NW Fitness Magazine
NW Fitness Magazine interview with Brad and Elaine Craig (2012)
Promoters of the Northwest’s most prestigious Bodybuilding, Fitness, Figure, Bikini, and Physique Championship.
Q-This year is your 30th anniversary as promoters of the NPC Emerald Cup. What new special additions do you have planned for this years spectacular event?
A-Brad – We will celebrate the past history of the Emerald Cup and many of the great athletes who have competed in the various events, while attending to this year’s crop of great athletes and giving them all the attention and recognition they deserve. We are back in the Meydenbauer Center and will have the Expo again. Many of the major companies will have booths, in addition to a Record Breakerz Professional Powerlifting Championships. The Powerlifting will be taking place during the day on Friday and Saturday and should be exciting for the fans in the Expo, with the big lifts being attempted. We have several great guest posers planned including Arnold Classic Champion Branch Warren, the Amazing Russ Testo, IFBB Pro Brandon Curry, Emerald Cup Overall Champion and IFBB Pro Nate DeTracy, who is preparing for his first Pro show and a Circue type act both nights. We have expanded the divisions in Physique and Bikini due to the rise in popularity there and have even added Masters Men’s Physique and Women’s Physique Division for the first time. We anticipate over 400 athletes competing in the various divisions. We also have Dave Palumbo of RX Muscle flying in to cover the event and we are working with a bright young man who is trying to get the Emerald Cup streamed live for the first time. NPC Vice President Jim Rockell will be the Head Judge, with NPC National Judges from Colorado and New York also judging.
Q-Over the past 30 years your events have touched the lives of countless individuals in the NORTHWEST. What is one if your most memorable experiences?
Brad – One of my most memorable experiences dealt with a long time Emerald Cup competitor and friend, Col. Sang Hoon Park. Sang was a fixture at the Emerald Cup in the Over 60, 70 and 80 Divisions. The Over 80 Division was created mainly for Sang because it was getting hard to compete against the “young guys” in their seventies and early eighties. Sang was at a Christmas party a few years back and a doctor at the party found him on the floor, not breathing and with no pulse. The doctor checked Sang’s airway and discovered an obstruction in his throat. He was able to clear a piece of shrimp from Sang’s throat and began CPR. The doctor was able to get his heart beating again and him breathing before the aid car arrived but he did not regain consciousness. Sang was in a coma for several weeks and the doctor did not think that he would ever recover and the prognosis for a normal life if he did, was not good. One day Sang just sat up in his hospital bed and told the nurse that he was hungry. After seeing him laying there and not moving for weeks the nurse was shocked to say the least. Sang recovered and competed in the Emerald Cup a couple of months later for his 24th time, at 91 years of age. For him to overcome death, a coma and then compete at that age was truly amazing to me. To me it demonstrated what the human spirit is capable of in an incredible individual like Sang Hoon Park!
Q- What is your biggest challenge as promoters?
A-Brad. Finding new ways to better take care of the competitors while at the same time making the show more entertaining for the spectators. We want to provide a quality event that showcases the athletes because it is really all about them. Without the athletes we would not have a show and we want to give them as much stage time and exposure as possible, while at the same time being cognizant of the family and friends who are sitting in the audience. We want the experience to be great for all involved and that can be challenging to achieve that balance. We also have to balance a career and a very busy life outside of bodybuilding with the time it takes to put together an event like the Emerald Cup, which is also challenging. Very few people involved in the sport are full time promoters.
Q for Brad. What is something interesting that most people Don’t know about Elaine?
A-That Elaine was a medical marvel and was born with four kidneys and went through surgery as a young child to remove one. Elaine currently has three functioning kidneys. Elaine was trained to be a Prima Ballerina in San Francisco. Elaine was a runway model when she was younger for a few years until she began lifting weights and became too muscular. Elaine was also one of the best bodybuilders in the world in the 1980’s and turned down an invitation to compete in the 1981 World Games in Santa Clara, won by Kike Eloma. Kike went on to win the Ms. Olympia that year and retired a couple of years later to be a pop singer in her native country of Finland. Elaine once placed second to Cory Everson by one point and in my humble opinion should have won that show. That was quite an honor because Cory became one of the best Bodybuilders of all time! Elaine placed second in the North American Championships and 4th in the USA’s and Nationals and guest posed at many shows as an amateur. Elaine had a great stage presence and was gifted genetically with height and big arms. Elaine retired from competing to raise our son. I guess that is several interesting things about Elaine and I have several more!