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Bodybuilders take center stage
ARLINGTON The Arlington High School Performing Arts Center hosted a night of bodybuilding/figure competition on Aug. 11.
Elite level competitors from all around the Northwest and California came to strut their stuff on-stage for a chance to win professional status. After the playing of the national anthem and a prayer led by Ken Ralston, the proceedings got underway.
Denise James, the event organizer, spoke about the International Natural Bodybuilding and Fitness organization. The INBF recognizes the growing gap in the world of bodybuilding between steroid infested competitors and those people who wish to compete on their own merits. Many bodybuilding competitions allow their participants to ingest large quantities of human growth stimulants in order to attain unnatural shapes. The cost in health to the competitors is devastating.
It is not an understatement to say that if you want to compete at the Olympian level, states INBF literature, you must be willing to die for it.
The competitors on Aug. 11 were all subjected to a polygraph test prior to competition. They were asked questions as to whether or not they had used any banned growth substances within the past seven years. They must complete the polygraph with no problems in order to compete. Furthermore, the INBF immediately makes the winner of their competition take a urinalysis test to provide irrefutable proof of clean performance.
The bodybuilders and figure models participated in six different categories: mens novice, womens novice, mens masters, mixed pairs, womens open, and mens open.
In the mixed pairs division, George and Melanie Parachou impressed the judges with their dance and pose routine enough to capture top honors.
George himself went on to win the mens middleweight division and also overall show winner. George will receive his INBF professional card thanks to his success at the Washington show.
Jennifer Matthewson, of Marysville, Wash., won the womens novice division by impressing the judges with her workout routine. She combined strength exercises and aerobics to show off her physique in front of the panel of seven arbitrators.
John Herbst, of Arlington, took home the mens grandmaster trophy. Herbst, 56, was the oldest man to compete on the evening. He also took part in the mens masters competition for men over 40 but lost out to Mark Kimble of Ridgefield, Wash.
In mens heavyweight Jeremy Nichol, of Delta, B.C., took top honors and in the lightweight category Franco Yaconelly was the winner. Nichol and Yaconelly took part in a show down at the end of the night with middleweight winner George Parachou to determine the overall contest winner. All three men spent ten minutes on stage next to each other as the judges put them through a variety of different poses. The athletes competed for space front and center as they were all hoping to earn a professional card. In the end, the judges picked Parachou as the evenings top performer, sending the other two home disappointed.
As the festivities came to a close both Kevin and Denise James thanked the athletes as well as the audience for their support of the INBF.
Without you this would not be possible, noted Denise, We are trying to build up the INBF so that clean bodybuilding will be as popular as the other stuff.