14 October, 2014
Korea Grand Prix, Part I
When selecting my shows for 2014, I was told about the 212lbs. class at the Korea Grand Prix, which was being held the week after the 50th Anniversary of Joe Weider’s Olympia Weekend. A lot of athletes are hesitant to travel outside the USA, but I have been traveling all over the world for several years now. So I have developed a liking to my ability to jump on a plane and several hours later be in another
country and experience a culture I have only previously seen on TV.
Being the Champ, I am in a position to promote the sport. So when given the opportunity to take it global, I am all for. This allows me to give the fans the ability to meet me, many of which would never be able to travel to the Olympia or other shows around the world. This unique opportunity to travel and represent the sport allows me to “give back” to the amazing fans I have and at the same time promote the 212lbs. class for the future, a position I feel I have been a pioneer in.
The Show After my third Olympia win, I had to get my body weight back down to 212lbs. So this meant no cake and burgers for me the day after the show. My body was sitting a little under the weight, but I knew with the long flight and water rebound I couldn’t risk it. I take my job seriously and rather be under the weight than super close resulting in me stressing over it. I had one cheat meal and was back on the cardio the morning after, yes the Sunday morning after the show… #noresttobethebest
Fast-forwarding, I did my contractual shoots up until to Tuesday after Olympia. Coach Neil Hill and I flew from Las Vegas to San Francisco to Seoul, Korea.
The fight was great and although I was still on ZERO carbs I took advantage of my business/first bed and slept off the Olympia world wind on my 14hr + flight.
When we landed, the Korean Grand Prix team greeted us with Alex Hong, the promoter. Needless to say straight off the plane I felt this was going to be great show as the attention to detail for us athletes from Alex was second to none.
We headed to the hotel in the shuttle with seats like business class on the plane, to arrive at the lavish hotel where all the athletes were staying. We threw our bags into the rooms and arranged a get together to hit the store, which was attached to the hotel. Unknowing to myself and the other athletes Alex said…. EVERYTHING was attached to this hotel along with a freaking theme park!!!
The store was a ladins cave, and if you wondered off good luck in finding your way around or back, as English signs are a rarity.
The US Athletes (unlike USA shows), when on the road together quickly bond together and although we compete against each other there’s a great camaraderie which you see in the shopping v-log helping each other out.
The video shown in Part I will take you behind the scenes at pre-judging and on the road in Korea for my traditional post-judging cheat meal. Stay tuned for Part II which includes finals and an up close pose down with the fans in Korea, hell I might even get up on the table for this one.