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The Item: Career Updates, Special Appearances, Contest Preparation, Andrew Oye's IFBB Pro Athletes Roundup

The Scoop: It was recently announced that IFBB Pro Ben Pakulski will be a featured guest-poser at the NPC Charlotte Cup Bodybuilding Championships on Saturday (April 24). The big Canadian will join a slew of other pro bodybuilders appearing at the event promoted by Pakulski's manager Greg Lee of Lee Promotions (including IFBB Pro Marius Dohne, South Africa's new prominent pro after retired IFBB Pro Gary Strydom -- former champion of WWE's Vince McMahon's WBF World Bodybuilding Federation, for which IFBB Hall of Famer Tom Platz was Talent Director). Lee says the North Carolina contest has attracted a record number of contestants this year.

The "So What?": Ben Pakulski earned his IFBB Pro card by winning the Super-Heavyweight Class and Overall title at the 2008 CBBF Canadian Bodybuilding Championships. The 5'10", 255-pound beast signed a new media contract last year. He made his pro debut at the 2009 IFBB Tampa Pro Bodybuilding Championships (won by IFBB Pro Dennis James), where he took a respectable 3rd place, which qualified him to compete at the 2009 Joe Weider's Olympia Weekend in Las Vegas. Pakulski's next comp stomp on the pro stage will be at the New York Pro Bodybuilding Championships (May 8), with IFBB Pro Roelly Winklaar and IFBB Pro Dennis Wolf. 

Andrew Oye's Verdict: Ben Pakulski seems to be making smart career moves. Feeling he wasn't quite ready to battle seasoned IFBB Pro League athletes for the sport's highest crown, Pakulski elected not to compete at last year's Olympia and challenge Mr. Olympia IFBB Pro Dexter Jackson along with IFBB Pro Jay Cutler, IFBB Pro Branch Warren and others. The word is Pakulski has been working intensely on matching his upper-body development with his mind-blowing lower-body development. When his top half packs the same punch as his wheels, the "Pak Man" (member of the Quadzilla club of athletes with powerful legs like powerlifter IFBB Pro Tom Platz and IFBB Pro Paul Demayo) could be a dangerous force on the pro circuit and at events like the Arnold Sports Festival's IFBB Pro Arnold Schwarzenegger Classic Bodybuilding Championships.

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