‘It was a complete surprise’, Percival says of new appointment as Ambassador

Arnold Classic Bikini Fitness champion, Kimberly Percival.
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By Carlena Knight

Bikini Fitness World Champion Kimberly Percival recently shared her shock and excitement on receiving the news that she would be appointed an ambassador at large.

Cabinet broke the news last Thursday after they would have decided a day prior to appoint Percival following her success in Spain where she was crowned the IFBB Bikini Fitness and Arnold Classics European Champion.

Kimberly and her husband Bernard Percival Jr were invited to Cabinet’s sitting last Wednesday where they made presentations ahead of the decision.

The Antiguan edged Spain’s Lina Bejarano to the top prize in the Bikini Fitness category, with fellow Antiguan, Michelle Seaforth finishing third.

“It literally was a complete surprise for me. I got a call Wednesday morning that the PM and the Cabinet would like to meet. I made myself available and you know, it was a little impromptu, I think they were testing me a bit, if I could put it that way. We had a good talk about my achievements and what my plans were and what is it I would basically be looking for and I think that at the end of the meeting here’s where we are,” Percival said.

Percival revealed that was she was truly astonished by the news, as she was totally unaware that was their intention. She explained that she thought it was just a moment for commendation.

Nevertheless, Percival mentioned that it has been a long journey to reach to this point.

“I remember coming back from competitions and having interviews with you guys ‘and you know Kimberly, second again, you just missed the mark’, and feeling pushed to try for that pinnacle and it all just flowed back into me. Even being elected Vice President and just being present and a part and watching bodybuilding grow and transform, I think it got me really emotional now when I think about that journey. Never did I see this right now and it was said to me sometimes you can’t see what’s for you at the end of the line but its really just about giving yourself genuinely and fully to something and just everyday striving to better yourself and better the thing that you are a part of and somewhere along the line you end up being appreciated in the most magnificent way. I can’t tell you how appreciative I am. I am just very emotional speaking about it,” Percival added.

She added that the award itself is one of great magnitude and even spoke on what she expects the role to be like.

“It’s huge. I foresee partnerships not only with the Ministry of Sports but the Ministry of Tourism and you know, the same way typically when you say to somebody, you’re from the Caribbean and by default they think of Jamaica or Barbados because they have Rihanna or you have a Usain [Bolt], I am of the opinion that this gives me an opportunity to stamp Antigua on the map in global circles so that when you hear the Caribbean, you have a person to refer directly to. I want us to be able to establish a presence on an international scale, outside of the usual routes like the US and the UK,” Percival mentioned.

Percival also had some encouraging words for her fellow professional bodybuilders.

“I would say to stay encouraged. There’s always a way around the obstacle you have. somebody said to me anything that is worth having is not easy. This year did not come without its challenges. We had a really hard time finding sponsorship and sometimes it just takes pushing through and fighting through that,” she said.

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