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One Champion’s Journey


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Nick Topel, a senior engineering major at Ohio State University, competed in the Men’s Physique competition at the Arnold Sports Festival. Here are a few images of his journey.

Nick, a senior mechanical engineering student at Ohio State University, makes daily adjustments to his competition diet before going to bed at 8 pm. Behind him is one of several inspirational posters that he has placed in his room as he prepares for the upcoming competition at the Arnold Sports Festival. (Robert McGraw/WOUB)
Nick, a senior mechanical engineering student at Ohio State University, makes daily adjustments to his competition diet before going to bed at 8 pm. Behind him is one of several inspirational posters that he has placed in his room as he prepares for the upcoming competition at the Arnold Sports Festival. (Robert McGraw/WOUB)
Nick kickstarts his metabolism every morning on a stationary bike in the gym located in the basement of his fraternity house. (Robert McGraw/WOUB)
Nick kickstarts his metabolism every morning on a stationary bike in the gym located in the basement of his fraternity house. (Robert McGraw/WOUB)
Even though Nick is a competitive bodybuilder, he is also a normal student who rides the bus many mornings to class at Ohio State University like many other students. (Robert McGraw/WOUB)
Even though Nick is a competitive bodybuilder, he is also a normal student who rides the morning bus to class at Ohio State University. (Robert McGraw/WOUB)
Not only does Nick workout, but he is also a believer in mind and spirit and meditates before his workout. (Robert McGraw/WOUB)
Not only is Nick a fitness enthusiast, he also believes in balancing mind and spirit wellness and takes time to meditate before his workouts. (Robert McGraw/WOUB)
Nick lifts for the last time the day before his Arnold competition to give his body time to rest appropriately. (Robert McGraw/WOUB)
With one final workout to go, Nick carefully executes a special circuit routine designed to bring him in at his best physical appearance for the competition on the next day. (Robert McGraw/WOUB)
Not able to eat the cooking that house chef Tammy Taylor, left, makes the rest of the fraternity, Nick must prepare all of his own meals. (Robert McGraw/WOUB)
Not able to eat the cooking that house chef Tammy Taylor, left, makes the rest of the fraternity, Nick must prepare all of his own meals. (Robert McGraw/WOUB)
Nick must carefully plan all of his meals. He is on a strict diet and weighs all his food to make sure he consumes exactly the right portion sizes of protein, carbohydrates, and fat. (Robert McGraw/WOUB)
Nick must carefully plan all of his meals. He is on a strict diet and weighs all his food to make sure he consumes exactly the right portion sizes of protein, carbohydrates, and fat. (Robert McGraw/WOUB)
Nick’s fraternity brother Raj Nanavaty playfully teases Nick, who is on a very strict competition diet, by eating a cookie in front of him. “Out of a 150-member fraternity, Nick is the person to go to for any nutrition advice. He is the ultimate role model in SigEp and there is no member that represents us better,” said Nanavaty. (Robert McGraw/WOUB)
Nick’s fraternity brother Raj Nanavaty playfully teases Nick, who is on a very strict competition diet, by eating a cookie in front of him. “Out of a 150-member fraternity, Nick is the person to go to for any nutrition advice. He is the ultimate role model in SigEp and there is no member that represents us better,” said Nanavaty. (Robert McGraw/WOUB)

 

Nick’s fraternity brother Jeremy Ledonne helps shave his back before he gets his spray tan. “Nick has an innate ability of drawing others in and motivating them with his love and excitement for fitness. People who have little knowledge or experience with training often seek out Nick's advice due to his friendly and approachable demeanor,” said Ledonne. (Robert McGraw/WOUB)
Nick’s fraternity brother Jeremy Ledonne helps shave his back before he gets his spray tan. “Nick has an innate ability of drawing others in and motivating them with his love and excitement for fitness. People who have little knowledge or experience with training often seek out Nick’s advice due to his friendly and approachable demeanor,” said Ledonne. (Robert McGraw/WOUB)
The morning of the Arnold Sports Festival, Nick wakes up at 4:30 am and takes a quiet moment to contemplate the day’s events and the culmination of his hard work. (Robert McGraw/WOUB)
The morning of the Arnold Sports Festival, Nick wakes up at 4:30 am and takes a quiet moment to contemplate the day’s events and the culmination of his hard work. (Robert McGraw/WOUB)
Waiting to be checked in, Nick peers out to see where he is in line amongst the other accomplished competitors. (Robert McGraw/WOUB)
Waiting to be checked in, Nick peers out to see where he is in line amongst the other accomplished competitors. (Robert McGraw/WOUB)
The morning of competition, Nick scrutinizes the fullness of his physique and determines the need for any last minute nutritional adjustments. (Robert McGraw/WOUB)
The morning of competition, Nick scrutinizes the fullness of his physique and determines the need for any last minute nutritional adjustments. (Robert McGraw/WOUB)
After the athlete’s meeting for the 2017 Arnold Sports Festival Amateur Men’s Physique competitors, Nick takes one last glance at his meal schedule as people fill the Columbus Convention Center for the numerous events of the day. (Robert McGraw/WOUB)
After the athlete’s meeting for the 2017 Arnold Sports Festival Amateur Men’s Physique competitors, Nick takes one last glance at his meal schedule as people fill the Columbus Convention Center for the numerous events of the day. (Robert McGraw/WOUB)
During the first call outs, Nick battles with other contestants in the Arnold Amateur Men’s Physique class A division. (Robert McGraw/WOUB)
During the first call outs, Nick battles with other contestants in the Arnold Amateur Men’s Physique class A division. (Robert McGraw/WOUB)

 

Bodybuilding fans take pictures of Nick after his preliminary physique judging. (Robert McGraw/WOUB)
Bodybuilding fans take pictures of Nick after his preliminary physique judging. (Robert McGraw/WOUB)
Nick would take third place out of 18 contestants from around the world in the Arnold Amateur Men’s Physique class A division. (Robert McGraw/WOUB)
Nick would take third place out of 18 contestants from around the world in the Arnold Amateur Men’s Physique class A division. (Robert McGraw/WOUB)

 

After competing in the men’s physique finals, Nick enjoys a hard-earned feast with his close friends and family who have supported him throughout his fitness journey. (Robert McGraw/WOUB)
After competing in the men’s physique finals, Nick enjoys a hard-earned feast with his close friends and family who have supported him throughout his fitness journey. (Robert McGraw/WOUB)

 

When the competition is over and all the pictures have been taken, Nick rinses the spray tan off of his body. While a warm shower gets most of it off, it will take weeks for it to completely disappear. (Robert McGraw/WOUB)
When the competition is over and all the pictures have been taken, Nick rinses the spray tan off of his body. While a warm shower gets most of it off, it will take weeks for it to completely disappear. (Robert McGraw/WOUB)