14 October, 2014
Korea Part 2
For the press conference I decided to wear my suit as this was going to be on national Korean TV with some mainstream coverage I wanted to personify the class and represent it on network TV. I didn’t do it to big ball anyone, rather the way I saw it was a way to showcase the sport in a positive light. Being that this was the first pro show in Asia and a week after my third Olympia 212 lbs. Showdown win I saw it as a great opportunity to get press time. So with 3 coats of tan on I decided to take it on the chin and put on my Tom James custom suit to represent. Thank God for dry cleaning, but I lost one shirt in the cause!
The day of the show Neil and I woke up early to head to the buffet in the hotel. The buffet shortly became our daily routine and I was even lucky enough to still eat the food during my depletion.
The buffet was hands down one of, if not the best hotel restaurants I’ve ever seen. It had several stations, all freshly cooked in front of you and unlike USA & UK buffets -Koreans, are NOT big fans of preservatives. They cook fresh and add seasoning for taste. So it's safe to say I wasn’t worried one bit about my prep... I ate choice of sashimi, sushi and steak every day.
Having suffered with some stomach issues at the Olympia we decided to go a different route for the Korea Grand Prix. I feel this was my best look in 2014 as I came in with a full complete package and thankfully with no more stomach issues.
Prejudging went as planed and we headed to our local good luck charm hot spot TGI Friday's. Yes we seeked out a Friday's which was again next to our hotel (Heck what wasn’t!!!). I ordered the typical steak and fries with Jack Daniels sauce (those who follow me on IG know the antics we posted there). No dessert this time fearing something could off set my stomach so we played it safe.
After a good meal I headed back to the room for a nap, follow up on some emails and of course call Ali before resting up for night show.
We arrived at the venue to a packed house with ONLY seating available for just a few hundred VIP ticket holders. There were a lot of upset people who were left to stand outside the venue to wait for us to arrive. We had security in and out and although we were totally safe. The fact was that if any one of us were left alone for a moment, we would be mobbed by fans! So security was necessary.
The show was run by Robin Chang and his team. For those who don’t know who Robin is, he the promoter for Joe Weider's Olympia Weekend So needless to say everything ran on time, to the minute like clock work.
We hit the stage and like prejudging, we were engulfed with sounds of ohhhs and aghhhh with repetitive clapping that I have never heard before at a IFBB pro show. It reminded me of the 'Pumping Iron' days when Arnold would hit a shot and the crowd would be in awe. Then when he locked that pose in place, the crowd went wild.
It was unreal and something I will never ever forget.
The Top 6 guys all gave the crowd a great pose down, even going into the audience to give an
up close and personal perspective.
The results came in with the final three standing –Baito, Jose and myself. We all milked the crowd one last time before Head Judge Lee Thompson called out the results.
• 3rd Baito Abbaspour
• 2nd Jose Raymond
• 1st Flex Lewis
We all headed backstage to change to head out to the amazing crowd that waited for us. As the crowd dispersed some of the pros also left with their stomach rumbling as it was a long day. Hidetada and I were the last men standing. As you can see in the video, I decided since this was the last hardcore group of fans that stayed behind with us, why not have some fun...