IT'S A WRAP. NOT EVEN RECORD BREAKING RAIN LEVELS COULD SLOW DOWN THE TORONTO PRO SUPERSHOW 2012
A few days have passed since the Toronto Pro SuperShow of 2012, and it is time to take a look back and reflect on what an epic weekend of sports, athletics and competition were on display. With over 100 industry booths present at the EXPO, 1000s of international and national competitors from the Pro and Amateur levels, as well as all of the fans that made this event a huge success.
The Toronto Pro SuperShow had already started to create interest and hype with a guest apprearance on Global Television's The Morning Show on May 31, with Canadian IFBB Pro Mboya Edwards. Edwards was competing in the IFBB Pro Men's Bodybuilding 212lbs class and was the hometown fan favourite. Friday June 1 2012, the media coverage continued with Tosca Reno and a few friends joining 102.1 the EDGE, and Canadian IFBB Pro Bikini favourite, Leigh Brandt with a few of our other Canadian athletes stopped by CityTV's Breakfast Television.
The Toronto Pro SuperShow open up on Friday June 1 2012, with a morning filled of last minute prep from all of the organizers, volunteers and staff to make sure the weekend would run as smoothly as possible. As well, athletes from all over the world, were walking around with competition tans and heading to registrations, weigh ins and last minute stage prep appointments. There was the hustle and bustle of the media capturing every moment with their cameras and mics - from the fans who lined up early to purchase their tickets and head to the EXPO to catch their favourite athletes, sample supplement products, to watching the IFBB Pro action of the Women in sport take to the EXPO stage. What better way to start off the IFBB Pro competitions than with the ladies from Bikini, Fitness, Bodybuilding and Physique. Nothing but fit, healthy and muscular bodies in small posing suits walking around and showcasing all of their hardwork. The Canadians in all of these classes made sure to make the hometown fans and country proud with the likes of Jodi Boam, Kim Tilden, Nicole Ball and Leigh Brandt, just to name a few, taking to the stage. The EXPO booths were bustling with National level competitors signing autographs and smiling for pictures with the fans, as well as the fans picking up their fair share of samples and free grab gifts from the booths. The evening drew in a big crowd with the finals of the IFBB Pro Women's events, as well as the Pre - Judging of the IFBB Pro Men's Bodybuilding, both 212lbs and Open. All of the competitors worked that stage to prove why they deserved to be up there, and why they were the Pros representing their countries.
After a long day and night of athletic excitement, the events continued full force into Day 2 of the Toronto Pro SuperShow. Starting at 8:30am the OPA Provincials took centre stage. With over 300 athletes competing, this was by far the biggest turn out for a Provincial event. The day proved to be one of the busiest and most popular days at the show and EXPO because not only was there the Provincials taking place in the John Bassett Theatre, but the EXPO floor was busy with MMA, Strongman qualifiers, the Oxygen and REPS Model Searches, demos, Powerlifting, Arm Wrestling, IFBB Pro Figure Pre-Judging and so much more. Dexter Jackson and Ronnie Coleman were on hand at the Teambodypro booth signing autographs and taking pictures with fans, Tosca Reno was at the Robert Kennedy tribute booth talking to fans and athletes alike, as well, legendary IFBB Pro bodybuilder, and most creative and attention grabbing competitor, Kai Greene took to the Provincial stage to guest pose for the crowd. Kai Greene was even at the EXPO for a moment to stop by the FLEX booth, who were responsible for bringing Kai to the show.
The Provincial athletes, fans, friends, supporters, and judges were treated to an outstanding routine that showcased the 'Predator' doing what fans have known and loved about him for years - talent and movement, with that added jaw dropping muscular physique. As if the day was not busy enough, the late afternoon and evening continued the trend of entertainment and excitement. Canadian arm wrestler Devon Larratt, who is ranked number one in the world, had a match on the EXPO stage, putting his World title on the line against American arm wrestler Tim Bresnan. The 7 round, best 4 of 7 matches, had drawn a large number of spectators and athletes from other EXPO events to see our Canadian win and prove why he is ranked number 1 in the world. The MMA had also put on "Fight Night" displaying the best amateurs in the industry. Add to this the IFBB Pro Finals in Men's Bodybuilding and Women's Figure, with MC Bob Cichirello, Award presenter Kai Greene and a tribute and presentation for the late Robert Kennedy, with his widow Tosca Reno.
IFBB Pro Finals on Saturday night, proved to be a night of sheer excitement for the fans and friends in attendance. Not only were audience members given routines and physiques that were unbelievable, but they were also treated to competitors showcasing more than just their overall muscle talent. There was the robot routine, jumps, leaps and flips done by the Fitness Pros that made you question how is that humanly possible. Also, there was the 212 lbs class competitor who was able to move his right glute in a circular motion all while holding his mandatory poses. As if that was not enough, he was also able to bring one of his legs to shoulder height and hold it! With a physique as large and muscular as his, being depleted and dehydrated, many were left speechless and/or thinking, how did he do that? Kai Greene made an appearance which the crowd and competitors were not expecting and handed out the 212 lbs class awards, but only after he had fun on stage with stage hostess Cindy Van Empel-Popowich. Kai Greene shared with the crowd his lovable character, and backstage, he took the time with the Pros and shared insight, support and understanding to the moments they were to encounter as they got ready to step on stage. I was fortunate enough to have been given the opportunity to write about Kai Greene for one of the issues of the Newsletter, and then to meet him and have an in-depth lengthy personal and supportive conversation, made him much more of a role model and athlete to look up to and admire. All in all the Finals of Saturday June 2 2012 did not disappoint.
Looking back now, I do not think that many were truly prepared for the reality of what the Toronto Pro SuperShow had been posting for the last few months. On Sunday June 3 2012, as the show was in its last few hours before calling it a day and planning for the next year, Bodybuilding fans and athletes alike were treated to an opportunity like no other to hit a Pro stage/EXPO in Canada. Surrounded by members of the Toronto Pro SuperShow Media Team, 4 x Mr. Olympia, Jay Cutler and the current Mr. Olympia Phil Heath made their way through the EXPO floor to sit and sign autographs, as well as take pictures with the crowds of people that formed about 2 hours prior to their arrival. Jay Cutler and Phil Heath were joining another two Mr. Olympia winners, Ronnie Coleman and Dexter Jackson at one booth to make it the largest attraction of the whole EXPO. The Mr. Olympias stayed until every last fan had come through and even did a little media work, promoting the Toronto Pro SuperShow for this year and encouraging fans to return for next. 8 x Mr. Olympia had also spent his morning as a guest on the FAN 590 talking to David Grossman about the sport and show.
The Mr. Olympias may have drawn a big crowd and line-up, but it was not the only event that afternoon. The IFBB Pro Fitness Finals were taking place on the EXPO stage, the winners of the Oxygen and REPS Magazine Model Search were revealed and Strongman, Kickboxing, Powerlifting, Weight lifting and more Cross Fit events, demos and qualifiers were underway.
Looking back, it seems that the original idea of making the 2012 show and EXPO bigger and better than last year was achieved. Bigger names of guests, booths, sponsors and number of competitors in all of the events, as well as the downpour and record breaking amounts of rain, added to the overall success of the weekend and show. Like many of us Ron Hache, Carla Hache and Jim Morris had an idea and goal to make things happen and succeed. Like any athlete and/or competitor, you strive to succeed and do better than the year before, and looking at the crowds/number of people that walked through the convention centre over the weekend, I believe that the trio took the overall win.
By: Tina Goinarov