Dayana Cadeau

Dayana Cadeau is a personal trainer and former female bodybuilder who competed from the 1990s to the early 2010s. She was born in Haiti in 1966 and at the age of seven moved to Quebec Canada. Cadeau is fluent in French, English, and Creole. The strange aspect about her was at first she did not find the bodybuilding physique attractive. Dayana has stated ” I didn’t like bodybuilding physiques before I started competing.” She had the common closed minded view of most of the public explaining ” I didn’t find them attractive or pretty.” However, her mind was changed when she attended a bodybuilding show with a person she knew at a gym. Dayana then revealed that ” when I saw those women I was surprise to see they could be pretty, even with big muscles” She even had the ludicrous notion that ” being pretty and having large muscles was unattainable before watching those girls.” Dayana Cadeau proved that big muscles can suit the female frame if you train the right way. Her inspirations were Corey Everson and Lenda Murray. Dayana has said that ” when I saw Corey Everson I found her very beautiful not too big , but a nice figure.” Dayana Cadeau also has immense respect and admiration for Lenda Murray. She has even admitted that she wanted to follow her example. Her philosophy about bodybuilding is she articulated “having muscles and staying pretty was my goal.” She advocated the Corey Everson model of physique compared to the larger size that was ushered in the mid to late 1990s. Her strategy was to balance the larger size with a shapely figure. This allowed her to be a successful lightweight Ms.Olympia winner. She remains one of the most successful Canadian bodybuilders to date.

Dayana puts an emphasis on aesthetics. Expounding further : “since I’ve been competing I have never changed my image.” Her goal was to bring back the Corey Everson version of physique . When she competed bodybuilding for women was under going a transition in judging standards. This was also the era of stiff competition. Iris Kyle and Lenda Murray were still active on IFBB stages. Dayana at first competed as a heavy weight, but then competed as a lightweight when weight classes were introduced in the year 2000. She may have competed as a lightweight, but that body was monument of muscle. Standing at 5ft  4.5 in she competed at mighty 150 lbs. Her first bodybuilding contest was in 1992 in which she won the Quebec Metropolitan. This was followed by another victory in 1993 at the IFBB Quebec Provincial. From 1992 to 2012 she would be on stage. Dayana became a pro in 1997 winning the IFBB Canada Cup. Her best wins would include the Ms.International in 2001, the Jan Tana Classic in 2003, and the Ms.Olympia in 2004 under the lightweight division. When physique became a class in the early 2010s Dayana switched to that division in 2012. The previous year she retired from the bodybuilding class. Dayana was presenting another type of physique that was along her ideal Cory Everson model.

Her competitive longevity was remarkable and her ability to an impressive physique was just as stunning. Photographer Bill Dobbins described her physique best writing in 2006 : ” Lately, I’ve been more impressed with  Dayana …. she has the most voluptuous and sensuous physiques in bodybuilding.” This look she created between voluptuous fullness and powerful muscle made her popular in female bodybuilding publications. She appeared in issues of Women’s Physique World and did modeling. She also did videos in which she tested her wrestling skills against male challengers and fellow athletes for Premier Productions.

Although Dayana was fitness modeling, mainstream fitness publications according to Bill dobbins did not want to buy his photos of her. There still was a prejudice against the hypermuscular woman. Thankfully, the internet was a means to by pass the corporate gatekeepers, who still hold traditional views about women involved in the fitness industry. Through her personal website and association with online publications she was able to do modeling and promote her bodybuilding career. Besides just being a competitor, she started her own contest known as the NPC Dayana Cadeau classic. It features bodybuilding, fitness, figure, and bikini. She was involved in this contest’s development from 2009 to 2013. Dayana continues to serve as a NPC judge. Dayana once revealed that her best features of her physique were her legs and that her biceps as well as abs were her weak points. Training her upper body she claimed was the biggest challenge.

