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The Item: IFBB Pro League News, Contest Schedule, Andrew Oye's IFBB Pro Athletes Roundup

The Scoop: Just Announced: The IFBB Professional League (International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness) released its 2015 schedule of professional bodybuilding championships and events.

The "So What?": As reported in "Andrew Oye's Pro Muscle Report," the IFBB Pro Olympia Qualification Series Point System (1st automatic qualification, 2nd - 4 Points, 3rd - 3 Points, 4th - 2 Points, 5th - 1 Point) applies to IFBB Pro League athletes' eligibility to compete at the 2015 Olympia Weekend in Las Vegas, to face reigning 4-time Mr. Olympia IFBB Pro Phil Heath, 3-time Olympia 212 Showdown Champ IFBB Pro Flex Lewis, 4-time Ms. Figure Olympia IFBB Pro Nicole Wilkins, Ms. Fitness Olympia IFBB Pro Oksana Grishina, Men's Physique Olympia Champ IFBB Pro Jeremy Buendia, Women's Physique Olympia Champ IFBB Pro Juliana Malacarne, and 2-time Ms. Bikini Olympia IFBB Pro Ashley Kaltwasser. Automatic Olympia qualification goes to only the 1st place winners of most contests (except Arnold Classic -- Top 3; New York Pro -- Top 2; previous year's Olympia -- Top 4). 

The IFBB Pro League schedule of events: Arnold Sports Festival's Arnold Classic USA (March 5-8), Arnold Classic Australia (March 13-15), St. Louis Pro (April 4), FIBO Power Germany (April 11), Slovakian Pro -- Mozolani Classic (April 25), Europa Games Orlando Pro (May 1-2), New York Pro (May 10), BodyPower Pro UK (May15-16), California Pro (May 23), Arnold Classic Brasil (May 29-31), Omaha Pro (May 30), Puerto Rico Pro (May 30-31), Toronto Pro SuperShow (June 6-7), Europa Games Dallas Pro (June 19-20), Chicago Pro (July 2-4), Vancouver Pro (July 25), Golden State Grand Prix (August 13), Tampa Pro (August 6-8), Texas Pro (August 20-22), Europa Games Atlantic City Pro (August 28-29), Pittsburgh Masters Pro (September 3), Joe Weider's Olympia Weekend (September 17-20), Arnold Classic Europe (September 25-26), Korean Pro (September 26), Prague Pro (October 3), Nordic Pro (October 10-11), Europa Games Phoenix Pro (October 10-11), and Ferrigno Legacy (November 20).

Andrew Oye's Verdict: As the IFBB Professional League continues to expand, naturally, a ripple effect leads to changes in the contest calendar that motivates athletes with sights set on the "Super Bowl of bodybuilding" and Olympia Sandow trophies (which have been obtained by the likes of IFBB Pro Lee Haney, IFBB Pro Ronnie Coleman, IFBB Pro Jay Cutler, IFBB Pro Dorian Yates, IFBB Pro Frank Zane, IFBB Pro Sergio Oliva, IFBB Pro Franco Columbu, IFBB Pro Larry Scott, and others).

The long-running Australian Pro Grand Prix (previously won by the likes of 4-time champ IFBB Pro Dexter Jackson, IFBB Pro Ronny Rockel in 2006, IFBB Pro Dennis Wolf in 2011, IFBB Pro Branch Warren in 2012, and IFBB Pro Shawn Rhoden in 2014) now becomes known as the Australian IFBB Pro Arnold Schwarzenegger Classic Bodybuilding Championships. FIBO Power Germany (last won by IFBB Pro Cedric McMillan in 2013) returns to the schedule.

"Incredible Hulk" IFBB Pro Lou Ferrigno moves his fitness event (which debuted last year and was won by Ronny "The Rock" Rockel) from Santa Barbara to Palm Springs, California. Contests staged last year but not returning (or not on the schedule at the time of this report): New Zealand Pro (won by IFBB Pro Jose Raymond), Dubai Pro (won by Dexter Jackson), and Asian Pro in China (won by IFBB Pro Essa Obaid).
New additions (for the pro bodybuilding division, not necessarily all divisions): California Pro in Culver City, Vancouver Pro in Canada, and Texas Pro in San Antonio. After six years, the Europa Games brings pro bodybuilding back to Atlantic City, New Jersey. (At the 2009 Atlantic City Pro, IFBB Pro Gustavo Badell won the Open Class and James "Flex" Lewis won the 202 Division.) New additions specifically for 212 Division competitors: St. Louis Pro in Missouri and Puerto Rico Pro in San Juan.

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