Page 4 - Hawaii Island MidWeek - Sep 21, 2022
P. 4

          STORY BY Bill Mossman If anyone knows how to burst
PHOTO BY Anthony Consillio
Former national bodybuilding champ Rey Ronquilio is still doing his share of heavy lifting these days by building rock-hard physiques and immovable muscle contests.
        (Top) Rey Ronquilio trains one of his clients, Andy
Rabon, at The
Jungle Gym. (Right) As a competitive bodybuilder, Ronquilio captured two national titles in the early 2000s.
“My first contest I entered was
And while they’re known in part for their triumphant endings when the overall winners pull a trophy sword from a rock and stab the air in victory, the contests’ greatest value is this: As sanctioned com- petitions by the National Physique Committee, the largest amateur bodybuilding organization in the country, they are viable launching
“I started the Stingrey Classic in 2007, two years after my last show,” he says, noting that inju- ries resulting from heavy lifting and a lack of proper stretching prematurely brought the curtains down on his career as a compet-
the Hawaiian Classic in 1996 at the Hyatt Regency ... and I won the whole show,” recalls Ronquil- io, who followed that title up with victories at the Hawaiian Islands and Big Island Classic contests.
Ronquilio didn’t win, but nei- ther did he bomb out. Fact is, he snatched away the division’s sec- ond-place trophy from the crowded field, despite weighing 20 pounds less than every other middleweight.
onto a scene and steal a show,
no fluke, he went up against the big boys on the mainland and, true to form, still wound up bringing home the bacon at the 2002 Masters Na- tional and 2003 Mr. USA contests. He might have even walked away with the 2001 Masters National lightweight title as well had it not been for his last-minute decision to jump into the next weight class “just for the hell of it.”
petitors in that class and I still took second, so I was happy with my showing,” he says.
points for those hoping to make the leap into the ranks of professional bodybuilding.
it’s Rey Ronquilio.
More than a quarter-of-a-centu-
Glory days as a competitive bodybuilder aside, Ronquilio re- mains a showstopper two decades later, even though he now does most of his work behind the scenes. His annual bodybuilding contests in Honolulu — April’s Stingrey Clas- sic and this month’s Aloha Muscle (see story on page 5) — continue to be rock-steady, and still serve as foundational showcases for hun- dreds of bodybuilders and fitness enthusiasts each year.
“To this day, we have over 50 pros because a lot of them have come to my shows, won and then qualified themselves for nationals,” states Ronquilio with pride. #
ry ago, he plunged himself into the world of cast-iron weight plates and stainless-steel barbells and, cou-
pled with strict dieting, quickly fashioned his body into chis- eled granite. Then, blessed with a newfound Greek god- like physique, he found him- self flexing for large crowds and judges at local bodybuild- ing contests — and guess what? The novice competitor upstaged
“I went to the contest think- ing I was going to blow everyone away,” he recalls. “I was 1 pound overweight at 155 pounds, and even though I could have made weight the next day, I wanted to see how I would fare against the middle- weights.”
He says the idea for the Stingrey Classic materialized shortly before his professional bodybuilding ca- reer ended. As for its name, he gleaned it from his moniker “the Hawaiian Stingray,” which he earned from fellow competitors at the Mr. USA contest. All he did was slightly alter the spelling to match his first name.
But Ronquilio wasn’t done. De- termined to prove those wins were
“There were 30-something com-

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