Spangdahlem bodybuilder makes professional debut

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Tammie Moore
  • 52nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs
A Spangdahlem Air Base Airman made his professional bodybuilding debut at the World Natural Bodybuilding Federation World Championship Nov. 10 in New York City.

"I went as a representative of the U.S. Air Force, but I also went along with the German team assisting their amateur athletes competing in the Amateur International Bodybuilding Federation World Championship," said Troy Saunders, a master sergeant assigned to the 52nd Logistics Readiness Squadron.

More than 100 professional competitors from more than 30 countries competed in the championship. Saunders, who has competed in 54 bodybuilding shows, received his slot in the competition after his win of the overall International Class at the Swiss Natural Bodybuilding Federation Championships finishing in the top 10.

"It was an awesome experience to compete against athletes from around the world," Saunders said. "Competing in amateur shows has never been easy and the athletes always look very good. However, it is very humbling to be on stage with more than 100 well toned and very experienced bodybuilders. Every pro was at their best, and it has reenergized my drive to continue to improve."

To ensure all of the professional athletes were not using illegal performance enhancing methods, competitors were required to provide urinalysis samples as well as take a lie detector test to verify they are natural athletes.

"There were bodybuilders at age 60 who looked amazing, which is a testament to the many health benefits bodybuilding can impart to dedicated enthusiast," Saunders said. "I was also very impressed with the camaraderie that drug-free bodybuilders displayed compared to other contests I have participated in. With the high quality of natural bodybuilders, I can only hope the sport continues to gain a stronger foothold in the market."

During the competition, Saunders assisted the German team with competition tips, color application and gave recommendations on stage lighting conditions.

"It was a privilege to help coach the German Natural Bodybuilding Federation team, which proved to be an even more rewarding experience than my own," he said.

Their lead team member, Frank Kaerger, won the amateur middleweight class of the INBF Championship.

Saunders said he was pleased that the concept of natural body building is becoming increasingly popular.

"It is a pleasure to know that natural bodybuilding has started to make a sizable impact on bodybuilding as a whole, and I am honored to be a representative of drug free bodybuilding," he said.

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