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FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — Todd Payette, a local bodybuilder, placed fifth in the Mr. Universe bodybuilding competition last weekend.

The competition took place in England and marked the third time Payette had been invited to the exclusive competition. Payette’s highest finish was in 2018 when he placed fourth.

This year, he said there were 14 other countries in his category.

“I was very, very happy. Of course, I wanted to win, but top five at that level is extremely hard,” Payette said.

Todd Payette at a Mr. Universe bodybuilding competition holding a fifth place trophy. (Supplied)
Todd Payette with the fifth-place trophy in England. (Supplied)

To qualify for the competition, one must be at least a national-level champion or have competed previously.

Next up for Payette is the World Championships in Italy in 2023.

He says he and his coach have six months of a “real hard grind” ahead of them, but he hopes to bring a world championship home to Canada.

“That’d be remarkable, and not just for myself,” Payette said. “I’d love to be able to show, ‘look what I did, you can do great things as well.'”

Payette said he’d like to return to Fort St. John with a trophy bigger than the one he earned at Mr. Universe.

“That trophy is pretty cool, but I guarantee that first place is a lot better than fifth, so we’re gonna try for that,” he said.

Last year, Payette published a book titled Shoulder Down. It details Payette’s tragic and troubled past after the passing of his father and how bodybuilding saved his life.

This year, a documentary based on the book was filmed and released under the same name.

The documentary follows his journey to the Canadian Championships, with some filming done in Fort St. John, Winnipeg, where he’s from, and Toronto, where the Canadian Championships were held.

He says he grew up in a rough neighbourhood and was looking for heroes and found that in comic books and, later, Arnold Schwarzenegger.

The full interview with Payette can be viewed below:

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Shailynn Foster

Shailynn Foster is a news reporter for Shailynn has been writing since she was 7 years old, but only recently started her journey as a journalist. Shailynn was born and raised in Fort St. John and she watches way too much YouTube, Netflix and Disney+ during the week while playing DND on the weekends.