It is hard to believe another year is upon us. For competitive bodybuilding, 2014 promises to be an exciting year, highlighted by the 50th anniversary of the Mr. Olympia in September. The competition for Olympia qualification spots will be especially intense as every pro bodybuilder on the planet would kill for a spot on the stage during that historic event.

Another kind of history will be made with the very first pro bodybuilding contest in China in October, although the exact date is uncertain. The IFBB Pro League lists the date as October 18, but the site of the main sponsor, Goldentimes Fitness Centers, lists the date as October 25. October 25 was the original date for the contest, but the Pro League calendar now shows a cryptic listing for the Arnold Classic Asia on that date, somewhere in China. Arnold has stated his desire to have an Arnold Classic in Asia, but, to the best of our knowledge, there has been no official announcement. Could we be on the threshold of a deal to stage the first Arnold Classic Asia in China? The listing seems to suggest that something is close. Our guess is that there will not be two pro contests in China on back to back weekends. If you are going to launch professional bodybuilding in China (or anywhere else for that matter), there is no better way to do it than under the auspices of the Arnold Classic, as the Schwarzenegger name is pure gold. Our feeling is that the IFBB wants the Arnold Classic Asia on October 25 to be THE inaugural pro event, but just in case a favorable deal is not reached, and the Arnold Classic Asia is delayed for another season or two, then the IFBB will go with the Asian Pro on October 18.

China is the most populous country in the world, and it has a booming economy, so it could be very fertile ground for expanding interest in bodybuilding and the extreme fitness lifestyle. It just remains to be seen if it will catch on in that country. The event (or events) in October will be a crucial test. China won’t be the only new IFBB pro event in Asia in 2014. On September 27, Seoul, South Korea will host the Korean Pro. 2014 will also see the first professional men’s bodybuilding event in Slovakia, the Mozolani Pro on May 3. Both of these contests will be for the 212 category only.

 

The new season is a more geographically balanced calendar than we have seen before, so the IFBB’s efforts to broaden the reach and appeal of bodybuilding appears to be working. Less than half of the 26 sanctioned men’s professional events will be in the U.S.A. America will host eleven events. there will be six in Europe, four (tentatively) in Asia, two in Oceania, and one each in Brazil, Canada and Mexico.

 

Here is the list of Men's Bodybuilding events.

 

Feb. 28 ■ Arnold Classic ■ Columbus, U.S.A.
Mar. 7 ■ Australian Pro ■ Melbourne, Australia
Mar. 15 ■ New Zealand Pro ■ Auckland, New Zealand (212 only)
Apr. 11 ■ Europa Show of Champions ■ Orlando, Florida, U.S.A.
Apr. 25 ■ Arnold Classic Brazil ■ Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
TBA ■ Mr. Europe Pro ■ Santa Susana, Spain
May 3 ■ Mozolani Pro ■ Zilino, Slovakia (212 only)
May 9 ■ Europa Pro Dallas ■ Dallas, Texas, U.S.A.
May 16 ■ BodyPower ■ Birmingham England (212 and Wheelchair only)
May 17 ■ New York Pro ■ New York, New York, U.S.A.
May 30 ■ Toronto Supershow ■ Toronto, Canada
July 4 ■ Wings of Strength Chicago ■ Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.
Aug. 2 ■ Evogen Golden State Grand Prix ■ Sacramento, California, U.S.A.
Aug 8 ■ Wings of Strength Tampa ■ Tampa, Florida, U.S.A.
Aug. 30 ■ Pittsburgh Masters ■ Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.
Sept. 19 ■ Mr. Olympia ■ Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S.A.
Sept. 26 ■ Arnold Classic Europe ■ Madrid, Spain
Sept. 27 ■ Korean Pro ■ Seoul South Korea (212 only)
Oct. 1 ■ Dubai Pro ■ Dubai, UAE
Oct. 4 ■ EVL's Prague Pro ■ Prague, Czech Republic
Oct. 11 ■ Nordic Pro ■ Lahti, Finland
Oct. 18 ■ Goldentimes Asian Pro ■ Zhengzhou, China
Oct. 25 ■ Arnold Classic Asia ■ China
Oct. 25 ■ Europa Pro Phoenix ■ Phoenix, Arizona, U.S.A.
Nov. 14 ■ Tijuana Pro ■ Tijuana, Mexico
Nov. 28 ■ Lou Ferrigno Legacy ■ Santa Barbara, California, U.S.A.

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