Published: December 6th 2011December 4th 2011 The Arnold Sports Festival will be held in Singapore in 2013! Check it out!
The President SFBF
Terry Robacker, President Singapore Federation of Bodybuilding & Fitness opens the proceedings at the Rock Auditorium
I was a VIP guest of the Singapore Federation of Bodybuilding & Fitness (SFBF)
yesterday. This is a new Federation that was formed just last year to bring Singapore back into the International Federation of Bodybuilding & Fitness (IFBB)
- which is the highest level of competitive bodybuilding in the world, representing 182 national organizations. Most famously it awards the Mr. Olympia title to the world's best professional bodybuilder, a title won by Arnold Shwarzenegger seven times; Arnold also started the Arnold Sports Festival
which after 23 years in Ohio went on the road to Madrid this year, Singapore in 2013.
In 2010 the original Singapore federation withdrew from the IFBB so preventing the athletes from competing at an international level. The SFBF was formed in response with a mandate to build a fairer, less "top down" organization that worked for the members rather than to control them. The new Federation has the full support of the IFBB and has the advantage of being headed by Terry P. Robacker
, a highly respected local businessman. He brings massive experience of the international bodybuilding world to the
This lady is quite amazing! Miss Olympia three times winner
sport in Singapore and strong links to the IFBB.
It helps that his wife Yekaterina "Katya" Robacker
is an international-class bodybuilder and model with her own company
in the fitness and beauty arena. These two bring a level of professionalism to the sport in Singapore that is badly needed. SFBF wants to grow organically and through educational activities; it pays no salaries relying on volunteers to front up and (forgive the pun) do the heavy lifting. They did a fantastic job this last Saturday
. It was the First Annual Singapore Championships 2011 under the new Federation and my first time ever at a bodybuilding competition. I've been a serious martial artist and weightlifter and still train hard in the gym - indeed I confess Arnold is a hero of mine - patronise him as you may for his acting skills, but the man made a fortune in real estate and became Governor of California in addition to being Mr. Olympia. Success in four areas of life pretty much beats most people's lack of success in one - as The Terminator he's an icon (by the way, my karate sensei, Kiyoshi Yamazaki, broke Arnold's jaw on the set of
Alex Javier, winner of this under 75 kg class and overall SFBF Champion, is the guy with the yellow hair and unbelievably infectious grin in the centre. What a cool guy!
Conan the Barbarian - but that's another story!).
First thing to say was that the championship was very well organised, with international IFBB judges that included Juliette Bergmann
the former three time winner (2001-03) of Miss Olympia titles who gave a guest demonstration. OMG!
I never knew it was possible for a woman to look like that! Second, the level of competition was fair and transparent with Terry assuring the audience that the points would be published for all to see (they have been).
The overall winner of all classes, Alex Javier
, was certainly by far the best male body there. Watch this cool and somewhat hilarious YouTube clip
of his free-style routine (the guy's two-tone hair and infectious grin are something else!).
But here's an irony (irony is the only thing that adds spice to life) - Mr. Javier is not
a Singaporean.... he a Pinoy!
Yes, the Philippines triumph again. - you read it here first. LoL. Filipino people everywhere, your capital city may be whatever it is.... but some of your countrymen do really well!!!
One can sneer at bodybuilding as a sport, but here's the thing (and I speak from serious experience
Terry Robacker and his wife Katya (centre blue dress) with the girls line-up. Oh wow!
in the gym): it takes literally years
of dedicated grinding
effort to sculpt yourself into anything resembling these folk; more than that it takes a deep understanding of human physiology and bio-chemistry plus nutrition. So the physical comparisons are (at least to the degree that it isn't simple genetics) a reflection of genuine physical and mental training effort.
More than that, the Championship was FUN! There was a genuine and friendly competitive element and a real structure to the judging. I got caught up in it and, yes, I would certainly go again. Of course the "bikini" competition helped! Wow!
And I'll certainly be at the Arnold Sports Festival when it comes. If nothing else this will be a major achievement for the the SFBF the Arnold to Singapore. Oh and a P.S.
.... I stayed again at the Ibis Hotel
on Bencoolen (see my post reviewing the hotel
). The thing I like about it is that when they screw up (as they did a couple of times this weekend) the junior staff are able to make a decision and fix it. That's good management and I congratulate them. By all means comment on this blog or contact me directly via firstname.lastname@example.org. If you write abusively I WILL publish you, but only if you have the guts to put your own name on your comment - I think abusers deserve all the publicity they can get for their nastiness. But if you write anonymously, well ....don't bother, I don't have the time to read such missives so nor will anyone else.