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Fans of professional bodybuilding may know Roy Evans as a Men’s Open competitor now, but before he took to the competition stage, he worked behind the scenes in the Navy in multiple roles, but most notably as a member of the intelligence community.
When asked about a special moment or highlight of his time in the military, he acknowledged that the service itself is what he would call the best part of his career.
“I was able to support counterterrorism operations and also counter-insurgency operations around the world supporting the rest of the Armed Forces,” Evans said. “That was, I would say, the pinnacle of my service.”
Evans worked in a field of service that isn’t discussed very much for obvious reasons. He does share some insight on what his objectives were, and the work he did was very important when it comes to the protection of the United States. In some cases, it could be the difference between life and death.
“Our job was to stop war from happening,” Evans explained. “If we have current combat going on, our jobs are to mitigate and save as many lives as we possibly can. We perform them in a tactical manner so that they are in the best interest of our national security and foreign policy objectives.”
Evans himself is a third-generation serviceman. He spoke about his predecessors’ service proudly.
“My dad served in the United States Coast Guard, my uncle served in the United States Army, and my granddad served in the United States Army during World War II,” Evans explained. He also has cousins that serve in the Armed Forces as well. He doesn’t have any children yet, but if he has them in the future, he will leave the decision to serve up to them.
“It’s possible, but it would have to be what my son or daughter want to do. It’s definitely a calling.”
That calling is something that Evans takes very seriously. Like many veterans like him, he feels it’s the ultimate commitment that anyone can make.
“I’m going to tell you the truth about service and what comes with it. You sign a blank check to the government in service of our country. Many of my brothers and sisters in service paid the ultimate toll and gave their lives,” he shared. While Evans’ price wasn’t the ultimate one, he definitely gave a lot and feels the effects of it to this day. “I, myself, am a 100% disabled veteran. I have wounds that are seen, and some that are unseen.”
Roy Evans served for three years and his career concluded with an E-5 ranking. Among the honors he received included the National Defense Service Medal and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal. After his service concluded, he shifted his focus to bodybuilding. He had started training at age 13, and eventually competed in 2001, but put that passion on hold until 2014. He kept training, but it was with a different focus.
“I was in the gym, but it wasn’t with the focus of training for a traditional bodybuilding show,” he explained. It was after a mission in Afghanistan that he decided that the time to go all in on bodybuilding had arrived. Seeing people lose their lives and knowing talents were sacrificed was the factor he credits for him making the switch.
“Something snapped in me, and I said, ‘Before I die, I want to make sure I play everything to the bone. I’m going to achieve as much stuff as I want to achieve, and live a quality life.’ When I’m dead, I don’t want to have any regrets.”
Roy Evans returned to the stage in 2014 and worked his way up the amateur ranks. Three years later, he would stand onstage at the 2017 NPC Junior Nationals and earn his pro card as a Classic Physique competitor. In 2021, he transitioned to Open Bodybuilding, and he held nothing back when explaining his reasons why he changed divisions. In his eyes, there is one title that matters the most, and it’s the biggest in the sport.
“I’m very old-school with bodybuilding. When I had first started competing in the very beginning, it was just the Open for the men,” he shared. “My whole thing with turning pro is that I want to compete for the Sandow [Trophy]. I want to be Mr. Olympia.”
Evans’ last contest was the 2021 New York Pro, where he finished in ninth place. He doesn’t plan to compete again until late 2022, but considering the commitments he had fulfilled so far, and the lengths he’s had to go to get where he is today. Counting him out wouldn’t be a wise move.
“Mr. Olympia is the king of kings. That’s the best bodybuilder on the planet, and I want that title.”