Bodybuilding: World Caribbean Championships at Baha Mar Grand Hyatt


Senior Sports Reporter


LOCAL bodybuilders will get an opportunity to compete in a major event June 26-27 as Flex Appeal Miami Gym brings the World Caribbean Championships to the Bahamas.

The event, promoted by Tim Gardner Productions, is slated to be held in the Grand Hyatt at Baha Mar and will be open to all international NPC worldwide athletes from all over the globe.

Nine IFBB Professional League pro cards will be available to the various winners, while 10 professionals will book their tickets to the Joe Weider’s Mr Olympia, scheduled for October 7-10 in Orlando, Florida.

Gardner’s Tim Gardner Productions normally hosts a show in Puerto Rico, but after it was called off last year because of the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, he said they looked into bringing the show to the Bahamas and when they got a deal from the Grand Hyatt to assist with reduced costs of hotel rooms, they jumped on the idea.

“We’re in place for a good event,” Gardner said. “It’s very unique with a two part show. It’s an IFBB Professional League component with every category that the IFBB Pro Leagues offer. “There’s 10 different categories so there’s a lot of diversity. It’s not like the old days where it’s just bodybuilding. We went all the way through the categories like men’s physique and we created another category called classic as well as the women’s side with fitness, figure, women’s physique, bikini and wellness.”

From the show, at least 10 pro champions will get their tickets stamped to go to Mr Olympia later this year.

On the amateur side, Gardner said the pro cards will be given to competitors who excel in their various categories.

He’s hoping that a few Bahamians will take advantage of the opportunity here at home to earn their pro cards. While the event is open to competitors from around the world, Gardner said they know that there are some competitors who will not be able to make it here because of restrictions surrounding COVID-19 and travelling internationally.

“If this show was six-seven months later, we wouldn’t be talking about high rates on commercial flights coming in, we wouldn’t be talking about limited flights coming in,” Gardner said.

“Even now, in Florida, some of the flights, you have to fly up to New York, which is 2-3 hours, and then back-to-back and another just to jump over to the Bahamas. So the flight arrangements are quite ludicrous.”

From Tampa, Florida as an example, Gardner said a ticket would cost about $300 pre-COVID-19. Now he noted that it’s doubled and costs over $600, which is making it difficult for more people to travel for the show.

Nevertheless, Gardner envisioned that they will have at least 120 competitors in the pro segment and just about the same in the amateur ranks because of the pro cards being offered. “Tim Gardner Productions is widely known as one of the top production companies in the world,” said Gardner, who hopes to bring in competitors from more than 20 countries around the world.

“Out of the top five IFBB Pro League events, Tim Gardner Productions produces the top four. The Tampa Pro that is held in August is the largest.”

Nardo Dean, who is assisting in the coordination of the show, said this is just another avenue for the local bodybuilders to participate in an international show.

“The more avenues they have, the better for our athletes, especially when they have the opportunity to go pro,” Dean said. “We have quite a few people who have expressed an interest in participating in the show.”

Dean, a former bodybuilder turned national coach, said there is so much potential for more events like this to be staged in the Bahamas.

As a former commentator for ESPN and the Sunshine State, Gardner said he got to meet Dean when he was competing in the Southern States Championships and he was one of three bodybuilders at the time who won two different categories at the same show.

Dean won in men’s fitness and men’s bodybuilding.

As a result of their relationship developing in the past, Gardner said he and Dean are now collaborating on this show with the view of bringing more events to the Bahamas in the future.


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