Body on Fire Athletes Blaze International Stage

This past weekend the Annual Arnold Sports Festival was held in Columbus, Ohio. This is one of the biggest sport festivals in the world holding events from Powerlifting to Archery. Bodybuilding is a major event bring in some of the best Bodybuilding pros and amateurs from around the globe. Four athletes left Bermuda to travel to the festival to compete on the world stage. These athletes were: Sue Rebello, Nicole Tovey (placing 4th in Bikini Masters and 3rd in Bikini Open), Sabrina Burgess (placing 3rd in Figure Masters and 5th in Figure Open) and Hafid James (Bermuda-born but now represents Grenada – his mother’s homeland).

Hafid James, local bodybuilder and personal trainer, was up against 42 other athletes and came out on top winning his class, which was the largest of the physique classes. Unfortunately, he fell just a few points short of winning overall thus stealing him his chance of obtaining his pro card.

We got a chance to speak with Hafid to hear about his journey and thoughts on competing this past weekend.

PSB: Share your journey to preparing for The Annual Arnold Sports Festival.

HJ: Still seems unreal, it really hasn’t hit me yet but my coach, Carmichael Bryan, Head of the Body on Fire Soldiers, and teammate, Sabrina Burgess aka Queen B, never really stopped training since our last competition last year. But this was a tough prep mentally. I knew this was a big event and if you go looking average you fall to the wayside so I told myself I was going to be the best conditioned athlete on stage with the best posing. They may not know who I am but they will be forced to notice me!

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PSB: How does it feel winning such a big competition?

HJ: It was great, I love winning! No, but honestly hearing my name called meant a lot. I put a lot of pressure on myself to do well because I know the real people who support me or who look up to me want to win and I want to make them proud. Sometimes that thought of knowing the people I can help (whether it be me talking to people in schools or on the street to me now helping put Grenada on the map and getting people their excited about bodybuilding again) or making the important people around me proud helps get me through the tough parts of prep.


PSB: What main lesson(s) have you learned on this journey?

HJ: The main lesson confirmed by this trip is we can not live aiming to be average. No matter what your goals/dreams are make them big and powerful ones and challenge yourself not to be average not to be confined to the norm. Step out of your comfort zone, make sacrifices and challenge yourself to be the best possible you can be. Otherwise you may get lost in the sea of average. Also the importance of support. I couldn’t be here without a real, reliable and honest support team and the same way they support me I try to support, help and encourage as many people as I can.



PSB: What’s next for you?

HJ: I don’t know what’s next for me. I actually want to take some time and enjoy this win, take my first two weeks off from the gym since 2013 and relax. Then get back to work with my coach and start getting better. Again shout out to Sabrina Burgess for her placing (I think you are great)! A shout out to Carmichael of Body on Fire, Sergio of Positive Results Gym, Kara of Kara’s Kitchen (who preps my meals for me), to all my BOF crew and anyone that has supported me along my journey thus far.

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Thank you Hafid for sharing your journey with us! We wish you all the best in all your future endeavours!