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The Item: Career Updates, Special Appearances, Strength Sports, Andrew Oye's WSM Pro Athletes Roundup, IFBB Pro Athletes Roundup

The Scoop: Recently Reported: IFBB Pro League athletes and athletes of other sports leagues 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 strongman competitors, strong powerlifters, and a bodybuilder with a strong personality.

The "So What?": Over the weekend, in conjunction with the NPC Showdown of Champions in Midwest City, Oklahoma, IFBB Pro Andy Haman (a former collegiate wrestler) guest-posed at the physique contest and also participated in an open powerlifting challenge that pitted pro athletes against fans (powerlifters, bodybuilders, or just gym regulars) to lift 50% of their bodyweight. Dressed as the superhero "Captain America," Haman (who celebrated his 48th birthday over the weekend) also visited ailing children at a local hospital to lift their spirits. Speaking of strength sports, IFBB Pro Fred Smalls joined 2-time WSM World's Strongest Man Brian Shaw, Odd Haugen (3-time Hawaii's Strongest Man and 3-time WSM competitor), and Kirk Karwoski (7-time USPF National Powerlifting Champion and 6 time IPF World Powerlifting Champion) at the at the Quad City Strength & Fitness Expo in Davenport, Iowa, which featured strongman, Crossfit, powerlifting, grip-strength and MAS wrestling contests; martial arts and feats of strength demonstrations; motivational and nutrition seminars and vendors.

IFBB Pro Timmy Gaillard hosted the NPC Total Body Championships in Tupelo, Mississippi. IFBB Pro Shawn Ray Classic hosted the 3rd Annual NPC Shawn Ray Classic Bodybuilding Championships in Towson, Maryland, where IFBB Pro Aaron Clark was spotted and where Olympia-bound IFBB Pro Dexter Jackson received the "Lifetime Achievement Award" (previously won by 8-time Mr. Olympia IFBB Pro Lee Haney). The 2008 Mr. Olympia also did some impromptu posing at the urging of the crowd. Another athlete five weeks away from competing at Joe Weider's Olympia Weekend, IFBB Pro Branch Warren took the guest-posing stage at the NPC Cajun Showdown in Lafayette, Louisiana. IFBB Pro Toney Freeman made a stop at the NPC Texas State Bodybuilding Championships, emceed by IFBB Pro Bob Cicherillo.

Andrew Oye's Verdict: As the IFBB Pro Olympia Qualification Series ends and leads us into the 50th Anniversary Mr. Olympia Championships, the bigger news over the weekend was the passing of IFBB Pro Mike Matarazzo (while awaiting a heart transplant in California), who was a 7-time Olympia contender during the 1990s and a 3-time competitor at the Arnold Sports Festival's IFBB Pro Arnold Schwarzenegger Classic Bodybuilding Championships. Fans and fellow competitors of the massively popular Matarazzo have expressed a flood of memories and condolences for the huge Bostonian with the huge calves and a huge personality (some of which was shared in the MUSCLE INK Magazine feature "Boston Mass").

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