Romania is a southeastern European country known for remarkable things: the forested region of Transylvania ringed by the dramatic Carpathian Mountains; the world-famous Dracula legend and castle; Nadia Comaneci, the first Olympic gymnast to be awarded a perfect score of 10.0; and the Palatul Parlamentului, the second largest administrative building in the world after the Pentagon.
But Wings of Strength and Tim Gardner Productions chose Bucharest, Romania’s capital, to be the host of the 2018 IFBB Professional League Wings of Strength Romania Muscle Fest Pro/Am not for these reasons, but for a goal just as remarkable.
After the IFBB Professional League separated from its European cousin, the IFBB Elite Pro, in 2017, the National Physique Committee (NPC), which is the amateur component of the IFBB Pro League, joined NPC Worldwide. This union provided a solution to the growing number of athletes seeking to join the IFBB and a path for them to bodybuilding’s most prestigious stage: the Olympia.
Held on Nov. 24 to 25, 2018, the first Romania Muscle Fest was a massive success, catapulting into the ranks of the biggest European pro shows in the history of bodybuilding. The enthusiastic audience witnessed history in the making as the winners of each pro class got their 2019 Olympia qualification (respectively 2019 Rising Phoenix World Championship qualification for women’s bodybuilding class): women’s bodybuilding: Monique Jones (USA); women’s physique: Laura Pintado Chinchilla (Spain); figure: An Da Jeong (Korea); women’s fitness: Darrian Borello (USA); women’s bikini: Cristobalina Pajares (Spain); men’s bodybuilding: Maxx Charles (USA); men’s 212: Kokeny Bela (Hungary); classic men’s physique: Woilid Baatout (France); men’s physique: Youcef Djudi (France).
The amateur portion of the show granted the highly desired IFBB Professional League pro card to the overall winners of each amateur division: men’s bodybuilding: Raul-Gheorghe Maghiar; men’s physique: Mishal Alhassan; men’s classic physique: James Correnti; women’s bodybuilding: Natalia Kuznetsova; women’s physique: Sarah Trenz; figure: Kathryn Sorensen; bikini: Ewelina Szala.
Alongside the lineups of amazing professional and amateur division competitors, the audience was hosted by emcee Bob Cicherillo, “the voice of the Olympia,” and treated to a stellar guest posing performance by William Bonac, the fourth-place winner at the 2018 Mr. Olympia.
The 2019 Romania Muscle Fest is expected to be an even more successful and well-attended competition as even more competitors, both professional and amateur, are anticipated. The show will take place from Nov. 1 to 3, 2019, at the Face Convention Center, Bucharest. In addition, an industry-related expo, Romania Muscle Con, will accompany the event, where attendees can get the latest news in the fields of bodybuilding, fitness, and wellness.
The 2019 emcee will be the legendary bodybuilder Shawn Ray, and the well-known bodybuilding star Brandon Curry (fifth place at the Mr. Olympia in 2018) will enthrall fans with a guest posing appearance. A bodybuilding seminar will be conducted as well, featuring local and international fitness and bodybuilding personalities.
December 2019 will see the 30-year commemoration of the fall of the Cold War communist dictatorship in Romania. Many Romanian people mark this event as the long-awaited end of a dark and oppressive era, when personal freedom and the human spirit were severely restrained. Romania Muscle Fest, through its unique nature, and by bringing competitors, personalities, officials, fans, and supporters of bodybuilding from all over the world, is a true celebration of the revival of a strong, thriving society that values freedom in its very core.
This content is sponsored by Wings of Strength.