Devre Gibson is the first recipient of the Ryeley Palfi Scholarship – established in memory of the famous Dawson Creek bodybuilder who died in June at the age of 19.
Gridiron owner Tammy Schmidt said Palfi’s passing sparked an outpouring of support.
“We learned so much more about Ryeley after he passed away,” she said Tuesday afternoon.
“Messages from around the world are pouring in, telling stories of the impact Ryeley has had in their lives. We admire who Ryeley was and what he stood for. It’s an honor to help carry on his legacy.
After receiving the $2,500 scholarship, Gibson said she started out doing track and then the sport became a chore, but Palfi inspired her so much at the gym.
“He’s so young and I was blown away by his positivity and energy. I blamed myself, saw him and realized I had to ask myself some tough questions.
It’s stuck. Devre is now in preparation for his 3rd Bikini show, competing in Vancouver at the Open and the Natural Vancity Showdown on October 1-2. She is leaving to compete in Toronto next week at a National Canadian Pro Qualifier Show. Her goal is to get her professional card and one day compete for Ms. Olympia.
“It just starts with a certain belief.”
Schmidt said Palfi makes time with everyone.
“Hundreds, thousands of miles away, he was always concerned about the physical and mental health of others and helping them.”
Gibson will pay it forward by coaching Ryeley’s sister, Kameryn Palfi, this fall.
Schmidt says a newly framed photo of Palfi will hang in the gymnasium in perpetuity.
“Ryeley Palfi will always belong at Gridiron Fitness.”
Palfi, has taken equipment in many competitions, including the Northern Classic. He was considered a rising prospect in international bodybuilding circles.