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Surrey, BCThe 2016 Knight of Champions was the second show promoted by national level bodybuilder Tamara Knight at the Chandos Pattison Auditorium in Surrey, BC. I have known Tamara for many years and know the energy she puts into her show. Her commitment to putting on the best show possible is evident from the positive comments I hear from competitors, vendors and volunteers. Her experience as a competitor shines through in her attention to every detail as a promoter.

Tamara always puts on a first-class show for the competitors. I was very impressed with the quality of show – the level of competitors for a regional show but also the organization of the event. Tamara leads a quality team of volunteers and the competitors, audience, and vendors are the beneficiaries. This year was noticeably larger than 2015 and I predict 2017 will that much larger. You can be sure Status Fitness will be there fully supporting Tamara’s efforts.” ~ Rodney Jang, Editor-in-Chief, Status Fitness Magazine

[BCABBA President Ross Duncan posing with Knight of Champion Promoter Tamara Knight – Photo by Ali Sohrab]


What can be said about the amazing volunteers? This group was friendly, knowledgeable and helpful. Every time I ran back stage I had a hard time making my way back out to the front because everyone was so easy to talk to. It was a very pleasant energy to be around and this carried over to the competitors that were sometimes running on a low energy level. I spoke with quite a few competitors about the show and they all said it was much more memorable because everyone was so nice and helpful. This is how a show grows. Positive word of mouth is always the best advertisement if you will and I know the Knight of Champions show garners a lot of it.

[Some of the volunteers with Tamara and Troy Knight]

In between shows I had a chance to visit many of the vendors set up in the efficiently laid out lobby. Everyone was busy and said it was worth being there and they would definitely be back in 2017 to support Tamara and once again showcase their respective businesses.


For all intents and purposes this turned out to be Michael Gorenstein’s show. Not only did Michael win his class and the bodybuilding overall, he went on to rightly win his classic physique class and overall as well. You don’t see this happening too often but his physique and posing were such that he deserved both. Well done Michael.

[Michael Gorenstein – Bodybuilding Overall]

[Michael Gorenstein – Classic Physique Overall]


Women’s Physique still seems to be working hard to attract competitors. When the women’s bodybuilding classes were being encouraged to move to physique I expected to see a steady influx but that hasn’t happened to the degree I personally expected. Why is that? Many have moved to Figure? I have heard that point raised. There still are those that prefer to do bodybuilding. For sure. The opportunity to do a routine may intimidate some but others enjoy that the most and that keeps some from the Figure ranks. Regardless of the numbers in the Women’s Physique classes, the quality is there and that is the bottom line when everything is said and done. At this show we were treated by a nice routine from Tanya Tymchuk who also showcased a very fit, aesthetically pleasing physique. Well done Tanya.

[Tanya Tymchuk – Women’s Physique Overall]


The Figure division always come ready to battle. There is always a stand out lady in this area and at this show that went to Jazmin Gillespie. Jazmin’s physique was very strong. In fact, she could have pushed for a Physique title as well. Her shape and musculature is national level and I expect to see her move up the ranks quickly if she continues to hit her conditioning and posing.

[Jazmin Gillespie – Figure Overall]


Fitness has almost died off completely. Almost. But don’t tell that to Mandy Nider who wowed the audience with her strong physique and entertaining routine. Mandy works hard, very hard and that is clearly evident. She deserved to win the Fitness division and will push hard for the Provincial title in July 17. Well done Mandy. Keep working hard and inspiring those around you.

[Mandy Nider – Fitness Overall]


Men’s Physique is always interesting to me. I photograph many of the top names in the industry and always imagine the guys on stage in front of a camera shooting for a top publication. Do they have the size and shape? Do they have the face and the expressions? How do they move and pose? How do they carry themselves when they walk out? For me, all these points count. I have had the opportunity to watch and photograph this division at the Arnold and Olympia since it was introduced. Some of these guys are quite large – ex-bodybuilders in fact. Men’s Physique is not something you just diet down and go on stage for. You need to put in the work. Bikini girls, are you listening? This holds true for you too. At the Knight of Champions there was one that stood out for me and he went on to win his class and the overall. Salvatore Balletta. Great work Salvatore! Deserved.

[Salvatore Balletta – Men’s Physique Overall]


So far, my David Ford Choice Award has always gone to a bikini competitor. I am reminded of that from time to time and I do my best to consider competitors from the men’s divisions and the other female divisions. What is marketable to someone is almost as subjective as judging a show so that is where my experience in the industry comes in. Who am I targeting? I look for someone that will inspire not only industry people but those outside the industry as well. I am hoping to choose a Figure girl or a Men’s Physique, Classic Physique or Bodybuilder at some point but to date, it has been a bikini girl that has stood out for me and so far the consensus of those who talk with me after my decision is made known is that I picked the right person.

[Maxine Somov – Bikini Overall]

For the most part, I try my best to choose someone that is not going to be the winner of the show. At the Leigh Brandt Classic Alia Dunhill won and she won her class but didn’t take overall. This time my choice coincided with that of the judging panel and Maxine Semov took her class, the overall and my award. It was deserved and I wouldn’t change it afterwards. Maxine looked great. A nice balance of fit and beauty. She carried herself nicely on stage and her posing was on point. Well done Maxine. I look forward to working with Maxine leading up to the BC Provincials next summer.

[Maxine Somov – Bikini Overall]

[Maxine Somov – David Ford Choice Award Winner – Photo by Ramirez Creative]


Thank you to Tamara Knight once again for putting on a wonderful show. Thank you to all the volunteers who allowed things to run so smoothly both on stage and backstage and to all the competitors who took to the stage. You all worked extremely hard and deserved to be up there!! Be proud of your journey.


Winning a show feels great and is rewarding, however, this opportunity is limited to only one person per class. A professional photo shoot with the opportunity to be published is open to everyone and if you have a marketable look then it is a near guarantee. The above banner shows just a few of the athletes I have photographed already published in 2016. Becoming a printed model separates you from other models. It guarantees you are noticed by peers, advertising partners, company heads, supplement companies, trainers, photographers and editors. Be sure to submit your professional photo shoot pictures to Status Fitness for publication consideration.


Read Interviews and View Photos of Knight of Champion Competitors from Backstage here.

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UFC and fitness celebrity cover photographer David Ford is a world renowned, multi-accredited professional photographer by the Professional Photographers of Canada and the Professional Photographers of America, an international author and public speaker. The foundations of David's business include his professionalism, knowledge and skill set.

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