This letter is in response to Mr. Cates’ uninformed guest column in the April 25 edition of the DAILY EGYPTIAN in which he states that there are many questions without any answers. Mr. Cates, here are your answers. Mr. Cates in fact reinforces the view of the DE in choosing to spotlight the accomplishments of the winner because he did “push himself to the physical limit.” Winning is a part of athletics. In every sport there is a winner who deserves to be celebrated. I suppose Mr. Cates would want the losing team in the Super Bowl or World Series to receive equal press. Why pursue the goal of winning if the reward is the same? This is not elementary school where everyone wins.
The show was called the Mr. and Mrs. SIUC show because the competition was open to both women and men. The reality is that no women chose to compete. If the author wanted to see women compete, the SIUC Bodybuilding Club would greatly have welcomed his support in recruiting female contestants. The same is true with the fitness division, in which there were also no contestants.
In regards to Mr. Cates’ questioning of the relationship between the winner and myself, I would guess that nearly all competitors in the show would consider themselves to be my friend. After you spend a long period of time helping someone prepare for such an endeavor, you tend to form a friendship. I put in many long hours teaching the competitors how to pose so they would be adequately prepared for the event.
Mr. Cates’ assertion that the winner is selected ahead of time is entirely untrue and an insult not only to me, but also to all of the other judges, including Dr. Banz and Dr. Becque, esteemed SIUC faculty members.
As far as not seeing the contestants ahead of time, the reality is that there is a lack of individuals with the knowledge and expertise in bodybuilding to teach posing and other elements of contest preparation. Who would you suggest to teach these individuals the essential elements of bodybuilding? It would have been completely unprofessional to host an event and not provide adequate preparation. If there was only one judge, Mr. Cates may have a point, but there were in fact four judges. Additionally, as SIUC students we all use the same Recreation Center. Even if I hadn’t taught contest preparation, I still would have seen these competitors every day working out at the Recreation Center. This practice was no different than in previous years.
Finally, Mr. Cates seems to believe that the DE somehow knew the winner in advance. Last year the DE did do a feature story on my contest preparation that included the 15 weeks prior to the competition. There was no way for the reporter to know that far in advance who all of the competitors even were. This year’s coverage of the winner was all compiled following the completion of the show. The DE did not interview me or the winner until the competition was over. The DE also took a large amount of pictures, likely to ensure that they had photos of everyone, as the winner was not yet determined.
Mr. Cates, maybe you should do some research before you make such wild and unfounded accusations which are an insult to myself as well as all of this year’s great competitors who did have the “intestinal fortitude” to do what you could not have done.
Woodcock is president of the SIUC Bodybuilding Club. He is a senior studying organizational communication.