For the people at Physique Canada, October is the most important month of the year. That’s because for five years straight, it’s been the month when the annual Canadian Championships event is held. Given the past successes that the organization has enjoyed at this time of year, I suspect that Physique Canada will continue to host the Canadian Championships in October for many more years to come.
Rob DeLuca and Simon Proteau square off in 2012
The first Canadian Championships event was held in 2012. That year the top winners in the Tier 1 Pro division were Rob DeLuca in men’s bodybuilding, Michele Steeves in women’s muscular physique, and Kim Chartrand in women’s athletic physique. In 2013, Denis Pedneault won the Tier 1 Pro bodybuilding class, Janet Gates won in muscular physique, and Edith Syjuco took first in athletic physique. At the 2014 Canadian Championships, Simon Proteau was the bodybuilding winner, Marie-Eve Delorme was the muscular physique champ, and Jacinthe Amyot took the top spot in athletic physique. At last year’s Canadians, the bodybuilding, muscular physique, and athletic physique winners were Erik Alstrup (he is featured on our cover this month and in the “Iron Shots” gallery), Nichole Alexopoulos, and Julie-Christine Cotton.
Kim Chartrand at the 2012 Canadians
Everyone at Physique Canada can take pride in the fact that, from the beginning and in every year that followed, the quality of the competitors has been extremely high. Furthermore, the champions that have emerged each October can be considered truly great in that they have all looked fantastic and have won their titles drug free (Physique Canada has the most rigorous drug-testing program in the nation). Commensurately, they were also rewarded for their efforts – in those first four years, Physique Canada gave away more than $20,000 in prize month to Tier 1 Pro competitors!
As I write this, it’s impossible for me to know what’s in store for October 22, which is when the 2016 Canadian Championships will be held. Julie-Christine Cotton broke her arm a couple months ago, so I know she won’t be back to try to reclaim her title; but I am also unsure right now if Erik Alstrup or Nichole Alexopoulos will attempt to recapture their titles. However, when Erik won last year, Rob DeLuca hinted that he might make a comeback in 2016 – that would be great to see the first-ever winner return. Denis Pedneault already told me he will be taking this year off from competing again, so he’s out. The only past Canadian Championships winner I do know for sure is coming back is Janet Gates – now well into her 50s, she is a phenomenal competitor and a real inspiration for other women in the sport. She last competed in June, at the 2016 National Classic. As for the other past Tier 1 Pro winners, I’m not really sure right now.
Janet Gates (left) with Nichole Alexopoulos at the 2016 National Classic
Mind you, I have heard that some top-ranked Physique Canada competitors who have not yet won a Canadian Championships Tier 1 Pro title are making their way to the 2016 Canadian Championships stage. Alexandre Villeneuve will be there – he is a fantastic competitor who was the first runner-up behind Erik at the 2015 Canadian Championships. I’ve also heard a rumor that Winston Johnson is likely to be there. Winston just won the 2016 National Classic Tier 1 Pro bodybuilding in June – a showdown between him and Erik would be epic. I also hope to see Mark Worla compete – he made quite an impression in at the 2016 National Classic, where he placed second to Winston. On the women’s side, Julie-Anne Landry, the 2016 National Classic Tier 1 Pro athletic physique winner, has already declared she’ll be competing at the Canadians. Can she capture the women’s athletic physique top spot again this time and earn her first Canadian Championships win?
Alexandre Villeneuve and Erik Alstrup
As always, the quality at this year’s Canadian Championships promises to be high – perhaps even an all-time high given that Physique Canada’s competitions just keep getting better and better every year. Furthermore, there are likely to be many brand-new competitors in the Tier 2 and 3 levels looking to join the ranks, and there might even be some last-minute entrants at the Tier 1 Pro level who will surprise us. We will be there to cover it all and report on the outcome next month! See you then . . .
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