In 1985 Bob Paris found himself at a crossroads. He' won both the National and World Amateur Bodybuilding Championships in 1983, literally setting new standards in symmetry, balance and posing. but, Paris began to believe, bodybuilding was being conquered by the mass monsters, with aesthetics and symmetry playing second fiddle in the bodybuilding judging process. Rather than join the trend to mass at any cost, Bob bowed out in '85 to pursue other interests.
These interests included developing his own line of sportswear and concentrating on a long held avocation: acting. In typical Paris fashion, he went right to the top, studying with Marion Brando's old mentor, Stella Adler. but he never completely erased the thought of bodybuilding competition from his mind.
After careful analysis, Bob decided that he'd given up competition prematurely. What bodybuilding needed was a spokesperson for the aesthetic side, a champion of symmetry and proportion. Paris felt he was the man for the job.
So in 1987, with barely four months of training, he traveled to Essen, Germany for an IFBB pro show part of a European circuit. He chose this show because most of the competitors from the Mr. Olympia (held one day earlier) would compete. It was an ideal opportunity to see how the present competition stacked up. He didn't make the top 10.
What followed was a series of up-and-down placings in several pro contests. At both the 1988 Niagara Falls Invitational and the Night of the Champions in New York, Paris served notice that the scimitar of symmetry was about to roll the heads of the bulk boys by placing third. In August, at the Chicago Pro show, Paris slipped to fifth; 10th was the best he could do at the Mr. Olympia in Los Angeles.
Recently, Paris placed in the top three at several pro shows on the European circuit.
At the hotly contested Arnold Classic in Columbus in March, he placed fifth. "My condition at the
recent Arnold Classic was the best I've yet attained," he says,"but 'you ain't seen nothin' yet.' At this year's Mr.Olympia in Italy, I'll be in the hardest shape of my competitive career. I plan on being the 'ultimate Bob Paris.' "
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