Dayana’s Twitter Page

Dayana also is a promoter and owner of her own company. She is the founder and CEO of Bodygift Fit which operates in Miami, Florida where she resides. Her athletic achievements make her one of the most successful Haitian bodybuilders.  Dayana’s training philosophy as she articulated ” Every time I’m training I’m not thinking about gaining more muscles.” She expressed it as she was only targeting weak areas and by doing so, she could improve balance of her physique. Dayana admitted staying a lightweight was difficult due to her genetics, because she put on muscle easily. Expressed in an interview : “the thing is for me I can be a lightweight, middleweight, or heavyweight .”  Around 2005 there were judging changes. Weight classes were dissolved so this altered the situation. Dayana had to compete against Iris Kyle and Yaxeni Oriquen . These were some of the best competitors on stage. She placed in the top three, but could not beat them. Considering, she did very well when seeing a stage of tough and experienced competitors. Her desire was to replace Lenda Murray and show that muscles on women can be beautiful. Dayana’s advice to competitors is to train hard and treat your body like an art form. The development of muscle on the female form should follow a specific aesthetic paradigm.

 Dayana believed that the sport had changed radically compared to when she first started in 1992. Her opinion was expressed in a Bodybuilding. com interview : ” These girls have changed from years back- all they think about is being bigger and more muscular, but that’s not the beauty of the sport.” A balanced physique is what makes the competitor. Symmetry, conditioning, and definition must be given proper emphasis. Size is not the only factor in building a physique. Dayana also has many hobbies when she is not involved in her personal training business or a practicing aesthetician. She enjoys reading, watching movies, and doing yoga in her spare time. At one time Dayana was pursuing a career in acting and was contemplating moving to California. She was on record that she would continue to compete until she gets busy with her acting. This did not come to fruition and instead from 2009 onward continued to be seen on IFBB contests. The interesting aspect of her training is that she would do cardio first, followed by a rest then train with weights. Dayana’s last competition was in the physique division in the 2012 Tampa Pro. She has no plans to return to stage, but left an impressive competitive career.


Dayana Cadeau

Rin Nakai

Rin Nakai is a Japanese  mixed martial artist. She was born in 1986 and started her fighting career in 2006. Nakai worked her way up in competition and by 2014 became ranked tenth ranked bantamweight champion by 2014. Rin Nakai then fought longtime martial artist and wrestler Kanako Murata. Another notable challenger she fought was Meisha Tate. This ended in defeat, but Tate has known to be a formidable opponent. Nakai’s stats include 19 wins and only two lost matches so far in her career. There was only one match in which ended in a draw. Her KO stat is 6-0 and her submission stands at 7-0. Nakai competes in the flyweight class. Formally she competed in a higher weight class . Rin Nakai  at first was competing at 145 lbs and stands at 5ft 1in tall. Now a flyweight she competes at 125 lbs. She has competed for UFC, but decided to compete for Pancrase Venus. Rin Nakai may compete in the US again, but that remains uncertain. There was a level of excitement  to see this new face come to the UFC. However, it did not seem to last. It is clear that Nakai will be around for sometime in the world of MMA.

         The MMA craze has spread in North America, yet in Japan it struggles. Rin Nakai revealed in an interview that this is attributed to a struggling economy and the damage done by the 2011 Tsunami that resulted in the Fukushima nuclear disaster. Pancrase the number one MMA organization in Japan still continues to function. The situation differs for male and female fighters. Nakai stated “women’s MMA is getting worse in Japan because the number of females joining the sport is steadily decreasing.” Rin Nakai believes it has to do with gyms and management of such facilities.

Rin claims that in training gyms guys are too aggressive with women during practice. This may be off putting to a woman who is attempting to start a fighting career. Learning something new can be a challenge. Nakai articulated that their is an atmosphere of sexism present in which men do not take female fighters seriously. As Nakai revealed “female fighters are not even seen as fighters, but sex objects.” Rin has also spoken about the general lack of disrespect for female fighters. Sadly, it seems widespread when Nakai discussed it : ” in my personal experience, sometimes guys don’t even show respect for me even when I have won two championship belts.” These types of attitudes are not uncommon in the sports world. Yet, they do mirror a problem with Japanese society. It is very conservative to an extent and gender roles are no exception. From female only subway cars  to issues surrounding employment Japan has to work hard to fight sexism in society. This is the reason Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has a policy of womenomics. This policy is designed to have Japanese women stay in the workforce and be active in the business community. This program needs female role models to work. Nakai has in a sense become a role model and is doing womenomics her own way.

