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Iris coming to pose for Bajan fans

Mike King

Iris coming to pose for Bajan fans

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Bodybuilding fans in this country will have a special treat in three weeks.

That’s because the most successful female bodybuilder in history, Iris Kyle, is coming to Barbados to guest pose at the annual Darcy Beckles Invitational Classic on October 25 at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre.

Kyle has captured a record ten Miss Olympia titles and seven Miss International crowns, the two biggest pro contests in women’s bodybuilding.

Organiser of the Darcy Beckles Classic, two-time Mr Barbados Roger Boyce, told MIDWEEK SPORT, that he was delighted to bring an all-time great to these shores.

“Its pretty fabulous to have a ten-time Miss Olympia here with us. It can’t get much bigger than this. Barbadians are in for a special treat.

“Iris is a true professional and will be in shape. No one should miss this. Iris is a legend in the sport,” Boyce said.

Kyle announced her retirement from the sport minutes after capturing the Miss O last month in Las Vegas. It was the ninth straight year that the imposing African American had conquered the competition.

Kyle has a strong sporting background, as she was an All-American in basketball, and received a number of athletic scholarship offers. She attended Benton Harbor High School continued her education at Alcorn State University in Lorman, Mississippi, on a basketball scholarship, majoring in business administration and minoring in accounting.

Kyle is the second Miss Olympia to come to Barbados. Madame muscle Lenda Murray, winner of eight Olympia crowns, guest posed here at the George Street Auditorium in 1992 at the Bernard Sealy Classic.

Murray came out of retirement and won the Miss Olympia in 2002 and 2003, with Kyle coming in second both times behind her idol. However, Kyle went on to beat Murray and win the overall and heavyweight title of the 2004 Ms Olympia.

“Kyle is a special girl. She is right up there and maybe above Lenda Murray and six-time Miss Olympia Corey Everson. You know ten is more than eight and six.” Boyce added.

This is the seventh edition of the contest that will attract some of the best bodybuilders in the region with a first prize of $4 000. Reigning Mr Barbados Hoskyn Worrell, who has won five of the previous six contests, is certain to defend his title with three-time Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Stevenson Belle expected to be his main rival once more.

Boyce said that there will be entrants from Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, St Maarten, Anguilla, and Antigua.

The contest is being held in honour of the celebrated Beckles, who won every major local and Caribbean contest during his heyday and was the spearhead of Barbados’ assault on the Mr Universe stage from 1976 to 79.

Beckles had a memorable titanic duel with Australia’s Roger Walker in the heavyweight class at the 1976 Mr Universe contest in Montreal, Canada; and the following year had a stirring toe-to-toe showdown with compatriot and eventual winner Roy Callender (representing Canada) in Nimes, France.