Surprise of the week was the second annual Angkor Bodybuilding Association competition theld last Saturday night at the Angkor Century Hotel.
The association’s general secretary Rocky Lee made a big call last week when he said, “We are expecting hundreds of fans to turn up.”
And he was on the money – hundreds of fans did turn up and indeed the function room at the hotel was packed out: standing room only applied.
The show itself, which went for about 3 hours from 5pm, was an extremely well organised fast-paced success.
In between parades of bodybuilding competitors was a series of short acts involving bokator fighters, boys doing a work out session, young women doing a slick dance routine, a music band which did a couple of numbers, and a belly dancer.
Perhaps the biggest surprise was the audience participation: the crowd really got into, clapped along to the music, gasped and cheered at the number of ripped bodies that were on display, and even went mental during the lucky ticket draw turning what could have been a mundane routine into a frenzied hoot.
The night was kicked off with an appearance by the imported international body building big names in the form of Jonas Younes Laroussi, who finished third in the International Federation of Body Builders Bodybuilding Classic last year, and tall, blonde and stunning Maria Ingelis Carlswärd, a competitor at the 2011 Olympia Las Vegas Flex Magazine Bikini model.
There were no female body builders who competed, but a strong contingent of buffed male Khmer bodies did strut their stuff on stage, with the overall vibe being that winning was not only what it was all about: just participating in a fun night was the all-important factor.