Thursday, December 12, 2013
By Tom Chard firstname.lastname@example.org
PORTLAND — Skip Robinson expects a flood of memories when he serves as master of ceremonies at the Maine Event on Sunday.
Skip Robinson, right, a Mr. World champ, will announce and his daughter, Amanda Mendoza, will compete.
John Ewing/Staff Photographer
Robinson will try to keep his emotions in check. Named Mr. Maine in 1971 and a two-time Mr. World titleholder, he could be considered Maine's most successful bodybuilder. Robinson will welcome the memories and also focus on the present because the Maine Event – a women's figure competition and men's bodybuilding contest at Scarborough High's Performing Arts Center – will have a distinct Robinson family flavor.
Skip will be announcing, his daughter, Amanda Mendoza, will compete in the figure event and his son, Joe, will sing the national anthem.
"I have to be unbiased," said Robinson. "My daughter is one of the contestants and my son is singing the anthem."
Robinson, 68, is a retired middle school science teacher who in 1997 was the Mr. America Masters winner.
His business, Smart Body Fitness Consultants, trains men and women. His wife, Dolores Robinson, is a nationally certified consultant in fitness and nutrition, and a weight management coach.
Robinson trains his daughter when he has a break training clients.
"To have my daughter and son involved means a great deal. I'm pleased that Amanda wanted to compete," said Robinson, who is volunteering his services as the emcee as a way of giving back to the sport "that really molded my life."
Mendoza was active in sports in high school and also was a dancer.
She works as a registered nurse in the cardiac intensive care unit at Maine Medical Center. She and her husband, Rafael, have a young daughter.
Although this is her first figure competition – which emphasizes muscle tone over muscle size -- she said: "I've been in fitness all my life. I'll be nervous but excited."
"Not as nervous as me," said her father.
Chris Morley, the Maine Event promoter, said there will be 55 to 60 contestants in four categories: women's figure, bikini, women's bodybuilding and men's bodybuilding.
His company, Portland Nutrition Corner, is one of the sponsors.
"Skip Robinson was one of the more accomplished bodybuilders in the Northeast in his time," said Morley. "To have his daughter competing is pretty impressive."
The doors open at 10 a.m., followed by prejudging at 11. The evening program begins when the prejudging is completed. Tickets are $25.
Although the competition will have women's bodybuilding, figure competitions have become more popular in recent years, said Robinson.
"Women can identify with that more," he said. "They had so many contestants that they had to break it up into two divisions, according to height."
"The first four months I tried to put on as much muscle as I could. The rest of the time I've been training specific muscle groups and trying to get leaner," said Mendoza, 33, who has been training 16 months.
In prejudging, the figure contestants will perform three quarter-turn poses. That will be followed by each contestant returning to the stage for their specific routine poses.
"Women spend a lot of time in the gym. This is our way of showing it off," said Mendoza.
Figure competitions are different from fitness competitions and also from women's bodybuilding. The Maine Event doesn't have a fitness category.
"In figure, the girls are a little bit bigger and stronger than in fitness. We don't have to do acrobatics like they do," said Mendoza.
As for women's bodybuilding, Mendoza said: "Not everyone wants to be as big or can get as big."
Growing up, Joe Robinson, 36, used to accompany his father to bodybuilding competitions.
"I would stay all day and have a great time," he said. "I was always asked if I was going to be a bodybuilder like my father. It just wasn't for me. Playing music and singing was more my cup of tea."
Robinson played hockey for South Portland High and now coaches the Red Riots. He works as an ed tech at Mahoney Middle School in South Portland.
Staff Writer Tom Chard can be reached at 791-6419 or at: email@example.com