One of the great things about being part of Physique Canada from the beginning is that I’ve been able to watch the progress of the organization as it has grown from being simply an idea to becoming a real force in Canadian physique sports that is changing the nature of competing – never before has a physique organization taken drug testing so seriously, which, in turn, has made such a fair stage to compete on for true drug-free competitors.
I’ve also seen first-hand how it has attracted veteran, well-known physique competitors who came to compete because of the principles Physique Canada stands for, such as the strict drug-testing policy and expert judging, as well as the exposure, prizes, and opportunities that the organization provides. Competitors such as Denis Pedneault, Rob DeLuca, Michele Steeves, and Nadia Moussa, among others, have graced the stages one or more times and have all won at least one Physique Canada Tier 1 Pro title – and taken home a considerable amount of prize money.
I have also taken note of newer, less-experienced competitors who are quickly making names for themselves in the Physique Canada organization. A great example is Marie-Ève Delorme, who competed last July for the first time at the Tier 3 level (novice) at the Concours Xtreme Physique Naturel du Québec event. It was there where she won class and overall titles in the discipline of women’s muscular physique. A great start! In the fall, she competed at the 2014 Canadian Championships, where she not only placed first place in the Tier 2 women’s muscular physique class, but also surprised everyone by placing first in the Tier 1 Pro class (the top three Tier 2 competitors are allowed to compete in Tier 1 Pro that same day). Obviously, quite a success story!
But this article isn’t really about our Tier 1 Pro winners, impressive as many of their achievements are; instead, I want mostly to highlight the rising stars who I see have the potential to win a Tier 1 Pro competition this year or next. So with that in mind, I’ll point out three competitors who caught my eye last year and who I believe can go far in their respective disciplines, providing they make some specific improvements, which I’ve outlined.
One competitor is Mathieu Roy, the runner-up in the Tier 1 Pro men’s bodybuilding category at the 2014 Canadian Championships. I had winner Simon Proteau firmly in first place at that contest because he had more muscle size, maturity, and definition than Mathieu; however, I was still very impressed with Mathieu’s overall shape, symmetry, and posing. In fact, in those areas he was flat-out better than Simon. I could also see that, with some improvements, he could easily take the top spot. For example, I believe that what Mathieu lacks is a little bit of muscle size to compete against the likes of Simon, as well as some definition – he was just a little soft when he stood side by side with Simon. That’s really it, though. If Mathieu does improve those things, he could walk away as The Champ in 2015.
Another male bodybuilder with great potential is Frédérik Therrien, the overall winner at the Concours Xtreme Physique Naturel du Québec event. Had Frédérik shown up at the 2014 Canadian Championships like Marie-Ève did, he would have given Simon a serious run for the money, and perhaps even beaten him. Frédérik has a fantastic physique, with great muscle size and outstanding shape – his waist is super small and his shoulders are very wide. From what I could see at the Xtreme Physique Naturel du Québec show, the only things Frédérik has to improve upon are definition (needs more) and leg size (particularly his calves). If he improves in those areas, Frédérik wouldn’t only stand a great chance of winning a Tier 1 Pro event, he would be a competitor worthy of going up against Physique Canada greats such as Rob DeLuca and Denis Pedneault, if they decide to return to the stage. Frédérik has loads of potential – now, let’s see what he does this season.
Highlighting Jess Kanstrup might seem odd because she was fourth in the Tier 1 Pro women’s athletic physique class at the 2014 Canadian Championships. However, her placing had far more to do with her posing than her physique, because the level of muscular development Jess displayed at the Canadians was about perfect for this category, her symmetry was ideal, and her definition was generally good (although, like Mathieu and Frédérik, that could improve a bit).
Insofar as her posing goes and why that caused her a problem came down to this: her front and rear poses were so inconsistent that oftentimes she wasn’t displaying her physique properly. As a result, the judges were forced to drop her down in placing because, as head judge Debbie Laurin-Leclerc has often said at seminars, the judges can’t judge what they can’t see. So Jess ended up in fourth place. On the other hand, I believe that if Jess’s posing was on point at the 2014 Canadians, she would’ve easily been in the top three – perhaps even in first place. Let’s see what Jess does in 2015.
Those are the first three Physique Canada rising stars who I wanted to spotlight, but those aren’t all. Over time, I’ll write about more competitors because there are obviously others from the past years who deserve recognition too. Furthermore, there will undoubtedly be new ones this year once the contests actually start. For now, though, keep an eye on these three – each of them has what it takes to win a Tier 1 Pro title in 2015 if they make some improvements. I’m certainly interested to find out if any do, and hopefully you are too.
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