Steroids Online Muscletime Report: 2008 New York Pro '
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Written by Raymond Cassar with Millard Baker   
Saturday, 24 May 2008 20:29
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New York City welcomed the arrival of dozens of professional bodybuilders from around the world to the Tribeca Performing Arts center for the 2008 IFBB New York Pro Bodybuilding contest on May 10, 2008. New York has a long history of memorable pro bodybuilding shows. The trend continues with this year’s New York pro show.

The great bodybuilders in the history of our sport have often made their first big impressions in New York. Anyone who’s anyone has won in New York. A New York victory is practically a prerequisite to making it big in the sport.

New York’s fascination with bodybuilding began in 1965 with the first Mr. Olympia at the Brooklyn Academy of Music where Larry Scott became the first Olympia champion. Then Sergio Oliva made his mark in the Big Apple at the Olympia followed by Arnold Schwarzenegger who won it twice in NYC.

New York subsequently became a breeding ground for bodybuilding champions, amateur and professional. Lee Haney won the NPC Nationals in NY in 1992; Victor Martinez earned his pro card at the 2000 NPC Nationals.

Dorian Yates won the 1991 Night of Champions at the Beacon Theatre foreshadowing a great string of Olympia victories. Ronnie Coleman wowed the crowd with a completely transformed physique at the 1998 Night of Champions returning to Madison Square Garden in the fall to claim the first of eight Sandow trophies!

So, did the 2008 IFBB New York Pro live up the storied history of New York contests? Yes and no.

 1. Kai Greene

If Kai Greene did not show up for this year’s New York Pro, it would have been disappointing. Consistent with previous New York champions, Kai Greene showed everyone that he is ready to make an impact at the 2008 Mr. Olympia perhaps top five in his Olympia debut. Unfortunately, Kai is probably the only bodybuilder on the New York stage who is likely to have an impact.

How good was Kai Greene? He was a man among boys; we can’t emphasize how much he stood out from the rest of the competition. Really, there is not much more for us to say. Just take a look at the pictures!

2008 New York Pro champion Kai Greene  

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2. Kevin English

Kevin English was a hometown favorite. He received the most applause after Kai. An hour earlier he won the Shawn Ray 202 and under class. English was in the best shape of his career placing second in the open class only after Kai Greene. This was particularly impressive since English has never placed higher than 14th place (2006 New York Pro) at a professional bodybuilding contest in the 10 years since he earned his pro card.

Not to take anything away from his tremendous progress, but he shouldn’t have placed second. The main reason we didn’t have him in second place was that his presentation in the symmetry round was not anywhere near that of Craig Richardson or Dave Henry. While his physique was impressive, the judges’ ambivalence towards symmetry should have opened the door for higher placings by Leo Ingram and Martin Kjellstrom.

2008 New York Pro - Kevin English

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3. Ronny Rockel

Ronny Rockel conditioning has been disappointing at every contest this year. Even though this was his best of 2008, he is still not nailing his overall condition. From the front, Ronny was 90% at best. From the rear, he looked more than a few weeks out from contest shape.

Ronny is an extremely nice guy but maybe it is time for him to start requesting assistance from experience pre-contest experts. Two years, we felt Ronny Rockel showed hints of his potential at the 2006 IFBB Australian Pro.

He needs to be around experienced people who can give him honest feedback as the contest approaches. He’s done very well with contest on his own. But it is time for Ronny to recognize that he needs help to come in dry enough to fulfill his true potential.

2008 New York Pro, Ronny Rockel

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4. Dave Henry

Dave Henry was clearly in his best shape of the year out of the three contests he has entered in 2008. We obviously felt he should have been rewarded with a higher placing. He didn’t get what we felt he deserved. But he should celebrate the fact that he qualified for yet another Olympia! We can’t wait to see if his progress continues to follow a similar projectory in late summer / early fall shows like the Tampa Pro where Olympia qualifiers are in their best, most impressive condition of the year.

2008 New York Pro, David Henry

5. Craig Richardson

We felt very strongly that Craig should have placed second. We do not understand how the judges saw it appropriate to place him so low. Craig only improved slightly from his previous showing but he is always in shape; his conditioning is consistently good! But he should have been second.

2008 New York Pro, Craig Richardson

6. Ben White

Disappointing. We expected a lot more from Ben that what he brought to the stage in New York. The self-proclaimed "I’m the greatest" was not so great after all. He was in tip top condition but simply did not possess enough size for the pros. Nonetheless, I am certain we have not seen the last of this guy. He is going to return to the stage improved. Ben has the right shape to move higher in the sport; it just may take some time with a few more shows to put on the needed size to compete at this level.

7. Martin Kjellstrom

The man from Sweden may have been the hardest guy on stage. Many people in the audience – not us -- had him higher. Even though he has been competing for the last two years, he doesn’t get much press and his name is not widely recognized. This may be one of the reasons he didn’t place higher; it shouldn’t be the case but often happens. He needs to smile more too.

8. Leo Ingram

Leo Ingram is one of our favorite guys on stage. This was the Leo Ingram we’ve been waiting for to show his true potential. He did it at this show. He came into this contest in the shape we’ve been waiting for. His side chest, most muscular, lat spread, rear double biceps all looked good although there was something suspicious looking in his lat. Leo is in the class of "big" bodybuilders with good shapely muscle and the look of a professional.

9. Francisco "Paco" Bautista

Paco Bautista never shows up out of shape. He is the man with no skin. The only thing keeping him from winning shows on American soil is his shape and symmetry, not his condition. He has some of best individual body parts, but when presented as a whole

in certain poses, the muscle groups don’t seem to blend well. That keeps him away from fighting for the top spot. He is a true freak (in the best sense of the word) and one of nicest guys in bodybuilding.

10. Charles Dixon

Charles Dixon earned his pro card at the 2007 NPC Nationals. Congratulations to Charles for making the top ten in his pro debut at the 2008 New York Pro. In our first time to see pro debuters Charles Dixon and Ben White, Dixon impressed while White disappointed. We look forward to seeing Charles Dixon compete again at the pro level at the 2008 IFBB Tampa Pro if not sooner.


In our many, many years of contest coverage, this was the first time we were turned down by promoters for press credentials. Admittedly, this was somewhat frustrating especially given the several vacant seats visible in the press pit throughout the course of the competition.

As a result, this was one of the most challenging contests for us to cover. We had obligations not only to our fans who have for years come to expect great photographic IFBB contest coverage from Muscletime but also professional obligations to various international bodybuilding magazines around the world including Muscle Mag International, Beef Magazine in England and a Japanese bodybuilding and powerlifting magazine.

So, we simply approached the contest as diehard fans of the sport trying to share our experience with our worldwide audience through whatever means we had available to us. Fortunately, we once again got great shots. When we learned that decided to forego their live webcast of the New York show, like any obsessed fan, we decided to use our cell phone along with free online services to stream some live video of multiple segments of the prejudging and evening shows. Admittedly, this was low-tech compared to the excellent high-end production from Chapman Media Group, but we hoped to capture some of the excitement of the moment for our fans.

2008 New York Pro - Kevin and Kai

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