IFBB America: “Through permanent work, we seek to capture the wishes and interests of the athletes

Por AIPS América

29 de diciembre de 2022


MONTEVIDEO, December 29, 2022 – Below are the end-of-year speeches of Eduardo Abdalah, IFBB Vice President and President of the Panamerican Bodybuilding and Fitness Confederation and Marco Antonio Cabezas – IFBB Vice President for North America.

Eduardo Abdalah – IFBB Vice President and President of the Panamerican Bodybuilding and Fitness Confederation

Past and future. 2022 was productive. One of the greatest things we had – related to the Olympic agenda – was the Odesur Games in Asunción. It was a success. There were countries that won – in our competitions – their first medal like Paraguay and Uruguay.

A video of the Fitness competitions was edited, and it was the most viewed video. It was full of athletes who went to see the day in the Olympic Park in the open air. We had the presence of the president of Panam Sports himself, Eng. Neven Ilic, the president of Odesur Camilo Pérez, which gave us a very important projection, generating a sporting activity of competition for the medal table, of real attraction.

A remarkable organization. The IFBB event in Odesur was a reason for celebration and pride for all of us and especially for all our athletes. In addition, we show that our sport is valid, it is alive among the new generations and it is not news, it is daily, therefore, we are in a position to affirm that we are going to be in the Bolivarian Games, in the Central American and Caribbean Games.
We are working to confirm the IFBB presence, in Santiago 2023, which will be with a previous qualifying tournament.

For Santiago 2023, we are working on its confirmation and the novelty is that from the beginning in Lima 2019 with 2 events, we will start with three women’s events and four men’s events, we increased the IFBB activity to 7 events.

American growth was a concern at the IFBB, but with our president of South America Juan Paredes, with Marco Cabezas in the North, us in Central America and Giovani Arendosz in the Caribbean, we managed to form a team that makes a great effort to involve local federations in competitions.
America is an impressive continent from pole to pole and they are very different realities, that of Bolivia, with that of Canada, Haiti, or Colombia. Achieving meeting points with such different circumstances and in long and expensive transfers, leads us to look for ways out. For this, we aim for an IFBB Pan American in Miami, great news for the continent, a magnificent place with easy access.

It will be the point of all our countries in an emblematic place and on a very opportune date in the middle of the high season of competition to regionalise to avoid long transfers and enhance. Through permanent work, we seek to facilitate and capture the wishes and interests of the athletes.

The driving chain of fitness towards society presents a panorama of many tournaments in each region of our continent with countries that were not organizing and that now place their interest in hosting events.

Finally, it must be clarified that the situation with WADA is merely administrative, it is a process in which we are no exception. Other sports have had this process and there have been previous cases where with some adjustments, even with the collaboration of the Agency itself, the status of signatories is recovered.

They are compliance adjustment processes and to raise observations, audit style, where there are some issues to correct. This is not punitive. The important thing is that we are aware of complying with it. We rely on your advisors and this will be reversed soon. It is a matter of time and compliance with some forms. Just wait.

Marco Antonio Cabezas – IFBB Vice President for North America

A very special present. Fitness has re-emerged as a sports discipline. We detected – during the pandemic – that we had an added value that had a direct impact on the IFBB and helped people – from physical activity – distinguish fitness, a role model.

And if in the different analyzes of the situation, when we locate the contexts, it is commented «before the pandemic – post pandemic», we perceive that when the post-pandemic is mentioned in sport, they are talking about fitness, a healthy lifestyle where the general population throughout the world was very aware of the need to take care of their health as the most precious value.
People noticed that, being healthier, applying fitness as a recipe, in parks, at home, in clubs, they managed to achieve a better lifestyle and above all with constant physical activity. Many people took care of feeling good and maintaining a good state of health.

Work in North America. We are very satisfied with the progress of the International Federation. The way in which our international federation is made up, headed by Dr. Rafael Santonja, his leadership, maintaining unity, although it is quite complex, speaks highly of the work carried out. There is great teamwork, with more than 203 countries affiliated to our international federation with a participation of more than 50% in the World Championship – held a month ago – and the World Congress.

It is not easy, however, there are the results of the dedication and the effort and passion that our president puts into it. Do you think that there should be many international federations that can organize a world event with 100 countries and 2500 athletes for 3 days? Surely few.

In North America, the international federation does work and monitoring that covers the United States, with which we have had difficulties. There, decisions had to be made, redoubling efforts to revive transparency in the competitions. The World Cup and Congress were a delegate and an athlete participated. This is already a breakthrough. This shows the interest in the north of the continent, also in Canada and of course in Mexico.

The Mexican Federation works under the leadership of Francisco Cabezas. The proof of this was that we had the 70th anniversary of the classic «Mister Mexico» with the participation of more than 1700 only local athletes.

We have great allies, the strength in the Pan-American Highway headed by Eduardo Abdalah and that of all the countries that make up the Central American and Caribbean area from Aruba, passing through the Dominican Republic headed by Tony Peña; El Salvador by Fabrizzio Hernandez.
Let’s keep in mind that everything is arduous there, it is a rather uneven region. Air travel in the region is not cheap and the distances are important, with a significant increase in the cost of air tickets after the pandemic. Even so, in the World Cup we had representatives from Nicaragua; Mexico; The Savior; Honduras: Costa Rica; Ecuador; Argentina; Brazil; Guatemala and Venezuela.

For sports there are no barriers and working together is what keeps us current in all of America.

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