CBN body­builders shine on stage

Con­cep­tion Bay North well rep­re­sented at pro­vin­cial com­pe­ti­tion

The Compass - - FRONT PAGE - BYMELISSA JENK­INS Melissa.jenk­

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.

Three-way race

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.

In­ter­na­tional recog­ni­tion

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.

Photo by Court­ney Leigh Photography

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.

Sub­mit­ted photo

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.

Photo by Court­ney Leigh Photography

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.

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