Weightlifting champ turns to bodybuilding
Guyana Chronicle
June 21, 2002

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FORMER Guyana Defence Force (GDF) Captain and ‘strongman’ Hugh Ross has once again done himself and Guyana proud when he carted off the first prize for the Novices’ and Masters’ categories at the New Haven Musclemania Bodybuilding competition held in Connecticut, USA on Saturday, April 20, 2002.

Ross, who for the first time competed in a bodybuilding competition, was the 1997 and 1998 New Jersey State power-lifting and the Connecticut Push and Pull Classic champion in the 220 pounds categories. He was the champion lifter in the 220 pounds category at the U.S. Masters’ National Championship held in Virginia in 2000.

The former Special Forces Jungle Instructor and paratrooper said that power-lifting was tremendously strenuous on his joints and muscles and, after experiencing a number of torn muscles he opted for bodybuilding, a goal he always wanted to achieve.

The black belt karateka said that he was motivated by the response of the spectators when he participated as a special guest poser at the National Cultural Centre during Fitness Week in Guyana last July.

He further stated that he began to lose interest in power-lifting in late 2000 and “so 2001 was my transition year during which I trained round the clock to make the necessary changes to my body.”

Since Ross’s migration to the U.S. in 1991, he had teamed up with Guyanese-born Ulric Gill who was his mentor and training partner and, under his (Gill) guidance, he had progressed to become one of the best power-lifters in the 220 pounds category in that country.

Ross, who had developed a love for this discipline during his tenure in the GDF, was encouraged by Gill to join the Kingsrow Barbell Club in Kingston, Georgetown, where he concentrated on body-building.

Upon realisation of his abnormal strength and with the advice of his mentor on his arrival in the ‘Big Apple’, Ross tried his ability at power-lifting and the results are indelibly written in the annals of U.S. power-lifting history.

Today, the ex-army officer enjoys appearances in catalogues, photographic displays on the Internet and sports gear modelling.

In his message to Guyanese athletes, Ross advised that sacrifice, dedication and commitment are the watchwords for success and that they should remain focused and should not indulge in illegal performance-enhancing drugs but work assiduously to achieve their goals. (GDF press release)