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IFBB Pro's Sadly Pass Away
Two IFBB Pro Bodybuilders have died in the past month; on May 8th of this year Don Youngblood at 51, died of a massive heart attack. Many can say the cause was several different reasons but what I do know is that Youngblood was pushing the 300 lb. mark and was on a heavy off season cycle in an attempt to pack on the mass.
Honestly people, it is not necessary to hold that much weight and will not speed up the muscle building process. Our hearts here at Bodybuilding.com go out to the Youngblood family and I sincerely hope bodybuilders can learn from this tragedy so it doesn't happen again.
Paul DeMayo died at 37, on June 3 of this year from a heroin over dose. Paul was one of the greats but suffered from depression for many years while becoming an IFBB Pro back in 1995. He served 18 months in a state prison for discharging a fire arm in city limits with no gun permit while having a domestic dispute. After being released from prison DeMayo took on a heavy recreational drug habit that lasted several years until June 3rd when he over dosed and passed away.
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I have had many conversations with Paul and I have to say he was one of many bitter retired IFBB Pro's who felt the organization did nothing for him and regretted ever becoming a pro bodybuilder. Our hearts go out to the DeMayo family.
IFBB Forces Another Show Out - Sad Day
Is everyone out there ready for a good laugh? The IFBB now has 12 Pro Figure contests with only 10 Pro Bodybuilding events after The GNC Show of Strength promoters were basically forced to shut down their show. Tammy Simpson is quoted to say: in a nut shell, the reason we had to cancel the show, is because the Olympia being scheduled to begin 4 days after the SOS ended. When I went to Jim Manion and told him the days we wanted, the Olympia was still confirmed.
The powers that be at AMI were trying to get out of the Mandalay Bay contract and were signed contracts with the hotel and the convention center in Atlanta. Months go by and then the Olympia dates are announced without extreme hardship so we made the decision to bow out.
It makes no sense for shows to end up cannibalizing each other. This is not how you grow the sport. The mismanagement of the sport's calendar by the IFBB is completely unprofessional and for the IFBB to intentionally screw one of its promoters is reprehensible.
Sadly once again the competitors are on the losing end of all this. Over the past 3 years, the SOS has given out close to 1 millions dollars in prize money and done a first class event that the sport could be proud of. Obviously there were many other hurdles that the IFBB threw out for us the past 3 years but I won't go into all the details here. We are working on some other events that I will bring you up to speed on as we confirm things.
Who knows, the way the IFBB and the O are being run this year, there may not be one next year. We are going to quit beating our heads against the IFBB wall and work on things outside of them that will benefit the industry as well as the athletes.
IFBB Makes Up The Rules As They Go...
First, raised the sanction fee from the IFBB to over $60,000 dollars for the show. No one except the Arnold Classic has it so high. The SOS was a struggling show trying to give the athletes more money.
Secondly, tell the promoters to put the prize money in an IFBB account 4 months before the event. No one has ever done that before, yet they insisted that this happen.
Last but not least, with this reality, and only 4 days apart in which exhibitors can move a booth from Atlanta to Las Vegas, it just wasn't going to happen. In order to make the Mr. Olympia expo stronger, and get rid of its competition 1 week earlier, they had to do something. So they did.
Just for the record, I personally met a promoter from the Middle East while competing at a show in Holland where I was informed that he contacted the IFBB head quarters in the United States.
When this promoter asked to have a pro bodybuilding event sanctioned by the IFBB, the sanction was $85,000. What the hell is that? The typical sanction fee for a pro show is $20,000.
You make your own judgment.
Another Pro Division Starting - Thank God!
The following is a letter that was mailed to 25 athletes with aspirations of giving Pro Bodybuilders a much needed change. If all goes well, 15 of the gentleman will leave the IFBB and compete in a division where the rules do not constantly change to line their pockets!
Thank you for your responses. You will not hear from me again until October. At that time, if everything progresses as planned, you will be sent a contract. We will send contracts to 25 athletes with the objective of 15 signing. Here is other information that I can share with you at this time based on questions some of you have asked.
You are the first group we have approached. We have approached other groups of athletes, although not all of them are from the IFBB.
The contracts will be sent after the Mr. Olympia so that we will not jeopardize anyone during the 2005 season.
The event in Tokyo is planned to take place during Golden Week April 28 through May 6 2006.
The event is scheduled to be televised in Japan, Korea, Philippines, China, and SE Asia. The money to pay prize money, ect. will come from TV advertising revenue (one of the companies involved as a TV station), that is why this is possible.
Athletes that sign contracts will be marketed to endorse products (another partner is the sports marketing agency) in Asia. This will increase your revenue and make you bigger stars in Asia. When we increase the number of shows in 2007, some of you will already be stars in the new locations.
We are not starting a new bodybuilding federation, but rather creating business opportunities. We are just interested in a limited number of athletes that we will transform into stars in Asia (just as was done with Bob Sapp).
We are negotiating with different former and present bodybuilding officials that handle the bodybuilding business side of this venture.
The athletes that sign contracts will be brought to Japan to meet everyone involved for one week in early December.
I have been most appreciative of your patience. You will not receive any other correspondence from me until late October.
Massimo Di Gambino
One More Topic To Laugh At!
The IFBB mailed letters to its existing athletes indicating there will be a change of standards when it comes to the new look they want bodybuilders to obtain for stage.
Now it's all about symmetry, shoulder to waste ratio, lines and an over all pleasing physique with no distended bellies. Hello! Idiots, this has been the judging criteria since day one.
Why do you think guys get so pissed on stage when Gunter and Jay our called out in first rounds of symmetry, I've seen Marcus Ruhl in the first call out of the symmetry round! Here's a little for food for thought you. Francisco 'Paco' Bautista actually has placed top five in several pro shows and even one year qualified for the Olympia. Oh my God! He's like the perfect example of what not to be built like.
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Dexter Jackson & 7-Time Mr. Olympia, Ronnie Coleman.
Here's another joke, like Orville Burke beating Dexter Jackson at the 2002 Toronto Pro show with his stomach sticking out past his feet. Distended stomachs have been a subject since day one of IFBB rules and regulations, but because of sponsorship money and lack there of, it doesn't matter if his stomach is sticking out like he swallowed a watermelon or not especially if one of the judges owns the company he's sponsored by.
With that being said this is just another bullshit letter that will be proved without a doubt when Cutler, Gunter, and Paco Bastia are all in the symmetry round callouts! According to this, Flex Wheeler, Shawn Ray, and Chris Cormier have been the raining Mr. Olympia for the last 10 years.
What the fu*@ happened at this years 2004 Fitness International? Excuse me, but I thought there was supposed to be a 20% decrease in women's fitness competitors (according to the letter that was sent out following the Fitness Olympia)? And then low and behold Kim Klein shows up at the Fitness International (huge)!
If you don't believe me, read the Oxygen magazine that clearly states Kim Klein put on a lot of apparent muscle (20% increase), make up your fu*@ing minds!
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Kim Klein @ The 2004 Fitness International.