Field House fills for Body Building in Baghdad
October 2, 2007
CAMP LIBERTY, Iraq - The Morale, Welfare and Recreation Field House filled with more than 200 spectators for the 2nd Baghdad Classic Body Building and Figure Competition here Sept. 29.
Three judges rated 26 men and nine women competitors who presented their physical attributes, hoping to be recognized as the best-built body of the evening. Sgt. 1st Class Deighton Little, one of the judges for the evening from Headquarters and Headquarters Company, Special Troops Battalion, 1st Cavalry Division, said the event was open to all Coalition Forces, military and civilian.
Throughout the event, judges made their decisions based on overall tone, tight muscle groups and muscle density for the two women's figure categories - short and tall, said Little, who has more than 10 years of bodybuilding experience. He said judges looked for size, definition and symmetry for body building categories, in both the men and the women.
Staff Sgt. Joseph Fiorani, a member of the 58th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, won the overall honor as the best body builder in the event and was awarded a pro card, which will allow him to compete in professional events once he gets back stateside.
Fiorani, a native of Elderrsburg, Md., put on a show with his "Big Guns" routine.
The top honors among the nine woman contestants went to Spc. Allison Schlegel, also from 58th IBCT and a resident of College Park, Md.
Besides the benefits of being fit, this kind of event gives troops something to get out of the daily routine.
"Obviously, being in a deployed environment you have a lot of repetitions, so it gave me something to prepare for, to look forward to and to be proud of," said Sgt. Marissa Rico, the winner in the Women's Figure - Short category. In the same way, she said preparing for the competition not only provides a daily routine, but it builds morale, as well.
"I think it's a great morale booster, especially for the Soldiers competing," said Rico, a member of HHC, DSTB, 1st Cav. Div. "There is so much going on over here, and it gives them another focus."
In other words, she added, if you're interest in doing it, and go for it on center stage, "the worst thing that can happen is that you'll wind up leaving with a better body."