The first time I saw James Flex Lewis was on a DVD of the 2004 NABBA Mr Universe, where he was competing in the Juniours category. I was completely blown away by this 20 year old ripped up little muscle fucker. Incredible definition, shocking size for a lad his age, and he had the craziest set of quads on him. He was definitely in a league of his own compared to the other guys in his category. He was an awesome little poser too, cocky as hell with a great stage presence. It was like he was born to be on a bodybuilding stage. There was a definite sense that straight away that there was something special about this pumped up lil' rotter.
I was lucky enough to see Flex in the flesh the same year, at the IFBB British Grand Prix in London, where he guest posed. I even remember the commentator making a joke, saying "20 years old...don't you just wanna take him home and mother him" and I thought "hmmmm...maybe be the first part, not so sure about the latter. I can think of a few other things I'd rather do to him than mother him *blushes the colour of a lobster with sunburn*"!
From the whole show (which included the likes of Markus Ruhl and Ronnie Coleman) Flex's guest spot was the part that stuck in my memory the most. The awesome crowd reaction and the atmosphere seemed to be at its peak when Flex was posing (including a cheeky little jump into the audience to flex his freshly pumped beef amongst us mere mortals).
I remember around that time there was a real buzz about this 20 year old lad from Wales with this insane body on him. There was a sense that he was really gifted and that he'd go on to be something really special. Now of course, he's a big named pro bodybuilder, living in the States, and recently place 2nd place in the 202 category of the Mr Olympia!
I still love me a bit of Flex. The cute/laddish look, the crazy calves, the insane glutes, the down to Earth, nice guy persona, the cocky posing, the sense that he really is genetically gifted and that bodybuilding is what he was born to do. There must a very very proud mother somewhere out there in the Welsh valleys...