That’s 10 Straight Wins, NOT 11

28 October, 2014

10 Straight Wins!

I would like to set the record straight, as my team made an honest mistake! The 2011 British Grand Prix was held before the Olympia. In 2012, the British was hosted after the Olympia. Originally, my team made a mistake thinking the 2011 British was after the Olympia which would make 11 straight wins, but its 10 straight. Let me break it down for you.

2011 British Grand Prix 202 –1st place
Immediately following the Arnold Sports Festival in March, Neil and I boarded a plane to fly out to London. The British Grand Prix was back on home soil for the first time in years at the Excel Centre. I took home the title, beating two long-time competitors from the UK, John Hodgson and James Llewellin. Two days after the show, I boarded a train to Birmingham for a shoot with Per Bernal at Dorian Yates Temple Gym.

2011 Olympia 202 Showdown –2nd place
As I left the stage after prejudging at the Olympia 202 Showdown, I knew it was really close between reigning champ Kevin English and I, but I thought my conditioning was far superior to his muscularity. By the time finals came around, I was ready to have my name announced by Bob Chicarello “And new…” but it wasn’t meant to be. I remember sitting in the lockerroom with my coach Neil Hill and Joe Volgey, crushed after the loss. I thought I did everything I could to take the title home. However, as my former teammate Frankie Edgar would tell you, sometimes the judges just don’t see it your way and you have to move forward. From that moment on, I vowed to come back a bigger and better Flex Lewis that would not be denied.

2012 Olympia 212 Showdown ¬–1st place
When I got the call to tell me that the IFBB was going to add 10lbs. to the class, it was music to my ears. I trained all year to topple Kevin English and every other competitor in the new 212 class. By the time the Olympia Weekend came around, Kevin had backed out of the show and I didn’t get a chance to stand next to him for the title, but I left “no stone unturned!” This year, I knew that I did everything I could to take my first Olympia title home and I would not be denied. I remember standing there with David Henry waiting for Bob to call out the winner. After his long dramatic pause, which seems to get longer every year, I realized my dream to stand on the Olympia stage as a champion. The thing I most remember, is my parents coming backstage to congratulate me. My mother had beat breast cancer and lived to see me win on the biggest bodybuilding stage in the world. My first Olympia win is a moment I will never forget.

2012 British Grand Prix 212 –1st place
Shorty after the Olympia, we headed Manchester for the SportEx Festival. I have to admit, there is nothing like defending your title on home soil. To hear the hometown crowd cheer for you, there is nothing like it! I won the show with Sami Al Haddad taking second and Jose Raymond in third place.

2012 EVLS Prague Pro 212 –1st place
This was my first trip to the Czeck Republic! Prague is such a great city and the team promoting the show really went out of their way to treat the athletes first class. I won the first ever Prague Pro show with Sami Al Haddad taking second and Eduardo Correa in third place.

2013 Olympia 212 Showdown ¬–1st place
Winning an Olympia title is hard enough as it is. Defending it is something else, especially when you travel the world as much as I do. However, as an Olympia champion you do whatever you have to do! This year, they included the 212 class in the press conference and as the fans know, Bob Chicarello likes to add to the drama for the show. At the presser Kevin English said, the only reason I won last year was because he wasn’t there. I’m not one to talk shit, as I tend to let my physique do the talking on stage. In the end, I defended my title with David Henry in second and Kevin English in third place.

2013 EVLS Prague Pro 212 –1st place
Back to the Czeck Republic to defend my title. This is one of my favorite shows as the fans really get into it! With 15 competitors in the class, I successfully defended my title with Sami Al-Haddad in second and Ahmad Ahmad in third place.

2014 Arnold Classic 212 –1st place
When I first learned that the Arnold added the 212 class I thought, oh great now I have to diet through the holidays, lol. Much like every other kid who picked up weights as a kid idolizing Arnold Schwarzenegger, the thought of standing there on stage with him as the first ever winner of the Arnold 212 was overwhelming. Unfortunately I wouldn’t have much of an off-season at all, but I came to Columbus with one vision, one goal to stand on stage to meet Arnold for the first time. That moment, that interview was one of the highlights of my career! If you missed it, watch EVOLUTION OF FLEX, Episode 2 from BSN.

