Tifton to host first bodybuilding competition Saturday

Former body builder still fights for dream

TIFTON, Ga. (WALB) - For the first time, the National Physique Competition (NPC) will be held in Tifton.

NPC Coordinator Maria Wells said this is the first time the city has seen a competition like this and it is targeted towards those who are interested in bodybuilding.

The competition will take place at the UGA Conference Center in Tifton Saturday, starting at 9:30 a.m. It’s $30 to watch for the morning showcase and $40 for the 6:30 p.m. show. Reserved seats are $50.

Quincey Davis, a NPC trainer
Quincey Davis, a NPC trainer (Source: WALB)

“Great show. I participated in it last year," Quincey Davis, a trainer, said. "The overall purpose for the event it is a national qualifier, so for those who are competing, if they place in the top three, they can move on to nationals and get their pro card trainer.”

Kenley Grissom said this is his first time competing.

Kenley Grissom, a first-time competitor.
Kenley Grissom, a first-time competitor. (Source: WALB)

“It has been a great experience. In my opinion, even if you have a healthy lifestyle, you should always train for something,” Grissom said.

“I just saw these people having these muscles and got excited about their bodies and how they were changing. So I started wanting to lift weights, so I started lifting weights,” Wells said.

Wells spent her whole life working out and chasing her dream to become a professional bodybuilder. She oversees NPC competitions for the state.

Even the sudden news of a rare brain disease wasn’t going to let that stop her.

“This year, I have had five brain surgeries since April. And this was just a few miles from my home and easy for me, so we brought it here to Tifton this year,” Wells said.

The competition usually takes place in Atlanta or Valdosta, but this year she decided Tifton would be a good place for the showcase.

“Tifton is my hometown, but of course Atlanta has been a big hub for bodybuilding. A few years back, I petitioned our NPC chairman to bring a bodybuilding show here to South Georgia,” she said.

Jim Wells, Maria’s husband, has been beside her the entire time. He said Maria was dedicated to plan the event.

Maria and Jim Wells, NPC organizer and judge
Maria and Jim Wells, NPC organizer and judge (Source: WALB)

“She wouldn’t do it, she told me ‘Jim a lot of our competitors are first time competitors and I don’t want to let them down.’ There were times we were in the hospital she’s in ICU and she would be on her phone contacting competitors or trying to get judges or DJs for the event,” he said.

With the competition right around the corner, Wells said planning hasn’t been so easy.

“It is getting there, but for a person that has been active all my life for 60 years, I have been in this industry for 42 years, it’s been hard, it’s been hard,” Wells said.

Jim said that he wasn’t interested in bodybuilding until after he met Maria

“I think it is amazing that at 51, I was in the best shape of my life. Lower body percentage body fat than when I was 17, 18 or 19-years-old,” he said

Wells said that you can do anything you want if you continue to fight for it.

“You can compete at any age," she said. "You can compete as a teenager and you can compete until you are buried in the ground.”

For more information on the NPC’S South Georgia’s Peach State, call (229) 646-0655.

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