LEFT: Kingsley Poitier receiving one of his international awards.
RIGHT: Kingsley and his wife Eloise.
By BRENT STUBBS
Senior Sports Reporter
BAHAMAS Bodybuilding and Fitness Federation president Joel Stubbs remembered the late Kingsley Poitier as a humble giant, who transcended beyond his years to become the first Bahamian to win the Mr World Bodybuilding Championship title.
Poitier, 82, died on Sunday at his home on Dean Street. He was survived by his wife, Eloise and children -
Kingsley Jr, Ramel, Tanzania and Robert Poitier, Insley McKinney and Rekell Brice.
Poitier, inducted into the Bahamas National Hall of Fame in 2003, was recognised as the ultimate purveyor of physical intelligence, exhibiting an amazing symmetry of body that stoked the metaphysical pleasure-centres of bodybuilding enthusiasts the world over.
Stubbs said Poitier spent many of his younger years as a professional bodybuilder who represented the Bahamas on the world stage, where he was very successful in accomplishing top honors being crown Mr. World most muscular in 1962 and 1964 and he eventually won the Mr. World title in 1965.
Poitier went on to pursue an acting career in Hollywood playing roles that highlighted his strong physical statuesque. He eventually returned to Nassau where he was very instrumental in molding, mentoring and training many of our former athletes who have done exceptionally well in the sport.
“I too can recall many days training at Wong’s Gym in Palmdale where Mr. Poitier mentored me and taught me some of the basic mechanic exercises - form and technique,” Stubbs said. “His encouragement and motivation along with others gave me the zest to fall deeply in love with the sport.
“He inspired me to pursue and become a professional body builder and to push beyond my imagination and my physical strength to grace the world stage. I am grateful to him for my professional accomplishments in this regard.”
Stubbs, a professional bodybuilder who went on to excel on the stage of Mr. Olympia in 2009, said the Bahamas and indeed the federation owe a debt of gratitude to Poitier and his humble spirit as he gave selflessly to so many, contributing his time to mentor me and others during our novice days in the sport.
“As I reflect, I would like to say to Mr. Poitier and the BBFF, thank you for believing in me,” said Stubbs, a Bahamasair pilot who at one point during his bodybuilding career was listed as the competitor with the biggest back in the world.
Stubbs publicly thanked Poitier’s family for lending him to the Bahamas as he truly lived a purposeful life.
“We are very proud of what he had single handedly accomplished and achieved in this sport,” he stressed. “Another aspect of his life that was greatly respected was his spiritually filled life.
“On behalf of the BBFF, we salute this bodybuilding legend Mr. Kingsley Poitier. May his soul rest in peace.”
North American, Central American and Caribbean (NACAC) president Mike Sands expressed his condolences as he had some encounters with Poitier during the time that he competed as a sprinter in the sport of track and field.
“I had the good fortune of knowing Kingsley and would often stop by his gym on the northside of Fleming Street west, about 50 feet from Blue Hill Road. It was a very small nondescript unpainted building that is still in operation,” said Sands, a two-time Olympian and flag bearer both trips in 1972 and 1976 and former Bahamian national record holder in the men’s 100, 200 and 400 metres.
“Kingsley was a very quiet and soft spoken individual. Here again is another perfect example of the type of ‘sports power’ that we possess but really don’t have a true appreciation of our performances on the global or even the local stage for that matter. Imagine, a Mr. World (champion) in the 60’s and many of us don’t even know of his existence.”