Issue #15


by Juan Carlos Lopez

Arnold Classic 2006 Photos and Results

Arnold Classic 2006 Review

Arnold Classic Expo Review and Photo Gallery

San Francisco Grand Prix Pro Figure and Steel Rose Photos and Results

San Francisco Grand Prix Pro Figure and Steel Rose Review

Finland's Boosman Fitness Classic Preview
by Kaisa Piippo

20 Questions with our Cover Model: IFBB Figure Pro Waleska Valle

Video Interview with Cover Model: Waleska Valle

Christian Podgorski: Bodybuilding Art

Waleska Valle, Amy Huber, Holly Powell, Danielle Rouleau & Liz Lozano

Getting a Figure Pro Card in Europe
by Annika Warg

Video Interview: NPC Figure Megan Payan

The Joy of Dieting
by Kaisa Piippo

Video Interview: CBBF Figure Roxana Kreklo

Roxana Kreklo Profile of a True Athlete

Tweaking that Figure Posing
by Linda Cusmano

Video Interview: Model and Competitor Tina Jo Orban

San Francisco Grand Prix Pro 2006 Review

This year's San Francisco's Pro show was not in the colorful city of San Francisco but in the duller Hayward on the east bay. In 2004 it was in Alameda (right next to Oakland), 2005 in SF Palace of Fine Arts and now this time at Chabot College in Hayward. Chabot College is known for being the host hotel for the Contra Costa which is held in May.

Zhanna Rotar

Regarding hotels the host hotel was the Crowne Plaza on Niles-Alvarado Rd. Rate was about $89 per night and it did have a restaurant open from 6am-10am breakfast and 5pm-10pm for dinner. Microwaves and Refrigerators were available for $20/$10 respectively. These ran out fast, so you had to make sure you got them first. There were several restaurants not far from the hotel but a cab ride or shuttle from the hotel would probably be needed. The problem with the restaurant at the hotel is that it was short on staff, believe it or not I have never seen this problem before. Only a cook and one employee who had to be receptionist/waiter/manager of the place. At times they had a waitress as well but given the amount of traffic and people that came by it was nearly impossible to get a good service. A couple people complained and the hotel had nothing to say but admit it's problem and give out free breakfasts and free drinks for the bar. So if you do stay at this hotel next year be ready to complain... Now there are other hotels around like a Day inn, Extended Stay and some of those have a kitchen so this problem would be of better interest to competitors.

Chastity Sloan

Going into the mechanics of the show, nothing different from most other shows except the expo is usually inside and outside, so basically those not wanting to pay a ticket to get into the show can actually buy suits from jagwire, munch on some met-rx bars or buy some clothing. Not a bad idea but weather was really cold so made things a bit less comfortable. The show began at 11am and they mixed pro figure with the men and amateur figure (steel rose) which for the first time was held in conjunction with the SF Pro Grand Prix. As the pro figure competitors walked on stage you could tell it wasn't the same lineup from last year, this time neither Jenny Lynn nor Monica Brant-Peckham were on stage. Only a few competitors repeated this show from last year being the second time the pro figure appeared with the pro male bodybuilders. Names like Gina Camacho, Trish Warren (ex-Mayberry, married to Branch Warren), Chastity Sloan, Waleska Valle (ex-Granger) and Chrissy Garcia were the only ones who competed last year. Last year 23 competitors graced the stage and now only 14 appeared who knows why the show took such a dive regarding numbers.

We'll go fast here as it was a fast show. From the callouts Chastity Sloan probably was one of the leanest on stage and judges placed her in the middle. Zhanna Rotar was amazing as always and it looked as she could creep into the top 3. Home queen Gina Camacho was second in the callouts and looked much better than last year. We all miss Rhonda Riley's physique and stage presence as she is taking a break for now. Andrea Dumon presented also a solid physique much improved from last year's Emerald Cup around this time of the year. Andrea presented a balanced physique as her short height coupled with great calves helps her overall look. This time some competitors who had previously placed better at other big shows didn't do as well such as Julie Lohre who probably looked as good as in the Europa show. Trish Warren the newly-wed was softer but still showcased her curves. International competitors didn't do as good such as Carmen Knight and Pauline Nordin. Carmen probably could have placed higher but judges is the first time they see her in these shores. Waleska Valle presented solid improvements from last year, better back and tight physique made her place 7th. Debbie Leung who last year qualified to the Olympia was 5th getting really close again to qualifying. In the end Chastity Sloan, Gina Camacho and Andrea Dumon took the tickets to the Olympia. Zhanna was really close, she works very hard from show to show so she will for sure step on that stage this year. Judge can't deny her any longer.

Kristal Rost

The NPC Figure for the Steel Rose was small having about 4 competitors per class (4 classes plus 2 master classes). Having just seen the pro figure competitors you could see the big differences in the physiques from one category to another. Only few competitors in the NPC were able to showcase the worthiness for National level. In the short class Maria Alegre took it with ease and probably making it possible for her to compete at the Cal pro and then unto Nationals. Kristal Rost who eventually took the show brought great conditioning judges rewarded. Alika Faulkner who took D class had great muscle and was probably size wise the one who could take on Nationals. The race was between Alika and Kristal and judges preferred Kristal's look, both girls looked amazing just that judges at this level may prefer one quality over the other. Master's class was won by Bonnie Stuckenschmidt over a great conditioned Carrie Brown.

Alika Faulkner

Overall the show was great even when the venue was different and had many a much lesser quality host city than SF. Everyone went to the nearby restaurants after the show, the Olive Garden being the favorite one. And afterwards a long drive to Lafayette, CA for about 30 minutes for the after party. I must admit after eating I got there late but was able to say hi to the party hosts Gina Camacho, Kenny, Jason and Rhonda Riley. In California for those who don't know all things by law close or die down by 2am, so it was short but sweet and yes photos from the party are below.


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