When Dawson Creek’s Ryeley Palfi took the stage against two competitors early in the Northern Classic in Fort St. John, they were asked to give their ages. The other two answered 41 and 47. Palfi is just 15 years old, the youngest competitor at the event.
It didn’t stop him from taking home a good amount of trophies — first place finishes in Junior Novice Men’s Bodybuilding, Men’s Open Bodybuilding Middleweight, and Junior Men’s Classic Physique, as well as a second place finish in Open Men’s Classic Physique Tall.
“It was a lot of fun. I honestly wasn’t expecting to take second place overall, I mean I was competing against pretty great athletes,” he says. “I can’t even take it in right now, it’s surreal.”
It was a good start for the young bodybuilder, who had only started lifting three years ago, only got serious about it last summer, and only found out he was eligible for the competition in February, when he was in the middle of bulking that he had planned to do until he was 17.
Palfi also says his confidence got a boost when the head judge told him he had a bright future as a bodybuilder.
Next up for Palfi is a competition in Vancouver July 7 to 8 for pro card qualifications.
“It’s an important show,” he says. “Since it’s so close to the show, I think we’re going to just maintain my weight right now and probably come in just a little more tighter for the next show.”
Close to home, Palfi had a wide variety of family, friends, and supporters in the crowd for his first show. But not all of them sat in the audience. His father, Rick Palfi, his stepmother, Chanelle Pringle, and family friend, Kristine Fleming, who all train at Gridiron, also competed Saturday night.