Getbig2003 Ironman Notes

Notes & Reports from the 2003 IFBB Ironman Pro

  • This year's IFBB Ironman Pro Invitational was held at El Camino Community College, in the Marsee Auditorium, at 16007 Crenshaw Blvd, in Torrance, California. It was a much better venue than last year's Ironman near Downtown Los Angeles, which was hard to find. This auditorium was right off the San Diego Freeway (about a minute east), parking was right in front of the auditorium, and everything was clean and beautiful. Next year, the Ironman Pro will be part of a three day fitness and health expo, in Pasadena, California.

  • Due to the fact that the Ironman had an inaugural NPC Figure show with three classes, the numbers of the bodybuilding competitors started at 30. Also, since two numbers were missing in the morning (due to either someone taking them, or misplacing them), number 34 and number 38 were not called. The order of competitors was as follows, Ken 'Flex' Wheeler (#30), J.D. Dawodu (#31), Jocelyn Pelletier (#32), Quincy Taylor (#33), Tommi Thorvildsen (#34), Johnnie Jackson (#36), John Hodgson (#37), Jay Cutler (#39), Troy Alves (#40), Melvin Anthony (#41), Bruce Patterson (#42), Eddie Abbew (#43), Tevita Aholeilei (#44), Christian Lobarede (#46), Ahmad Haidar (#47), Darrem Charles (#48), and Aaron Baker (#49).

    The original scorecard also said that Patrick Lynn was #45, but Patrick did not compete in the morning rounds either.

  • Vice President of the IFBB, and Chairman of the Pro Division Wayne DeMilia was at the IFBB Ironman show, but did not sign the official scorecard. NPC President Jim Manion conducted the morning button selection, and made sure everything was fair. Each competitor came up to the table and randomly chose their number, which tells them who goes out first or last.

  • Round One Callouts are as follows:

    1. Troy Alves - Jay Cutler - Flex Wheeler
    2. Troy Alves - Melin Anthony - Flex Wheeler
    3. Troy Alves - Melvin Anthony - Darrem Charles
    4. Quincy Taylor - Ahmad Haider - Aaron Baker
    5. J.D. Dawodu - Johnnie Jackson - Aaron Baker
    6. Quincy Taylor - Darrem Charles - Aaron Baker
    7. Tommi Thorvildsen - Eddie Abbew - Tevita Aholelei
    8. Tommi Thorvildsen - Bruce Patterson - Tevita Aholelei
    9. John Hodgson - Bruce Patterson - Tevita Aholelei
    10. Melvin Anthony - Johnnie Jackson - Ahmad Haidar
    11. Troy Alves - Darrem Charles - Melvin Anthony
    12. Troy Alves - Flex Wheeler - Melvin Athony
    13. J.D. Dawodu - Eddie Abbew - Aaron Baker
    14. Quincy Taylor - Ahmad Haidar - Aaron Baker
    15. Troy Alves - Melvin Anthony

  • Round Two Callouts are as follows:

    1. Flex Wheeler - Jay Cutler - Melvin Anthony
    2. Troy Alves - Flex Wheeler - Melvin Anthony
    3. Quincy Taylor - Darrem Charles - Ahmad Haider
    4. Johnnie Jackson - Aaron Baker - J.D. Dawodu
    5. Troy Alves - Darrem Charles - Melvin Anthony
    6. John Hodgson - Eddie Abbew - Tevita Aholelei
    7. John Hodgson - Timmi Thorvildsen - Bruce Patterson
    8. Jocerlyn Pelletier - Tommi Thorvildsen - Christian Lobarede
    9. Tevita Aholelei - J.D. Dawodu - Bruce Patterson
    10. Troy Alves - Flex Wheeler - Melvin Anthony

  • One major disappointment was Chris Cormier's failure to show up and compete. Chris did show up, but watched from the audience, giving the much ballyhooed Chris vs. Jay debate left decided for the Arnold Classic, where Kevin Levrone and Dexter Jackson will also battle it out. More than one person complained and asked 'Why was Chris not on stage?'.

