The fresh air, crystal blue ocean, amazing beaches, and average 80-degree days on the picturesque Dutch island of Curaçao would be distracting to most bodybuilders preparing for a contest. But for Roelly Winklaar, coming home to the place of his birth has only led to a renewed focus on his training and dieting. Maybe it’s his mom’s home cooking, or the brutally honest critique he gets every day from his sister and manager; but something about this island paradise fueled the recent improvements to Winklaar’s physique and led him to victory at the 2013 IFBB Chicago Pro. He attributes his win to the relaxed attitude he regained when he got back to familiar ground and surrounded himself with his very supportive friends and family.
Despite his breakout success in winning the 2010 NY Pro shortly after turning pro, a string of disappointing placings followed, leaving Winklaar disillusioned about his future in the sport. In late 2012 he decided it was time to make some big changes in his life. He asked his sister to act as his manager, leaving the logistics of travel and appearances in her hands. He also parted ways with his longtime Rotterdam-based trainer and nutritionist, Sibil Peeters, and moved back to his birth-place, Curaçao, leaving behind the cold, damp winters of the Netherlands. For years he’d been traveling between the two places, never fully settling down in either.
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