Local Athletes Make Podium on International Natural Olympia Stage

Posted: November 27th, 2013

Cobourg, ON, November 19th, 2013 — When “Team Canada” arrived at the International Natural Bodybuilding Association (INBA) Natural Olympia in San Diego, California, it was with a strong local representation—of the Canadian representatives, half were from Cobourg, Ontario! 

This INBA event hosted more than 250 stringently tested, natural athletes from over 40 countries. “Natural” means that the athletes do not use performance-enhancing drugs, like steroids, to achieve their impressive physiques. Each athlete is drug-tested before competing — those testing positive are disqualified. A new Ford Festiva was awarded as a grand prize along with some of the largest cash prizes ever in the industry including one for $8000! To be eligible for the event athletes had to qualify to compete at the international level.

Our local competitors really showed what they’re made of: Dave Avery, award winning fitness trainer, and local fitness event producer/promoter brought home a gold medal in his category along with a coveted INBA “Pro” Status. Alec Dewdney, a long-time competitor, personal trainer and a former overall champion, took home a silver medal. Karen Holek, also a local competitor with several wins in previous events, graced the stage among international elite athletes and earned tremendous respect and accreditations.

Says Dave Avery, “It was an unbelievable, life-changing experience! It can be difficult to be a natural bodybuilding athlete in an industry bombarded with a win-at-all costs mentality, and widely known for athletes who use artificial enhancements. Natural athletes strive to build respect for the sport and overcome the drug-using stereotype — instead relying on a regimen of rigorous high-intensity training supported by a “clean,” and highly nutritious diet. To be surrounded by 250 athletes all with the same dedication and passion for achieving their best physiques and strictly adhering to healthy natural solutions was so affirming!”

Adds Alec Dewdney, “I really didn't know what to expect from the INBA Natural Olympia. This all changed when I realized I was competing against the best of the best!”

Throughout the three-day event, a live webcast covered all aspects of the competition, which featured not only the expected well-developed men and women, but also novice classes and wheelchair athletes. In all, 11,000 viewers from 82 countries were watching.

Adds Avery, “We were all so pleased that people were checking into the webcast and messaging us well wishes. It really felt great to have the community support us when we were so far from home.”

Other Canadian competitors included: Robina Abramson, from Woodbridge, Ontario who placed Silver in each of her two divisions and qualified for “Pro” Status; Carlos Linhares, from Mississauga; and Martin Cormier, from Quebec, who sadly just missed podium standing. Also accompanying Team Canada was former Mr. Natural Universe, Ian Walling.

Says Robina, “Being able to compete at the INBA Natural Olympia not only allowed me to compete with other athletes who value natural bodybuilding, but also enabled me to make international friendships. I received two Silver medals this year and am very proud to say that I was a natural athlete representing Canada.”


According to Avery, Cobourg is very fortunate to have a UFE Revolution Event which is also an INBA natural qualifying event for the Natural Olympia next year on April 26th, 2014. Produced by husband and wife team, Dave and Julie Avery at the Cobourg Community Center, this will be the seventh local fitness and bodybuilding event the Avery’s have produced.


“It’s our aim, in producing our local events, to continually raise the calibre and number of local fitness athletes who can qualify for events like the Natural Olympia — that’s why our local athletes make such a great showing everywhere they go!” says Avery.


Photo: L to R: Dave Avery, Robina Abramson, Alec Dewdney and Ian Walling at the INBA Natural Olympia in San Diego, Ca.



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