Text and Photos by Shiloe Steinmetz
Overall it was a great experience and a wonderful opportunity to see a different culture and opposite part of the world. Jeju Island in South Korea is a wonderful site to see. The food there is quite different and seemed to be very healthy. A bulk of their diet is seafood and vegetables and that may be a reason I saw very few overweight people there.
As far as the contest goes it did not turn out like I expected. Because of the travel and time difference and the difficultly of maintaining o contest diet I felt I "spilled" over and had a filmy appearance on stage. I was just not as crisp as I usually get and obviously missed my peak for this show.
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Another factor that I feel played a role was being American. I thought the judges may have a prejudice against us to start. Not one American on the Team placed and 3 of them missed the cut. It is possible due to jealousy as I think we have the best bodybuilders in the world here in the states, just look at Ronnie and Jay for example.
In all honesty even if I were in my best shape I would not have placed much better as I was the smallest super heavyweight on stage. These guys come in "stacked" and do not mess around. In fairness we may not be comparing apples to apples as the US team is drug tested to qualify, while other countries are not. I did see many "growth guts" and other obvious signs of other athletes being chemically enhanced beyond a doubt.
In spite of how the members of the team did as well as I! I am proud to say I was on the team and proud of my team mates. It was an honor to represent the NPC and USA. Every member of the team looked great! I thank God for the opportunity to compete in the World Championships and have every intention on competing again next year and improving and getting better all the time.