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The Item: IFBB Pro League Legends Update, Special Appearances, Special Honors, Andrew Oye's IFBB Pro Athletes Roundup

The Scoop: Just Reported: Over the Labor Day weekend, the 12th Annual Muscle Beach Hall of Fame (announced in association with the Muscle Beach Bodybuilding Championships contest) inducted its latest honoree in Venice Beach, California -- entrepreneur, former Mr. Olympia contender and retired professional bodybuilder Lee Labrada.

The "So What?": As reported in "Andrew Oye's Pro-Muscle Report," Labrada earned his IFBB Pro card in 1985, after winning 1st place in the Middleweight Class at the NPC National Bodybuilding Championships and the IFBB Mr. Universe. He won his pro debut at the 1986 IFBB Night of Champions (a top-tier contest now known as the New York Pro Championships). In 1987, Labrada competed in his first Olympia contest, where he placed 3rd behind 2nd place finisher IFBB Pro Rich Gaspari and eventual 8-time Mr. Olympia IFBB Pro Lee Haney. Remarkably, Labrada finished in the Top 4 of the Mr. Olympia Championships seven consecutive times, including two 2nd place finishes. He also earned a 2nd runner-up placing at the Arnold Sports Festival's 1993 IFBB Pro Arnold Schwarzenegger Classic Bodybuilding Championships (won by IFBB Pro Flex Wheeler). 

Classic-physique proportions carried Labrada through the professional bodybuilding ranks of the International Federation of Bodybuilding & Fitness from mid-1980s to mid-1990s and had him labeled "Mass With Class" -- a theme applied to a MUSCLE INK Magazine feature about Labrada and a few other IFBB Pro League athletes also featured in my "Art of War" Series about posing and presentation in competitive bodybuilding. At 5'6" and competing close to 190 lbs., Labrada's contest history also includes six victories at various international Grand Prix contests and eight Top 3 finishes at other non-Olympia contests on the IFBB circuit.

Upon receiving his award at the induction ceremony, Labrada said, "I'm so grateful for Muscle Beach and the inspiration it has brought to me as a youngster and generations of bodybuilders and fitness enthusiasts all over the world. I'm honored that my name is going to join all of the great champions whose names currently adorn the plaques that line the 'Mecca of bodybuilding' -- Muscle Beach." He went on to thank his family, wife Robin, employees, and training partners over the years. In addition, he thanked his mentors Ben and Joe Weider, founders of the IFBB Pro League and the Olympia Championships.

Andrew Oye's Verdict:  Congratulations to Lee Labrada, a solid ambassador of the sport with a gentleman's demeanor. The 2014 IFBB Pro Olympia Qualification Series officially ended over the weekend as well, setting the stage for bodybuilding's "Super Bowl." On the eve of the 50th Anniversary Mr. Olympia Championships at Joe Weider's Olympia Weekend (September 18-21), the perpetually fit, 54-year-old, Cuban-born, Texas-based businessman adds his Muscle Beach Hall of Fame induction to the his resume a decade after his 2004 IFBB Hall of Fame honor as one of the league's most noteworthy physiques. 

Lee Labrada joins a roster of previous MBHOF inductees: first-ever Mr. Olympia IFBB Pro Larry Scott, 3-time Mr. Olympia IFBB Pro Frank Zane, 3-time Mr. Olympia IFBB Pro Franco Columbu, first-ever Arnold Classic Champion IFBB Pro Rich Gaspari, 8-time Ms. Olympia IFBB Pro Lenda Murray, 6-time Ms. Olympia IFBB Pro Cory Everson, 2-time Ms. Olympia IFBB Pro Rachel McLish, 1983 Mr. Olympia IFBB Pro Samir Bannout, and "Incredible Hulk" TV actor, IFBB Pro Lou Ferrigno, among others.

In addition to a thriving sports-nutrition business, Lee Labrada has a son, Hunter Labrada, who traded collegiate football to pursue competitive bodybuilding with his friend NPC competitor Sergio Oliva, Jr. (son of 3-time Mr. Olympia IFBB Pro Sergio Oliva) -- two next-generation athletes extending the legacies of physique-icon fathers.

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