  • It was nice to see the other pros come out and support their fellow competitors. Out in the audience was Ronnie Coleman, Gunter Schleirkamp, Shawn Ray, Craig Titus, Bob Cicherillo, and others.

  • Most Muscular Award went to Jay Cutler, who also received a nice trophy and a $1,000 check.

  • Since Jay Cutler, and Flex Wheeler are already qualified for the 2003 Olympia, only Melvin Anthony is eligible from the show to go to the O. In the 2003 Ironman, the top three qualify for the Olympia. At the Arnold, the top 5 qualify for the O.

  • Competitor Overview.

    1. Jay Cutler: From the very first time Jay walked out on the stage in Round One, the show was over. I hate to say it, but Jay is unreal, in awesome shape, and out of everyone's league at the Ironman. There are competitors and there is Jay, and seeing him left all doubts that Jay has the potential to beat Ronnie Coleman at this year's Olympia. But first Jay has to get through Chris Cormier and Kevin Levrone in two weeks. Was Ronnie Coleman worried after seeing Jay. No doubt about it. Ronnie certainly knows that this year, all training must be completely serious and Ronnie needs to get up on stage at 100% to stay the current champion. At 39 years old, it will take everything he has got. But back to Jay. Jay was overpowering. More muscles, more symmetry, more everything, and everyone knew it.

    2. Melvin Anthony: Coming into this contest, Melvin knew he had to be in the best shape of his life. With his sponsor Twinlab no longer sponsoring Melvin, Melvin wanted to show the bodybuilding world he is for real, that he can make it with the big guys, that he is a first class competitor. When pictures emerged two weeks on with Melvin with an awesome physique, we began to see that we had underestimated Melvin. On Saturday morning, Melvin strolled into the auditorium hoping that the judges wll see his changes. And they did. In round 1, he was placed 3rd behind Flex Wheeler. After that, Melvin come in second in each round. Was Melvin happy? Absolutely. Overheard Melvin saying on stage 'I have been waiting for this my whole life' was great. Melvin is going to the Olympia! Congratulations! So much has changes for Melvin. Married to Ivette last year; a new house; a baby on the way; and the potential to be one of the best bodybuilders in the sport.

    3. Ken 'Flex' Wheeler: After coming in a disappointing 7th at the Olympia, many thought Flex was washed up, that he would not even place in the top three here at the Ironman. How wrong they were. Flex came into this show calm, and quite happy with the way he looked, and when he came out in round one, it was clear that Flex's symmetry and great physique was back. Flex is still one of the most elastic bodybuilders out there, and deserved his 3rd place finish. Both Melvin and Flex looked great, and the judges could of went either way between 2nd and 3rd.

    4. Troy Alves: The man from Phoenix, whom many thought he should not have received his pro card last year, came into this show, his rookie show, and blew everyone away. Completely. Very few people via the Internet thought Troy would make it in the top 8. But he came to this show in the best shape of his life, and looked great. No one will doubt Troy again. And yes, he definitely deserved his pro card. However, the Arnold Classic is another story.

    5. Darrem Charles: Five past Ironman shows, five top five finishes, and this year is no different. Darrem looked good, and some people thought he should of placed above Troy.

    6. Quincy Taylor: Quincy came into this show at 305 pounds, the largest and tallest (6'4"_ bodybuilder there. Quincy looked massive, and great, but, was off. Holding water, some said. Soft glutes, back is not 100%. Quincy was most definitely not pleased with himself at placing 6th, and hopefully, Quincy will be able to get right on track for the next two pro shows into claiming a spot for the coveted Mr. Olympia. Many people thought that Quincy would be an easy lock into the top three places, but obviously, that did not happen.

