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Puerto Rico, located just east of the Dominican Republic in the Caribbean Sea, is an island known for azure waters, colonial history, local rum, and a patriotic community. But on September 20, 2017, Hurricane Maria, the strongest storm to hit the island in more than 80 years, brought havoc and devastation to the island and its people that would take many months and years to recover from.
The island’s community has slowly recovered, rebuilding infrastructure and enabling the tourism industry to regrow and flourish. From May 24th to 27th 2019, the Caribe Hilton in San Juan gave a warm welcome to Wings of Strength and Tim Gardner Productions, for the return of the IFBB Professional League Puerto Rico Pro and NPC Enchanted Isle Classic National Qualifier competition. The Caribe Hilton officially re-opened its doors nine days before the show, offering a completely renovated space in the Geronimo ballroom that buzzed with the excitement of hundreds of event attendees.
On Saturday May 25th, IFBB Professional athletes took to the stage in front of friends, family members, and fans, to compete for their division championships. The event drew competitors from across the globe, and it was evident the athletes had not taken a break from training during the show’s two-year hiatus. Each competitor was more conditioned than ever before, and the level of competition was unparalleled.
The crowd enthusiastically cheered at the fierce competition across this show’s nine professional divisions. The champions within the women’s divisions were; Women’s Bodybuilding: Jessica Martin (USA, Oregon); Women’s Physique: Margita Zamolova (Czech Republic); Women’s Figure: Jessica Reyes Padilla (Puerto Rico); Women’s Fitness: Tiffany Chandler (USA, Alabama); and Women’s Bikini: Francesca Stoico (Italy). Champions in the men’s divisions were; Men’s Bodybuilding: Jonathan Delarosa (USA, Florida); Men’s Classic Physique: Giuseppe Christian Zagarella (Italy); Men’s Physique: Andre Ferguson (USA, New York); and Men’s 212 and Under: Eduardo Correa Dasilva (Brazil).
There was also no shortage of electricity in the crowd the following day, Sunday May 26th. The IFBB professional athletes closed out their second day of competition, and the NPC amateur competitors took the stage to compete in their own division.
The NPC amateurs were mostly local and drew in a boisterous crowd of friends and family members, eager to cheer on and support the athletes that had sacrificed so much to earn a chance in the competition stage spotlight. The Puerto Rican spirit filled the air with thunderous screams and cheers that reverberated from wall to wall, causing the judges to turn and smile. The champions in the women’s divisions were; Women’s Physique: Cristine Gonzalez; Women’s Figure: Amarillys Negron; Women’s Fitness: Elaine Tai; Women’s Bikini: Elizabeth Torres Avalo. Among men’s divisions were; Men’s Bodybuilding: Scott Langford; Men’s Classic Physique: Joel Rivera; and Men’s Physique: Hector Ortiz.
The 2019 IFBB Professional League Puerto Rico and NPC Enchanted Isle Classic was Puerto Rico’s best attended bodybuilding show to date, as well as the first Wings of Strength Professional bodybuilding show of the 2019 season that was both a Rising Phoenix and Olympia Qualifier. Wings of Strength, along with Tim Gardner’s promotion and the local community’s hard work, were able to execute a memorable show that honored the sacrifice and recovery work the island had undergone.
2019 will be the biggest and most exciting year yet for Wings of Strength. Their season ends with the world’s only all-women’s bodybuilding competition: The IFBB Professional League Rising Phoenix Women’s Bodybuilding World Championship and Arizona Women’s Pro on September 6th. And in conjunction with the Rising Phoenix pro show, the new NPC Arizona Women’s Extravaganza National Qualifier will launch its inaugural year the same day. And all of this is just one week before The Olympia Weekend in Las Vegas, where as official presenting sponsor, Wings of Strength will have a few surprises in store for their fans.
This content is sponsored by Wings of Strength.