common mistake of simply packing on misguided size. Darrem maintained his classic symmetry while taking a methodical approach to building what might best be described as an enhanced version of his aesthetically heralded proportions.
2003 Arnold Classic: View Scorecards
Darrem's focus was the
2003 Arnold Classic. This was his opportunity to show off his improvements and to remind the fans that there is far more to Darrem than a good moon-walk. When he stepped on stage, the improvements were obvious, and the judges agreed. Darrem earned a spot in the final posedown and eventually finished 6th. Pleased with his progress, Darrem warned, "we are only just beginning".
2003 Maximus Pro: View Scorecards
Two months later, Darrem traveled to Rome to compete in the
Maximus Pro Invitational. The show was being hyped as a showdown between Dexter Jackson and Markus Ruhl. As it turned out, Darrem's razor sharp conditioning was more than either of the favorites could handle. Darrem snuck right past Dexter and Markus to win the show.
2003 Mr. Olympia: View Scorecards
Suddenly, Darrem was no longer the underdog looking to get noticed. He was now a bona-fide contender. After tasting victory, his next stop was the
In his previous four Olympia contests, Darrem had never cracked the Top 10. This was a chance to prove that he can compete on bodybuilding's biggest stage. When the scores were counted, Darrem landed in 7th place, a career best.
2003 Show Of Strength: View Scorecards
Just one week later, in another Olympia caliber lineup, he stood among the top 6 at the
GNC Show of Strength, one spot ahead of perennial all-world Chris Cormier, who finished 7th. The event concluded the 2003 contest season.
2004 Xtreme Pro Challenge: View Scorecards
Entering 2004, Darrem's
goals were much higher. He opted to compete in four events, beginning with the inaugural
Xtreme Pro Challenge in his home state of Florida, where he outlasted 27 athletes to register his 3rd professional win.
Darrem then picked up a couple 2nd place checks at the
Night of Champions and the
Hungarian Pro Championships.
2004 Toronto Pro Invitational: View Scorecards
In his most recent event, Darrem headed north to Canada for the
Toronto Pro Invitational. It was yet another victory for Darrem, his 4th career professional conquest.
Some of Darrem's critics have tried to discount his victories, pointing out that he chooses events that lack "big name" competitors. This theory is quickly put to rest when you look at some of the athletes that Darrem has defeated in the past year. The list includes Dexter Jackson, Chris Cormier, Markus Ruhl, Lee Priest along with multiple wins over Craig Titus and Melvin Anthony… to name a few.
Darrem has an uncanny ability to never look back. Five minutes after he was relegated to 2nd place at the NOC, Darrem had already shifted his mental energy to the next event. While his fans and his manager (yours truly) were simmering over the controversial defeat, Darrem was already focusing on his preparation and strategy for the next event.
I suppose that there is a lesson here for all of us; Energy is best spent on things we can control. We are powerless to the past, but the future remains well within our control.
As for Darrem, his future has never looked brighter.
Visit www.ProMuscleOnline.com for more of Dan Solomon's commentary and IFBB event coverage.
View: Previous News Archives