The Bodybuilding Community Celebrated the Pittsburgh Pro
Casual bodybuilding followers already know about the Olympia and Arnold Classic, but the fans who have deep connections to the sport know that there is a third show that could be called a crown jewel of the industry – the Pittsburgh Pro.
The 2023 edition of the Pittsburgh Pro took place at the Wyndham Grand Downtown Hotel in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on May 12th and 13th. Olympia president Dan Solomon referred to the Pittsburgh Pro as “one of our industry’s greatest traditions” on his Instagram post about the event.
The Saturday afternoon finals had many fans in the hotel buzzing because of the men’s open stars that would be guest posing. This is an event that goes back decades, and some memorable moments have taken place during this exhibition such as Ronnie Coleman giving Jay Cutler a piggyback ride, Phil Heath and Kai Greene sharing the stage, and Kevin Levrone announcing his return for the 2016 Mr. Olympia seven years ago. One year ago, 2021 Olympia 212 champion Derek Lunsford guest posed and made headlines because of the size he put on. That led him to being invited to compete in the Open at the Olympia. He would place second to new champion Hadi Choopan.
The guest posers were a big part of the show, but this is a competition, after all, and there were six pro contests held between both days of competition with Olympia qualfiications on the line. Stars could be seen competing in lineups too. Two of those contests featured Olympia champions, and another two included a winner from the Arnold Classic weekend. Defending Ms. Physique Olympia Natalia Coelho won her division’s title, but three-time Bikini Olympia winner Ashley Kaltwasser placed second to winner
Aimee Delgado. Defending Wellness International champion Kassandra Gillis fell one spot short of winning the Pittsburgh Wellness show. That champion would be Gisele Machado. The winner of the Figure show was Cherish Richardson.
The Men’s Physique winner was Corey Morris, who won his third straight show. During the interview with Cicherillo, defending Men’s Physique Olympia winner Erin Banks made his way to the stage to both congratulate Morris and warn him of what he was in for at the Olympia.
“Be your best because that’s what it will take to beat me, and there’s not many people that have beaten me.”
Another very important part of this weekend’s events is the amateur contests. The NPC is based in Pittsburgh, so what better way to introduce yourself to the sport than by competing on the NPC’s hometown stage? Put yourself in the competitors’ trunks for a moment. Combine the feeling of stepping onstage with being able to look out in the audience and see legends such as Rich Gaspari, Hany Rambod, former 212 competitor and Pittsburgh legend Seth Feroce, and other big names that you likely follow on social media in attendance watching you. Outside of the pro qualifying shows, there may be no bigger amateur stage than that one.