Rob DeLucaThere were a lot of people watching and waiting to find out if Physique Canada’s National Classic on June 16 would be a success or failure. After all, Physique Canada is the nation’s newest physique organization and they made a lot of noise earlier in the year by touting best-in-class judging and drug-testing standards, along with first-class, well-run shows. That’s a lot to live up to – or not – and June 16 was the organization’s inaugural show.

But before I say anything more, I have to point out that my opinion is biased because I had an intrinsic part in the launch of this new organization, and I also have an intrinsic role within it. But ask anyone who was at the event on June 16 and you’ll find that the opinion of most people there was: Physique Canada’s 2012 National Classic was a resounding success!

The National Classic wasn’t a success simply because of the beautiful venue (the main theater at the Canadian Museum of Civilization), high production quality (from start to finish, the show ran flawlessly), incredible emcee (Carlo Lombard, who entertained the audience for the full four-hour stint), or topnotch judging panel (led by Physique Canada’s chief judge, Steve Duperré, and head judge, Debbie Laurin-Leclerc), but also because of the high-caliber athletes, particularly the Tier 1 Elite competitors and, of course, all the winners, who made history by becoming the first ever champions.

Michele SteevesIn men’s bodybuilding, Rob DeLuca overtook Michael Martinez to become the Physique Canada National Classic Tier 1 Elite Men’s Bodybuilding Champion. (Some of Rob’s training leading up to this event can be seen in our “Authentic Iron” videos that are now online; Michael’s training was also captured on video, and will be included in the “Authentic Iron” series when all of Rob’s parts are all online.) In women’s muscular physique (aka figure), it was a tight race between Michele Steeves and Nadine Young, with Michele eventually emerging as the winner and being crowned the National Classic Tier 1 Women’s Muscular Physique Champion. Rob and Michele both received $1000 for their efforts.

There were also plenty of new winners in the Tier 3 and Tier 2 classes. Tier 3 is reserved for novice competitors – first-timers or those who haven’t placed in the top three in any previous competition. Tier 3 ended up being the largest division, which shows that Physique Canada was very successful at attracting brand-new competitors. Those who placed in the top three in the various Tier 3 classes can now progress to the Tier 2 level in future Physique Canada competitions. The top-three finishers in the various Tier 2 classes at the National Classic now have the option of progressing to Tier 1 Elite where they can challenge Rob, Michele, and the other Tier 1 Elite competitors for Physique Canada’s top titles at future events.

But there was more at this event that Physique Canada had to prove. Prior to June 16, Physique Canada made a lot of promises about their transparent judging process and cutting-edge drug-testing procedures, as well as the fairness that would be shown to all competitors – and they delivered on all of them. The individual judges’ scores were publicized on the organization’s website the next day for everyone to see, which is something that, to the best of our knowledge, no other physique organization in Canada does. The drug-testing team, which was led by Physique Canada’s chief doping control officer, Martin Tessier, tested 20 percent of the competitors using WADA-type standards, which is more than quadruple the number of competitors that most other organization’s test at their events. Following the competition, the athletes who asked for feedback were given private consultations about their performance on June 16 and were given pointers on how to improve for future events.

There was plenty for Physique Canada to prove on June 16, as well as many promises to keep. By most accounts, Physique Canada succeeded beyond anyone's expectations; in fact, I’d go as far as to say it was the most successful launch that any new physique organization has ever had in Canada. Of course, as I said at the beginning of this article, I’m biased. But biased or not, I’m not only proud of what was accomplished on June 16, I’m also happy to say that Physique Canada is off to a running start and that this first show wasn’t some kind of beginner’s luck. Physique Canada’s next competition is on October 20, the Physique Canada Canadian Championships, and the organization’s president, Brian Robitaille, promises that show won’t just be as good as the one on June 16 – it will be even better!

. . . Doug Schneider Founder and Publisher