When Roelly Winklaar placed seventh in his inaugural professional show at the Arnold Classic, whispers rang through the bodybuilding industry that he may be the next big thing. The native of the Netherlands only added to that by finishing in the top three a week later at the Australian Pro and qualifying for the Mr. Olympia.
Shortly after that, he was inked to a contract by Muscular Development magazine and graced the cover of their next issue. The buzz was surrounding Winklaar as he prepared for the New York Pro. This would be a good test for him against a quality line-up, but not one that he couldn’t hang with if he came to the Big Apple in top condition.
The likes of Toney Freeman, Hidetada Yamagishi, Dennis Wolf, Johnnie Jackson and Sergey Shelestov would be staring Winklaar in the face and he gladly accepted the challenge. Although these men had years of high end show experience at their disposal, the new guy in town didn’t blink.
Winklaar, who finished with 10 points, earned his first pro win, beating out Yamagishi (24) and Wolf (30) by a wide margin on the judge’s scorecards. This sets him up for the biggest decision of his young career – does he take the stage in Las Vegas this September or take time off for a potentially huge 2011?
It would obviously be difficult to peak more than once or twice in a calendar year and Winklaar has already done that. Does he want to come into his maiden Olympia not in his best shape? That’s a decision he needs to make. The experience of standing on that stage is enticing and may be invaluable, regardless of where he places.
We will find out soon enough what he intends to do, but the O will be a better show with the addition of Winklaar.
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