ANDREW OYE'S WBF+IFBB PRO ATHLETES ROUNDUP: BODYBUILDERS VINCE COMERFORD, RONNIE COLEMAN, RICH GASPARI, DEXTER JACKSON, BRANCH WARREN, VICTOR MARTINEZ, SHAWN RHODEN, PRO WRESTLER BRIAN CAGE
By Admin | Tuesday, April 15, 2014 9:33:30 PM America/New_York
The Scoop: Recently Reported: IFBB Pro League athletes had career updates or made recent guest appearances at various sports, bodybuilding, physique and fitness events. The latest "Andrew Oye's Pro-Muscle Report" Pro Athletes Roundup includes a former WBF BodyStar, current stars of the IFBB circuit and a rising star in both bodybuilding and pro wrestling.
The "So What?": Over the weekend, 2-time Arnold Classic Champion IFBB Pro Branch Warren was the featured guest-poser at the NPC Northern Colorado Bodybuilding Championships in Golden, Colorado. 2008 Mr. Olympia IFBB Pro Dexter Jackson posed at the NPC Vancouver USA Natural Bodybuilding Championships, where 2013 Ms. Fitness International and Arnold Classic Europe Champion IFBB Pro Tanji Johnson hosted the Tanji Johnson NPC Fitness, Figure and Bikini Classic in Ridgefield, Washington. Three-time Ms. Figure Olympia IFBB Pro Nicole Wilkins hosted a posing seminar for ladies during the NPC Flint Mid-Michigan Championships. IFBB Pro Juan Morel and IFBB Pro Victor Martinez guest-posed at the NPC New York Metropolitan Championships. The next day, Martinez hosted his "Fit For Autism" charity event.
Recent winner of the Australian Pro Grand Prix IFBB Pro Shawn Rhoden suffered a broken foot, posting, "Had to rush to the emergency room...A few hours later crutches and some painkillers...Still had to make an appearance at the Europa Orlando Fitness Expo...Then was reminded, as bad as my morning started, I had to enjoy the little things in life that make me smile." In Orlando, 8-time Mr. Olympia IFBB Pro Ronnie Coleman and IFBB Pro Rich Gaspari participated in a "Legends Seminar" about Business and Bodybuilding, moderated by IFBB Pro Bob Cicherillo at the Europa Games "Get Fit and Sports Expo," which featured CrossFit, MMA, powerlifting and arm wrestling events and the Show of Champions won by IFBB Pro Justin Compton -- earning the rookie an IFBB Pro Olympia Qualification Series entry to Joe Weider's Olympia Weekend and an invitation to compete at next year's IFBB Pro Arnold Schwarzenegger Classic Bodybuilding Championships at the Arnold Sports Festival. In California, last year's winner of the NPC Fresno Classic Championships Brian Cage (a.k.a. Brian Christopher Button) -- an impressive bodybuilder and charismatic pro wrestler who was once headed to the WWE -- returned to the site of his victory as this year's guest poser.
Andrew Oye's Verdict: In somber news, IFBB Pro Vince Comerford passed away at 52 on April 10, 2014, in Arizona. Comerford earned his IFBB Pro card by winning the Middleweight Class at the 1987 NPC National Bodybuilding Championships. Comerford went on to compete in WWE CEO Vince McMahon's WBF World Bodybuilding Federation, for which Hall of Famer IFBB Pro Tom Platz was Director of Talent Development and IFBB Pro Gary Strydom was the champion. (Other federation-swapping WBF Pro athletes [called "WBF BodyStars"]: IFBB Pro Aaron Baker, IFBB Pro Mike Christian, IFBB Pro David Dearth, IFBB Pro Berry DeMey, IFBB Pro Johnnie Morant, IFBB Pro Danny Padilla, IFBB Pro Tony Pearson, IFBB Pro Jim Quinn, IFBB Pro Mike Quinn, IFBB Pro Eddie Robinson, and IFBB Pro Troy Zuccolotto). Coincidentally, I just reported on the recent passing of 54-year-old NPC bodybuilder, legendary WWF Superstar and WWE Hall of Fame professional wrestler James Hellwig, a.k.a "The Ultimate Warrior," which also occurred in Arizona two days prior to Comerford's passing.
Ironically, Comerford passed away at Die Hard Gym in Peoria (while sleeping in the break room, according to the gym owner). A year ago, on April 1, 2013, in his final interview, he spoke passionately about earning his degree in philosophy and religious studies at Arizona State University, as well as the challenge of making a comeback at a ripe age. "I speak with all reverence of the quality [of athletes] that's on that stage today. It is amazing. I'm in awe. So my hope is to present a Vince Comerford as the bodybuilder I am now...I couldn't be more pleased and blessed with where I am now with my physique and with others in my life. I want to present to the world something that is beyond belief, that my heart, my desire, my faith is able to put on stage and to be judged against the finest in the world...One last time upon the stage as the completeness and wholeness of not just of training and science but of the human condition, and love of the desire of what God gave me that I once destroyed being built again." Of his two previous near-death experiences, Comerford concluded, "I don't want to die...I can't do it again."
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