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

The Scoop: Recently Reported: "Andrew Oye's Pro-Muscle Report" Pro Athletes Roundup covers IFBB Pro League athletes' contest preparation updates for upcoming sports, bodybuilding, physique and fitness events. IFBB Pro Troy Alves is prepping to do some damage onstage at the inaugural IFBB Phoenix Pro Bodybuilding Championships in Mesa, Arizona (February 20). The owner of a local sports nutrition shop, Alves shoulders both the support and the pressure of being the hometown favorite. When I interviewed Alves at the 2009 Meet the Olympians event at Joe Weider's Olympia Weekend in Las Vegas, he told me, "I see myself competing for 2-3 more years, and that will be the end for me, but I want to be at a high level on the way out. My goal is to have three nutrition stores in the Arizona area and just enjoy life out of the limelight."

The "So What?": Troy Alves had an up-and-down contest season in 2009, going from 11th place at the Ironman Pro Invitational (won by IFBB Pro Silvio Samuel), rebounding to win the Orlando Pro (Europa Show of Champions), and then landing in 3rd place at the Atlantic City Pro (won by IFBB Pro Gustavo Badell). Early predictions place Alves in the Top 4 or 5 at the Phoenix Pro, along with IFBB Pro Toney Freeman, IFBB Pro Melvin Anthony and IFBB Pro Hidetada Yamagishi. Alves placed ahead of both Anthony and Yamagishi at the 2009 Atlantic City Pro, but Freeman, Anthony and Yamagishi all placed ahead of Alves at the 2009 Olympia (won by 3-time Mr. Olympia IFBB Pro Jay Cutler), where he placed 15th.

Andrew Oye's Verdict: Troy Alves' aesthetic physique and nice-guy persona have earned him fans in the trenches of the sport's followers, but he'll be contending with guys who outshone him the last time they all faced each other at the Olympia. Since he hasn't competed in a contest like the Arnold Sports Festival's IFBB Pro Arnold Schwarzenegger Classic Bodybuilding Championships since 2006 (when it was won by IFBB Pro Dexter Jackson). this month, he'll need to draw fron the heat of the Arizona sun to shine in his own backyard...because other athletes like IFBB Pro Grigori Atoyan, IFBB Pro Lionel Beyeke, IFBB Pro Andy Haman and IFBB Pro Johnnie Jackson will be there gunning for spots as well.

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