After months of preparation, bodybuilder Erika Rieve-Palmer took her talents to Washington, D.C., for the IFPA Yorton Cup World Championships Oct. 25.
The Cranbrook native finished ninth in the figure pro tall category, earning IFPA Pro World Class Athlete status.
“It was pretty intense backstage, watching everyone and looking at them,” Rieve-Palmer said Tuesday afternoon. “It was kind of scary, but it was good. I learned a lot and I met a lot of amazing people.
“I feel really good with the outcome. The athletes that were there on stage were amazing. They were probably the best I’ve ever been on stage with. So I feel really good coming ninth. [Those other athletes], pretty much, their whole lives are devoted to the sport.”
The tall class is reserved for female athletes measuring at least 5-foot-6. The trip to Washington marked the first international competition for Rieve-Palmer.
A 34-year-old wife and mother of two, Rieve-Palmer an operating room technician at East Kootenay Regional Hospital, meaning she doesn’t quite have the time to dedicate her entire life to the sport, but she’s okay with that. The fact she approaches it as more of a hobby makes her accomplishments all the more impressive.
She attributes her success over the past year to the intense workouts and preparation she was put through by coach Laurie Dickson.
“I learned a lot from her,” Rieve-Palmer said. “She’s an amazing woman and she coached me through everything, showed me the ropes.”
Rieve-Palmer qualified for the championship after obtaining her IFPA (International Federation of Physique Athletes) Pro Card and NPAA (Natural Physique & Athletics Association) Pro Card by winning IFPA- and NPAA-sanctioned events earlier this year.
Having accomplished as much as she has in the year since she began competitive bodybuilding, Rieve-Palmer might “hang up the high heels” for a while in order to focus on her family. Both her children compete with Cranbrook White Tiger Taekwondo, which involves some travelling.
Rieve-Palmer was one of only five Canadians competing at the event.
She wished to extend a thanks to all those who helped her get to Washington, including coach Laurie Dickson, Wright Publishing, Freightliner of Cranbrook Ltd., Frank Sandor of Sandor Rentals, ISA Abundant Energy, and Jim and Joyce Lepard-Mitchell.