    7. Ahmad Haider: Wow. He still has the best abs, and very few will argue about that. In fact, some of the people had Ahmad above Quincy. However, at this Ironman. Melvin, Troy and Darrem just stood out more, even though Ahmad deserves to place higher.

    8. Aaron Baker: For a 42 year old person who retired 4 years ago, and decided to come back after not seriously training for a contest, Aaron looked awesome, and most definitely should enter the Master's Mr. Olympia, for Aaron could have a great chance at beating Don Youngblood, or Vince Taylor there. Aaron looked comfortable, focused and enjoyed the experience, even though you could see Aaron sweating during the prejudging as he worked quite hard to get the poses down.

    9. Johnnie Jackson: This was Johnny's second pro show, and his highest placing yet!

    10. J.D. Dawodu: After almost making it into the Olympia last year by placing 4th at the Southwest Pro, J.D. managed only a respectable 10th here at the Ironman. J.D. looked good, but was off and smooth.

    11. Tevita Aholelei: Tevita is a great bodybuilder, but works full time, and supports 4 children, Tevita won 1st place at the 2000 NPC USA's Heavyweight class, and has not hit his mark yet on the pro circuit.

    12. Eddie Abbew: From England, Eddie is hoping 2003 will be a better year than the past two years in the IFBB, but with a 12th place finish, Eddie is here just to have a good time and learn.

    13. Tommi Thorvildsen: Tommi, Tommi, what is going on? We all expect more from you. You have a Weider contract, capable of a great physique and can become a mass monster, but you did not prepare for this show, or else, came in much smoother and not as tight as we all expected you to come in. We love the backflip, but a little more muscle!

    14. John Hodgson: John came to the Ironman because he loves bodybuilding, and wanted to have a good time. John knew he would not place in the top 10, but still, John made a respectable showing, and treated the audience to a good time.

    15. Christian Lobarade: Christian did not have the time to prepare for this show, as he lives in Chili, was training the mayor of the town that he lives in, and only came to the United States (California) on Wednesday, two days before the show. He normally comes in 10 days before a show, but could not this time. Still Christian looked somewhat respectable, and did have a good time. He is going back to Chili, and will fly back to San Francisco to compete there.

    16. Jocelyn Pelletier: Why on earth was he on stage? Maybe there should be a ruling in the IFBB saying that if you are not in shape, you can't compete. Still, Jocelyn's last win was in 1976, where he won the Short Class at the Mr. International. But when he was on stage, everybody in the audience was wondering what was going on, because as nice as Jocelyn is, it is insulting for amateur bodybuilders and fans who come to watch a good show, and see Jocelyn insulting the audience.

    17. Bruce Patterson: Bruce looked pretty good in prejudging, big, block and smooth, but still was impressive. However, although he was backstage warming up in the evening, he never made it on stage. More to follow.

  • Best Routines: Melvin Anthony & Darrem Charles, for having fun, and doing some break dancing, which the audience definitely approved. Tommi Thorvildsen, albeit not in his best shape, was the only bodybuilder to do a backwards summersault, which was amazing.

  • Best pre-workout backstage: Aaron Baker, for improvising for the lack for weights backstage, and working out with a chair, lifting it with one hand like a weight.

  • There was also an NPC Ironman Women's Figure. Here is the results for it. The overall winner was Hannah Park.

    Short Class: 1. Hannah Park; 2. Abby Duncan; 3. Dabra Gallegos; 4. Stephanie Stia; 5. Gabrielle Reilly

    Medium Class: 1. Selma McPherson; 2. Melissa Degasis; 3. Kristin Locker; 4. Karla Ray; 5. Gigi Emeta

    Tall Class: 1. Shannon Nuessle; 2. Brooke Novac; 3. Nancy Hirsch; 4. Tina Graeff; 5. Sandra Blackie. Also competing: Monika Kurowska; Jennifer Elrod; Mary Joe Cooke; Leva Alekralite