CBN bodybuilders shine on stage
Conception Bay North well represented at provincial competition
The sport of bodybuilding has grown over the past decade in this province, and athletes from CBN have proven themselves to be among the top. It is not an easy task preparing for such a large event, even more so for those overcoming a serious injury.
Athletes from the Trinity-Conception-Placentia region have excelled recently, including earning provincial figure skating medals, attending the Canada Games in swimming and playing on provincial teams in both baseball and hockey.
But one sport — bodybuilding — has been less recognized over the years, even though some of the top participants have come from the area.
The Newfoundland and Labrador Amateur Body Building Association (NLABBA) hosts an annual provincial bodybuilding, physique, figure and bikini championship at the Holy Heart of Mary auditorium in St. John’s for those dedicated to the sport. The 2013 event, which was the 18th annual, took place Saturday, Nov. 16.
The event has grown significantly over the past two years, from 50 competitors in 2011 to 113.
Four individuals from Conception Bay North walked away from the competition with trophies, topping the list of competitors in their divisions.
Adam Dove, a 33-year-old from Carbonear, and his 26-year-old brother Andrew from Harbour Grace competed at the NLABBA competition in the light heavyweight division.
Another local — 19-year-old Bobby Blundon from Carbonear — was in the same division.
The light heavyweight division includes participants from 176 pounds to 198 pounds. At 197.8, Adam barely made the cut off.
“I actually weighed in as a heavyweight,” Adam, who has been bodybuilding since he was 17, told The Compass Nov. 19. “I wanted to share the stage with my brother so I kicked off my shoes and weighed again.”
It is the first time the brothers have shared the competitive stage.
During the finals, Adam, Andrew and Bobby took the stage with the other competitors in a pose-off for Top 3, resulting in little brother Andrew edging out Adam for the top spot. Bobby rounded out the Top 3.
Other male competitors from the TrinityConception-Placentia region included Robert Cadres, Chris Sharpe, Robert Vaters and Philip Rowe.
In previous competitions, all three have taken top ranks, including a first place finish in 2012 for Andrew in the middleweight division, and a third place for Bobby in the same category.
Adam has previously placed first as a novice in the 2006 NLABBA and second in his division the same year. He also placed first in 2009 in his division.
Overcoming the odds
In August of 2011, Adam barely survived a horrific accident. His truck caught fire and, although he escaped, he was burned on 60 per cent of his body.
“I would never wish what happened to me on anyone,” Adam explained. “It is the most pain anyone can experience.”
After a two-month stay in hospital, and a year of only sitting and lying down, Adam said it was time to train again.
“One day I decided enough was enough and I started weightlifting again,” he explained. “Even though my scars would tear open and I would swell, I pressed on.”
This year, Adam completed something he thought he never would again — compete in a bodybuilding competition. “I will, because I can,” he exclaimed. Although it was not easy, Adam continued on because he claims bodybuilding may be the reason he’s alive.
“I owe my life to it,” he explained. “If I wasn’t as fit as I was, I never would have made it through my accident. It helped me escape from the vehicle and also helped me recover faster from my injuries.”
During his recovery, Adam also opened Supplement Guys and East 94 Clothing Company, where he sells nutrition supplements, protein products, men’s and women’s clothing and skate gear.
Fit and feminine
Not only have men performed well, but women are making their mark as well. In the women’s bikini division, 26-year-old Stacey Mercer, also from Carbonear, took home a third place trophy.
Unlike other events, which are more about muscle definition, the bikini event is more about symmetry and overall look.
“I would have to describe it as a natural, tight-lean body with a little bit of muscle,” The brunette beauty explained. “It’s a beach body type of look.”
For the past two years, Stacey has been training with Angela Dove — Adam’s wife and fitness model who is co-owner of Eden Fitness in Carbonear.
This was Stacey’s second competition. She competed in the 2012 World Beauty, Fitness and Fashion (WBFF) competition in Toronto and placed ninth in the amateur division.
“My first time competing with NLABBA and placing third in my class is very exciting,” she said.
“Not everyone agrees with fitness, and it’s a lot of hard work… Stepping on stage is definite- ly worth (it).”
Stacey said she would not have been able to be so dedicated if it weren’t for the support of her family and friends, and she cannot wait to compete again next year.
Other female competitors from the TrinityConception-Placentia region included Holly Sullivan, Sherri Hawe-Roche, Emily Haire and Tammy King.
Stacey isn’t the only competitor to have competed on the international stage. Angela Dove is a WBFF fitness pro. She has competed at two international WBFF events — 2012 in Toronto with Stacey and Las Vegas this past August.
Because she is classified as a professional, she could not compete in the NLABBA without losing her professional status.
Adam and Angela, who have two kids together, are each other’s biggest fans.
“We both push each other when we need a push and give each other pep talks,” Adam admitted.
Following in his wife’s footsteps, Adam has decided to take the plunge into the WBFF. He has decided to forgo the national competition in Halifax in July 2014 to compete with his wife on the international stage. Two international competitions are set for 2014, one in Las Vegas and the other in the United Kingdom.
Andrew (left) and Adam Dove earned first and second, respectively, in the light heavyweight division of the Newfoundland and Labrador Amateur Body Building Association championships Nov. 16 in St. John’s, only two years after Adam’s accident.
Adam Dove of Carbonear was in a near-fatal accident in 2011 where he received burns on 60 per cent of his body. His wife Angela stayed by his side through the two months in hospital.
Stacey Mercer of Carbonear was named third in the women’s bikini competition.
Bobby Blundon of Carbonear rounded out the Top 3 in the light heavyweight division in the competition.
Professional fitness model Angela Dove was unable to compete provincially, but she and husband Adam will compete internationally next year.