Dickinson makes his mark at iconic event
Kamel Dickinson believes he has been vindicated in his decision to pursue a career in bodybuilding after claiming a third-place finish in his first Arnold Classic Worldwide event.
Having only taken up bodybuilding a little more than a year ago, the 32-year-old has enjoyed an immediate impact in the sport, first claiming second place in the men's physique division at the Night of Champions event at the Fairmont Southampton last summer, to now going on to impress further in the world's largest multi-sport festival in Columbus, Ohio.
Dickinson, who suffered the heartbreaking realisation that his burgeoning career with the iconic World Wrestling Entertainment was over in 2015, just a year after it had begun, because of recurring concussions, has now been handed the confidence boost to chase his new passion, after his impressive display at the prestigious event.
“I feel really good, I just want to get home now, get back to it and start preparing for coming back one day and potentially winning it in the future,” said Dickinson, who was competing against 17 other amateurs in his class division.
“I'm really proud of my achievement. The guy who finished just ahead of me in second is trained by one of the top trainers in the world, who works with a lot of professional competitors.
“I was really shocked when they called my name out at the first pre-stage of judging. Usually, when you get one of those you know you're in the top five.
“I would have delighted with that, but when I realised I hadn't been moved on, I was really excited. It was like wow, I'm in the top three.
“I think there was about 150 amateurs taking part overall but my group had 18 people in it, which was less than I expected. I expected a lot more but it probably helped me because I could stand out a bit more.
“In all honesty, it seemed easier than I expected it to. The show went really smoothly and seemed quite easy, personally.
“Coming third in my first Arnold Classic has definitely given me the confidence to pursue bodybuilding further. It has really pushed me on to think why not try and go further.”
As well as receiving the accolades of the judging panel, Dickinson believes the biggest positive from the experience was the invaluable insight into big events, and more importantly, the measure of competition that he faces from overseas.
“The only unfortunate thing is that you don't get any feedback from the judges, but I think I got a pretty good indication of what I need to do from the guys who finished above me,” Dickinson added.
“The main positive for me is that I don't think there is a big jump from where I am now, to where the guys in first and second are. I didn't see anything that I don't think I can achieve, which is really encouraging.
“I only had six weeks of preparation, so with more time to prepare who knows what I could achieve. What it did give me was a clear goal of what I need to do. Things like having more rounded shoulders, a fuller chest and thicker back.
“Strangely, for most other people the most difficult part is standing out and displaying yourself. You can be in the best shape of your life but it doesn't matter if you can't display yourself properly. For me, that is not an issue.
“The biggest thing for me was seeing and learning what the competition elsewhere looks like. I needed to see how these guys look and where I need to be to compete properly. If I only competed in Bermuda, I wouldn't know what I was up against. I'm really encouraged from the experience I've had.
“I don't have any concrete plans about what to do next. I want to get back, talk to my coach Carmichael Bryan and decide from there.
“However, I'm clear in my mind that to keep going with bodybuilding.”
Also competing at the Arnolds were Monica Teixeira and Nicole Tovey in the bikini class. Teixeira came fourth in class C, while Tovey did not place in class F.