Berry DeMey

Professional Bodybuilder, Photographer

Remembered as the glamour boy of bodybuilding in the 80’s, Barry DeMey (AKA. The Flexing Dutchman) is an IFBB Hall of Famer and a legend in the industry. Known more for his shape and perfect proportions rather than for his size, Berry sculpted one of the greatest physiques in the world.

He appeared in numerous competitions and magazines during an illustrious career, accomplishing a feat that only Arnold Schwezeneger matches – winning the IFBB Mr. Europe senior competition at the age of a junior.

However, Berry suffered an injury that ended his career as a bodybuilder in 1989. He was forced to find a new career – he became a successful photographer and owner of a supplements company.

This is his story:


 

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Athlete Statistics

Full Name: Berry DeMay
WeightHeightArmsCalves
225 - 235lbs (102.1 - 106.6kg)6' (183cm)19.5"19.5"
 
Year of BirthNationalityProfession
1962DutchProfessional Bodybuilder, Photographer
 
AliasEra
The Flexing Dutchman1980, 1990
Weight225 - 235lbs (102.1 - 106.6kg)
Height6' (183cm)
Arms19.5"
Calves19.5"
Year of Birth1962
NationalityDutch
ProfessionProfessional Bodybuilder, Photographer
AliasThe Flexing Dutchman
Era1980, 1990

 

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Accomplishments

1980
Mr Holland – NPBO, Junior, 2nd
Holland Hercules – NPBO, Junior, 1st
Holland Iron Man – NPBO, Junior, 1st

1981
European Championships – WABBA, Junior, 3rd
Mr Holland – BBBN, Junior, 1st

1982
European Amateur Championships – IFBB, Heavyweight, 1st
European Pairs Champion with Erica Mes, 1st
Holland Grand Prix – NBBF, HeavyWeight, 1st

1983
World Amateur Championships – IFBB, Heavyweight, 2nd

1984
World Amateur Championships – IFBB, Heavyweight, 2nd

1985
Mr Olympia – IFBB, 6th
World Games – IFBB, Heavyweight, 1st
World Games – IFBB, Overall Winner

1986
Night of Champions – IFBB, 6th
Mr Olympia – IFBB, 5th

1987
Grand Prix France – IFBB, 6th
Grand Prix Germany (#2) – IFBB, 9th
Grand Prix Germany – IFBB, 6th
Mr Olympia – IFBB, 6th

1988
Grand Prix England – IFBB, 3rd
Grand Prix France – IFBB, 3rd
Grand Prix Germany – IFBB, 2nd
Grand Prix Greece – IFBB, 3rd
Grand Prix Italy – IFBB, 4th
Grand Prix Spain (#2) – IFBB, 3rd
Grand Prix Spain – IFBB, 3rd
Mr Olympia – IFBB, 3rd

1990
Grand Prix Holland – IFBB, 4th

1991
BWF Grand Prix – WBF, 3rd

1993
Night of Champions – IFBB, 10th

1994
Arnold Classic – IFBB, 15th


 

44

Biography

Early Years and First Competition

Born and raised in Rotterdam, Holland, even as a child, Berry DeMey had a strong passion for fitness. He took part in swimming, running, martial arts and boxing during high school, always keeping fit and active.

Berry entered his father’s garage gym at the age of 15, in 1977, and began working out to attain his dream physique. But it wasn’t until he was 17 that The Flexing Dutchman entered his first bodybuilding competition – the 1979 Mr. Ironman in his home country.

With no knowledge of nutrition, Berry ate three whole chickens a day to prepare for the competition, planning his posing routine by looking through magazines. However, through hard work and determination, he still walked away with the under-190-pound trophy.

It was this show that motivated him to make a name for himself in the industry.


 

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More Success

Riding high from his victorious debut, Berry entered three more shows in 1980.  He managed to place 1st in all of the contests, one of them being the IFBB Junior Mr. International 1980.

Berry carried his form into 1981, taking home another trophy in the junior Mr. Holland show. By the age of 19, The Flexing Dutchman was already building a great reputation for himself.

Senior Competitions

After dominating the junior scene, Berry began entering senior competitions at the age of 20, and it wasn’t long until he was celebrating his biggest success yet.

In 1982, writing his name among past champions such as Arnold Schwarzenegger, he won the IFBB Mr. Europe show – the Austrian Oak is the only other bodybuilder who won the senior competition as a junior.

But Berry was only just getting started.

International Champion

Not getting complacent, Berry continued his intense training, developing one of the most aesthetic physiques in the world. In 1985, he competed in the IFBB World Games, placing 1st and taking home the overall title.

With victories on the senior international stage, Berry gained an increasing amount of recognition and had qualified for the Mr. Olympia contests.


 

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Mr. Olympia Shows

In 1986, The Flexing Dutchman entered his biggest competition in his career yet, the 1986 Mr Olympia, walking on stage with the likes of Lee Haney. Although he didn’t win, he had placed above Tom Platz and Bob Paris, bolstering his reputation as one of the most aesthetic athletes in the world.

Between the rest of 1986 and 1988, Berry appeared in several more contest, with his highest placing being 3rd. Towards the end of 1988, he returned to the Mr. Olympia stage for the third time.

It was this competition that would be one of the highlights of his senior career – he managed to take home the bronze medal, standing alongside Lee Haney and Rich Gaspari on the podium. By the age of 26, Berry had secured his status as one of the greats.

Injury

After his success in the 1988 Mr. Olympia, Berry returned home to Holland, even more determined than ever to take home another senior trophy. But in 1989, at 27-years-old, he suffered an injury which effectively ended his dreams of reaching the very top – During a workout in his beloved home town, Berry ripped his pectoral muscle.


 

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Berry training in 2011 after starting his supplements company.


Last Competition

For the next 5 years, The Flying Dutchman continued competition after recovering from his injury, but he knew that his injury limited his progress. The highest he managed to place during this period was 3rd place, in the BWF Grand Prix.

His last show as a competitive bodybuilder was the 1994 IFBB Arnold Classic, where he placed 15th.

However, he was not about to give up completely. After the devastation of being forced to retire at the age of 32, Berry was determined to find success in another profession.

Finding a New Career

Berry returned home after his last contest and began training to become a professional photographer. He realized his ambition and graduated a few years later. But Berry’s passion for fitness never left him, and he was hungry to find a way back into the industry.

But Berry’s passion for fitness never left him, and he was hungry to find a way back into the industry.

After years away from bodybuilding, he finally achieved his goal of returning – in 2011, he starting his own supplements company.


 

23

What we can learn from Berry DeMey

Berry has taught us that you’re never too young to start chasing your dreams. He began competing as a bodybuilder at 16 and took home his first trophy, never letting his age effect him – he went on to win the IFBB Mr. Europe senior competition as a junior, beating many other experienced athletes.

One thing we can take away from Berry’s story is that always staying positive through adversity is the key to success. The Flying Dutchman tore his pectoral muscle which prematurely ended his career, but he came back strong to become a professional photographer and business owner.

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I’ve been a big fan of Barry way back in 1986 when I bought my very first Muscle & Fitness mag on the sidewalk.
I remember he was the centerfold model with full coverage of this young IFBB muscle man from Holland. His impressive look never makes me forget as it represents what a true icon of professional bodybuilder is.
After all these years, I’m still your fan.

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