Laura Creavalle

Laura Creavalle  was one of the top professional bodybuilders of the 1990s. She never won a Ms.Olympia title, but her physique was a powerful force to be reckoned with. Born in British Guiana in 1959, she was educated at Mercy College in New York. Her introduction to the sport occurred in 1982. She was in Kingston, Jamaica and happened to see a bodybuilding contest. Impressed with the physiques of competitors she wanted to reproduce the look for her own body. When she returned to Toronto, Canada she began to train seriously. After six month she ambitiously entered the Novice Ontario Championships. Laura won her first contest, a rare feat in many cases. She would later relocate to California. She would become a regular presence on stage. The year 1986 was a major turning point in which she won the NPC USA Championships. This was followed by another victory with the 1988 IFBB World Ameteur Championships. As a result she gained her pro-card and was able to compete professionally.She took 11th place in the 1988 Ms.Olympia, but as time past she would rise up the ranks.

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She would go on to compete in the Ms.Olympia twelve more times. Laura was competing in an era in which competition was fierce. Between Cory Everson and Lenda Murray’s dominance Laura Creavelle did very well.She had a high level of competitive longevity being on stage from 1983 until her retirement in 2002. During that two decade run she won the Ms.international ( 1990, 1994, 1995 ),  the Pro Extravaganza (1999),  the NPC California State ( 1986),  the NPC Mixed Pairs (1986), the Caribbean Championships (1988), the World Amateur  Championships (1988), and the Toronto Championships (1983, 1985). Laura Creavalle is notable due to the fact she has to date been the most successful Guyanese bodybuilder in the world. Being a small country, she can be viewed as a symbol of national pride. Although she did not win one Olympia, she has become a legend among many in fitness circles and fans of the sport. She was inducted into the IFBB Hall of Fame in 2007. Her physique was voluptuous and powerful. Many agree her best feature were her incredibly developed legs. Laura admitted herself that her legs were more developed than her upper body. As the years progressed she would eventually balance these two areas that would place her in the top five in the Ms.Olympia contests.

 Laura during her career was able to make the sport lucrative for her. As she put it :”I had endorsement contracts with major fitness entities such as Weider Nutrition and Muscle & Fitness Magazine.”Besides being an athlete she wrote nutrition and training articles for various Wieder publications. Laura was willing to share her knowledge of training and diet through books she wrote herself.Her books include The Taste of Creavalle, The Lite Lifestyle : 150 Low Calorie recipes for Rapid Weight Loss, The Taste of Club Creavalle,  and The Health Handbook. She had a strong presence in many magazines owned by the Weider corporation and it is easy to see why. Her physique was both hard looking, but had feminine curves while maintaining a decent level of vascularity. Laura’s balanced and pulchritudinous shape gave her a huge following among bodybuilding fans. It is perplexing why she never was crowned Ms.Olympia at least once, but judging has always been erratic in criteria.

Laura once said “when I started bodybuilding, I realized immediately I had ultimate authority over my body and its appearnce,  and I loved the sense of power.” This is what happens to women who enter the sport. They find a new sense of self. Laura liked the feeling of being strong physically and saw the beauty of when it is  applied to the female form. She liked the artistic element of molding the body like a sculptor. This was no simple task either. Laura maintained a strict schedule: ” in my prime it was much regimented, working on a split routine which is working one major body part per workout. I worked out two days, rested one, and then repeated.” This formula was extremely effective at building a 145 pound physique on a 5’4″ frame. Her bodybuilding career is incredible, considering she had no prior athletic involvement in her youth.  Prior to her bodybuilding career she says ” at that time, I ran 13 miles a day but could not get rid of the cellulite in my legs.”Her athletic pursuits went far beyond that. One of Laura’s challenges was mastering the diet. To her own admission she claims “my dislike is missing a meal.” She expounds further : “when my blood sugar level drops, I become a different person, cranky and mean (jokingly) as my host has recognized.” This could be an explanation for the creation of her cookbooks.

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Laura although retired from the sport still is active in  the fitness industry . She has been known to start various businesses. She was president of her own company Club Creavalle from 1987 to 1990. Laura since 1990 has been owner of Club Creavalle Fitness Camps. She also started a catering company known as Healthy Gourmet  Express. Athletes after their career reflect on the nature of their sport. Laura has very interesting observations about changes to the sport. Laura stated in an interview ” Fitness, Figure and Bikini competitions have grown tremendously over the years and has replaced ‘female bodybuilding’, as we knew it.” This may seem discouraging to some, but this is just her candid assessment. What is now considered hardcore female bodybuilding in which women aim for size, symmetry, and definition is being replaced by physique categories considered more “marketable.” Laura is right to an extent, but that may not be the complete story. Looking at many of the figure, fitness, and physique competitors they have larger musculature than the competitors from the 1970s and 1980s. Maybe female bodybuilding is not disappearing, but changing form. The sport seems to function on changing models of body aesthetics. It comes down to two factions : a sleeker body with a level muscularity or the hyper-muscular physique.

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Laura’s concept of female bodybuilding dates to the 1990s when there where only two categories. Hopefully, there will be change for the better. One positive change is that bodybuilding has grown in Guiana. Laura has been pleased by this development over the past few years. Her jubilation she describes like this: ” it’s wonderful to see the growth of bodybuilding in Guyana since I did my first guest posing at the Cultural Centre 28 years ago.”Laura Creavalle  has in this regard served as a role model to rising Guyanese bodybuilders.Occasionally Laura will appear at certain fitness expos and venues to promote products or fitness material. Laura has also been a producer of Maxim Sports.

 Laura has also known to conduct seminars for athletes, sharing her knowledge of training. To many fans she is an uncrowned Ms.Olympia. She developed an incredible  physique that reminds many of why they considered this an art form. She blended the right amount of power, beauty, and strength that makes the sport great.Her photographic appearances in the magazines of Flex, Muscle and Fitness, Muscular Development, and Female Bodybuilding and Fitness Magazine was proof of this.  Laura Creavalle truly is a legend and an excellent representative of the sport.

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Laura Creavalle

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