2007 Early Season Contest Preview - Iron Man Pro.

Here is a sneak preview of the IM Pro line-up a day earlier; the press conference, where I weigh in each competitor... Get the lowdown on who is competing (or not) at this year's Iron Man Pro and who might have a shot!

Contest aficionados won't need much time to get into the flow of the 2007 season: The IRON MAN Pro starts the show, as always, with the first battle of the year Saturday, February 17, at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium. This marks the 18th year in a row the IM Pro has given the IFBB season a great liftoff.

Once again we'll give the aficionados a sneak preview of the IM Pro line-up a day earlier; the press conference, where I weigh in each competitor (and even get some of them to take off the sweats) will again be housed in the Pasadena Center at 4 p.m. on Friday. And, following the press conference a "Meet the Athletes" segment will be held at the same location.

At press time it was hard to know who's in, who's not for the first two events but, based on the long running history of the John Balik/Michael Neveux production, it's safe to say the line-up will once more provide some of the top players in the game.

Thanks to Jim Manion, the contest was given top-five Mr. Olympia qualifying status last year after being the longest running show on the West Coast. And, even without that perk, the record book lists Flex Wheeler as the all-time IM Pro champion with five wins. Right behind Flex is Chris Cormier, with four victories. Vince Taylor has won it twice. A guy named Jay Cutler won it 2003.

2003 Iron Man
Click Image To Enlarge.
Jay Cutler, Troy Alves & Flex Wheeler At The 2003 Iron Man.

Shawn Ray was the first to wear the crown back in 1990; other superstars to take the IM title include J.J. Marsh, Dexter Jackson, Gustavo Badell and Lee Priest. The IM is one contest Ronnie Coleman didn't win.

Chris Cormier:

    Cormier, who I now call the Real Enigma rather than the Real Deal, had his troubles on and off the stage last year and ended up in the hospital with a spinal infection that, along with other tribulations, kept Cormier from competing in 2006.

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There have been several rumors going around the bodybuilding community about Chris Cormier over the last two months - ranging from failed kidneys to death. I am here to set the record straight with this exclusive interview!
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Chris Cormier In Contest Shape.

    Can he bounce back? Will it be at the IM Pro? Seems like a great place to start for Chris who, approaching his 40th birthday, doesn't have a lot of time on his side to prove he still ranks among the finest in the industry.

Lee Priest:

    We do know last year's winner, Lee Priest, won't be back to defend his crown (Priest opted for the PDI last year), but runner-up David Henry should be back with the $15,000 first place prize money firmly in his sights.

PRO BODYBUILDING WEEKLY
Guest: Lee Priest
Date: 07/31/06
(Radio Show 45) - mp3 (15 MB)

Lee Priest Lee Priest Lee Priest
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Lee Priest At The 2006 Iron Man.
View More Pics From The 2006 Iron Man Here.

    Henry and Ronny Rockel were the most overlooked Mr. O competitors last year, so a victory at the IM would ease the pain a bit for David.

David Henry David Henry David Henry
Click Image To Enlarge.
David Henry At The 2006 Iron Man.
View More Pics From The 2006 Iron Man Here.

Other Challengers:

    Troy Alves, Kris Dim and Mark Dugdale finished third, fourth and fifth, respectively, last season and, at least Dim and Dugdale are planning to engage in battle again this year.

Troy Alves Troy Alves Troy Alves
Click Image To Enlarge.
Troy Alves At The 2006 Iron Man.
View More Pics From The 2006 Iron Man Here.


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Mark Dugdale & Kris Dim.
View More Pics From The 2006 Iron Man Here.

    Ditto for Eryk (Chop) Bui, who had a fine pro debut last year with an eighth place finish and vows he'll be in the top five this time around.


Click Image To Enlarge.
Eryk Bui.
View More Pics From The 2006 Iron Man Here.

    Gary Strydom talked earlier in the year about doing the IM for the first time since the inaugural affair way back in 1990. And, at 47, Gary still looks great and definitely would battle for an Olympia qualifying spot in Pasadena.

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    Another chap with a Grade A physique who is planning to compete is Omar Deckard. Omar carried 255 pounds on his 6'2" frame last year and feels he can add 10 pounds of quality muscle and still show off the same conditioning he did when he took the Overall at the USA last July.

Omar Deckard
Omar Deckard Wallpaper
Winner, 2006 NPC USA Overall.
Photo by SecondFocus.
Week #21 - 8/01/2006
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Conclusion

For continual updates on the IM, and the accompanying FitExpo, keep checking online at ironmanmagazine.com, Graphicmuscle.com, BodySpace, and Bodybuilding.com!


2007 Iron Man Wallpapers

David Henry
David Henry
IFBB Pro & 2007 Iron Man Contender.
Photo By SecondFocus.
Week #44 - 1/16/2007
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Toney Freeman
Toney Freeman
IFBB Pro & 2007 Iron Man Contender.
Photo By SecondFocus.
Week #44 - 1/16/2007
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