Local bodybuilder reflects on taking the stage for the last time

Local Sports

DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — Dothan native Jim McCraney has built a successful bodybuilding career but now he’s wrapping it all up.

McCraney first took the stage 31 years ago in the Mr. Dothan competition at the Dothan Civic Center.

“The judge called out the pose and I went, ‘Oh no, that’s not the first one I learned,'” McCraney said. “I didn’t know what was coming next. I looked at this guy and I looked at this guy and I did what they did. I placed in the top five.”

Since then McCraney has brought home a trophy in every event in which he has competed.

He says one of his most proud achievements was winning his first Masters over 50 National Qualifier.

This weekend he’ll begin to wrap up his career in the Body Be 1 Classic Championships, also at the Dothan Civic Center.

“I’ll never stop competing like a competitor, but I’m done being on stage. There’s other things in life I want to do. This is a very, very demanding sport.”

Four days later, he’ll travel to Pittsburgh to compete in the Masters Nationals, the final competition of his career.

“I’m going to finish my journey, but if I’m going there to finish it I’m going there after number one.”

The first and second place winners in each weight class turn pro, but even if McCraney pulls it off, he’s still ready to step out of the spotlight.

“It’s still over. I’m done. I will have achieved the ultimate goal of becoming a professional bodybuilder, even if it is at age 60.”

McCraney says he’s interested in becoming a competitor recruiter to help shape the next generation of bodybuilders.

“They can do it. There’s no magic pill. Hard work, you’ll get results. One set, one rep, one technique at a time.”

He also says he’s spent a lot of money on his career, but it has been worth every penny.

“The return is, I have found me and I love it, I really do.”

McCraney will compete in the men’s over 60 age group in the Body Be 1 Classic Championships at the Dothan Civic Center on Saturday.

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