2014 Olympia 212 Showdown ¬–1st place
Winning an Olympia title is hard. Defending it is even harder. Winning it three times in a row –that was my goal at the 50th Anniversary of Joe Weider’s Olympia. After traveling for BSN throughout the Spring and early Summer, I settled in at home in Boca Raton for the final 12-weeks of my prep. It was probably the best prep I have had thus far in my career. Being a 212 competitor, you have to walk a fine line between making improvements to be the best bodybuilder you can be, but in the back of my mind is that damn scale! Needless to say, I weighed in at 211.9lbs. this year. When I woke up on contest day, I was very full, hard and dry. I was very happy with my conditioning and ready to do battle. By the time prejudging started, my stomach started acting up making it uncomfortable in certain poses. At the end of prejudging, I put center stage in the final callout, but I was not happy with my physique. My stomach was effecting my conditioning. After my annual post-judging team cheat meal, I rested up and brought a much better package to the finals. In the end, I stood center stage with Eduardo Correa waiting for the winner’s name to be called out by Bob Chicarelllo with his awfully long dramatic pause. When I heard my name called out as the 3-time Olympia Champion I was so grateful.

2014 Korean Grand Prix –1st place
Immediately following the Olympia, Neil and I flew to Seoul, Korea on a 13-hour flight. This was the first ever IFBB show held in Asia. The hospitality shown by the promoter for this event was second to none. Everything you wanted and more was connected to the hotel, including a mall which was connected to an indoor theme park. When I say it was big, it was a day long walk to get around, plus no signs in English, lol. After the pressure of the Olympia wore off, this was the most fun I had on stage in years and I feel the best look I have ever brought to the stage this year. The fans were into every pose, as sounds of oooh’n and ahhh’n cried out from the audience throughout the show and the final posedown was no different. It reminded me of the film ‘Pumping Iron’ when Arnold would hit his shots and the crowd would gasp and cheer. Amazing feeling! I am very proud to be the first ever Korean Grand Prix champion, with Jose in second and Baito in third.

2013 EVLS Prague Pro 212 –1st place
After Korea, I flew back to Florida for two days. I made a joke that it was only to wash my boxers, but I have to admit I went home to pick up Ali. We then took off to Prague –first Fort Lauderdale to Newark, NJ and then from Newark to Germany and finally to Prague. All of these flights can really screw up your body, but I was confident that I was going to defend my title for the third time. That I did, walking away with my third straight title going 3 for 3 on that stage with Baito taking second and Jose third. This year unlike last, I had the opportunity to end my tour in Prague. However, with Italy being known as one of the most romantic places in the world I committed myself to do another show which was a late entry on the calendar. It was also promoted by fellow IFBB Pro, my friend Gian Pica so I changed my site seeing plans with Ali to head to San Marino to give back to the fans.

2014 San Marino Pro 212 –1st place
We started the day off early in Prague at 4:30am in the morning as the promoter of the San Marino Pro chartered a private plane to Italy. About 30 athletes and their teams all headed to the airport still exhausted from the day before. I have never done a two country show before, so this was all new to me. I really felt the travel times, lack of sleep and the right food. Now it started to take a toll on my body, as this was my final show of the year –four competitions in just three (long) weeks. I was running on fumes, but was excited to finish the year with a bang. After landing in Italy, all of the competitors were taken to the hotel for a buffet and weigh in. I didn’t get much of an opportunity to rest because prejudging and finals would be held back to back on the same day. At the end of a long day, I walked off stage elated to be crowned the first ever San Marino Pro 212 champion. Ali and I extended out trip to go site seeing in San Marino, tour the castles and eat at the local coffee shops. I got to enjoy a number of cheat meals in and if you have ever been to Italy you can attest to the fact that the food is some of the best in the world. Needless to say, heading home I kicked back on the plane and unlaced my shoes as my off-season had began.

So if you count them up, that’s 10 straight wins –not 11 (Joe!). Eleven would be my fourth consecutive Olympia title, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. I want to thank all my fans, for the love and support at each of my shows. It means the world to me and this Olympia win was for you guys. Thank you.

Next time I’m on stage, I’ll be guest posing on 11/15 at the NPC East Coast Championships in Wayne, NJ. That’s my birthday too, so I’ll be celebrating in Jersey. Hope to see you there.

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