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2004 NPC Southern USA Bodybuilding, Fitness And Figure Championships!

Bodybuilding is alive and well in Panama City, Florida as thousands of fans discovered at the Edgewater Beach Resort Convention Center on April 10th...

Bodybuilding is alive and well in Panama City, Florida as thousands of fans discovered at the Edgewater Beach Resort Convention Center on April 10th. Contest promoter, Pat Sporer had over a hundred contestants in this efficiently run and well attended bodybuilding, fitness and figure contest.

Richard with contest promoter,
Pat Sporer

NPC Vice President, Southern Zone Chairman, Florida Chairman and head judge, Peter Potter along with judges, Pat and JoJo Moore, Deke Warner, Jack Harley, Bruce Stephens, Al Johnson, and Dr. Victoria Lund did an outstanding job of selecting the winners in this deep field of champions.

Richard, a trophy presenter at the contest, loves to go to this event because through the many years of competitive bodybuilding, he developed many friendships. Richard enjoys meeting with and talking to old fans, shaking hands, taking photos and reminiscing about the old days of bodybuilding.

Bodybuilding's past
and present

Camaraderie existed among competitors of the 1970s and 1980s that reveals itself in decades of old friendships that continue to be renewed at bodybuilding contests.

Pat Sporer of Healthworld Gym always gets the very best guest posers for this contest. Last year, it was Ronnie Coleman. This year, the guest poser was Gunter Schlierkamp, the only man to beat Ronnie since he won the Mr. Olympia.

Gunter arrived in town on Thursday evening, providing time for workouts and dinner at a local new restaurant. Gunter's quick wit and sense of humor was evident in response to a waitress that wanted to see his chest. "I'll show you mine, if you show me yours," is a quote by Gunter that quickly circled the Panama City area.

Gunter Schlierkamp

Not only was Gunter in attendance at the contest with the standing room only crowd, but audience members also had the opportunity to see a posing exhibition by Stan McCrary.

Stan apologized for his lack of conditioning during a brief interview, as he was asked to pose at the last minute, leaving no time to prepare. He vowed to be in shape for his next contest.

Stan McCrary
Gold's Gym owner, Mike McKinney
hard at work applying the tans.

Pat Sporer continued to wow the crowd with a fitness routine put on by the newest IFBB Pro Fitness competitors, Shannon Dey and Melissa Babers. Both Richard and I have had the opportunity to see Shannon Dey do her fitness routine on several occasions.

Shannon is not only an outstanding fitness competitor with an attractive physique that adds to her audience appeal, but she is one marvelous entertainer! She has that special something that makes everyone around her smile.

IFBB Pros, Shannon Dey and Melissa Babers
Shannon Dey

Newcomers to bodybuilding championships walked away with many of the trophies, which speaks well for this particular contest, as well as the sport as a whole. Figure contestants dominated the evening with many deep classes providing a strong competitive field.

Miss Panama City

On the local level the Women's Panama City figure contest was won by Diane Stewart of Panama City Beach, Florida. As a novice, this first time contestant made it a clean sweep by also winning the B Class in figure, and an impressive win of the Overall Figure title.

Overall Figure
Figure Class C

Just how impressive was this win for newcomer, Diane Stewart? Figure classes were deep and included Class A and B, Women Over 30, as well as Class A, B, C and D Figure classes.

Figure, Class A
Figure Over 30, Class A

Figure competitors completely overwhelmed the relatively poor showing of female bodybuilders. With only four female bodybuilders in this contest and nine deep classes for figure and fitness, is female bodybuilding rapidly coming to an end?

Female bodybuilders get trophies

The regular bodybuilding for baby boomers will soon cover this topic in an upcoming column. And we're interested in what you have to say on the topic. Send us your thoughts on the future of female bodybuilding, fitness and figure competitors.

Not to be outnumbered by the large numbers of female fitness and figure contestants, on the men's side, large number of classes including Teen Men, Men's Over 60, Men's Over 50, Men's Over 40, Lightweight and Heavyweight, Men's Over 35, Lightweight and Heavyweight, Men's Novice, Lightweight and Heavyweight, Men's Panama City, Men's Open Bantamweight, Lightweight, Middleweight, Light Heavyweight, Heavyweight and Super Heavyweight provided lots of excitement in these competitive classes.

Mens' Lightweight Class trophy winners
Patrick Poole wins the
Men's Novice Lightweight's

The Men's Middleweight class, 12 deep provided tough choices for the judges, with the winner of this class, Roger Ferrar of Miami, Florida ultimately winning the Men's Overall title.

Men's Middleweights
Melissa, Shannon and Gunter
with Men's Overall winner, Ferrar

Men's Overall Over 40
with Richard
Light Heavyweight competitors

Men's Over 40, Lightweight winners
Men's Over 50 Winners

Mr. Panama City Winner is 2nd from left

A very long evening came to an interesting end, when Gunter posed his off season physique for a large crowd of fans. After hitting several poses on stage, Gunter jumped off the stage and spent a good deal of time flexing among audience members.

He then gave a short speech that revealed him to be an articulate, bright man who would make an outstanding spokesperson and role model as Mr. Olympia. Gunter with his winning physique, smile and personality made many more fans here in Florida that will be rooting for him to win this October.'s Baby boomer experts, Richard Baldwin and
Diane Fields congratulate contest team trophy winners, Mike and
Kristy McKinney of Gold's Gym in Panama City and
Panama City Beach, Florida.

Train hard, train smart and make it a legendary week!
Diane Fields, Member. Legendary Fitness, LLC.
Richard Baldwin, Member. Legendary Physique, LLC.

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Copyright 2004. Diane Fields, Member. Legendary Fitness, LLC. All rights reserved.

The advice given in this column should not be viewed as a substitute for professional medical services. Before undertaking any exercise or nutrition program, Legendary Fitness, LLC advises all to undergo a thorough medical examination and get permission from their personal physician.