Rin has still thinks there can be change : ” I can hold hope that the guys in MMA will learn to have a ladies first attitude and a gentlemen’s spirit.” The reality is that chivalry is not going to be part of the culture.  Women like the opponents they fight, will have to confront the detractors and the negative attitudes. The only way change will come is by being proactive. That is why it is critical that more women become active in the sport and serve as guides to neophytes . Nakai can be a trainer to other women once she retires from fighting. This can lead to a new generation of female fighters.

        Seeing Nakai’s records of wins it is obvious she has a great method of training. The strange part of this is that she does not have a specific training partner. Anyone she can find to spar with is helpful to her training. Normally she trains at Shooto Dojo Shikoku. Rin Nakai trains seven hours a day. During this period she does four workouts. She runs, lifts weights, wrestling, judo, boxing, kickboxing, jui-jistu, circuit, and cross training. This method of various forms of exercise seems to have paid off when she competes in the ring.

Not all athletes can say that they have only two losses in their career thus so far. It is not about solely winning matches; its about entertainment. Nakai’s matches are always entertaining. It was rumored that Pancrase was developing a possible video game that would feature the likeness of some of its fighters. Nakai admits she has never played a video game, however if she were a playable character she would try it. Nakai most likely will stay with the Pancrase promotion, because of the treatment of its athletes. Athletes are free to voice opinions or discuss concerns. Nakai has said that she never faced any discrimination from the organization based on her sex. The harsh aspect of MMA organizations is that they do not always treat their athletes fairly in terms of pay and stipulations on contracts. This might explain why Rin Nakai left the UFC  due to irreconcilable conflicts. That is the UFC’s loss. Only 31 years old she still has a number of years on the competitive circuit. Some fans want to see a Nakai and Tate rematch, but this may never happen. Rin Nakai will have many more opponents to face and beat.

Rin Nakai

Mina Mitsuoka

Mina Mitsuoka was a former bodybuilder active in the early 2000 to mid-2000s. There are some athletes who appear just as quickly as they leave. Although her competitive career was short, she built an impressive physique. Born in Torrance, California in 1985 she was not a stranger to sport. During elementary school she was involved in gymnastics and played volleyball in high school. She was also a skilled pole vaulter. Mina was a very active student involved in various clubs and extracurricular activities. She even loved taking voice lessons. An unfortunate turn of events actually lead her to bodybuilding. When she had a skate boarding accident, it resulted in her ankle being sprained and the tearing of the ligaments. She went to the gym to help with recovery. Mina then noticed that she was developing significant muscle. To her shock she said “one day I looked in the mirror flexed my bicep  and saw changes.” Mina said that although athletic most of her life she had been thin. She revealed that “she never thought her body could change like that.” When she was a student at the University of California that was when she got serious about her bodybuilding endeavors.

When Mina was in Los Angeles, she went to her classes and work  out as a student. She also served as a personal trainer at the UCLA recreation department. When she returned home, she was encouraged to compete by trainers at her local gym. Her first show was the Northern Gold’s Classic in 2004. Starting at 120 lbs she placed third in the teen division. When she graduated from her university in 2007 she gained  up to 155 lbs of muscle. This was an incredible jump from 2003, only being 117 lbs before serious training. Her role models in terms of physique were Britt Miller and Cindy Phillips. Her physique almost had that type of quality to it. Mina has stated “that training can be fun, but cardio can be fun, diet is the hardest part.” To build such a body Mina had to eat oatmeal, chicken, and whey protein six times a day, while training five times a day. Mina would only train one body part per day. What she loved about the sport is that “it is a healthy hobby that takes a lot of discipline and dedication. ” From 2004 to 2010 she would appear in some contests sporadically. She was a dedicated athlete, but never become one of the major stars. Female bodybuilding fans still remember her as one of the new generation of fresh faces. Besides looking strong is actually had impressive lifts.

Her best bench press is 165 lbs. Her bicep curls were 40 lbs and bent over rows at 225 lbs . She could do dumbell rows with 120 lbs. Mina described her back as her best feature on her physique. Mina Mitsuoka revealed that during her competitive years her friends and family would pressure her to be thin to fit a more conventional ideal of beauty. Although there was limited support for her pursuit, it did not bother her to be different. Society has to understand that there are many forms of beauty. Mina loves  being different and unique.That explains why she loves surfing and skateboarding. These activities are still mostly male dominated, however women like Mina are getting involved. The year 2007 saw Mina compete in the Northern Classic. She also decided to pursue a career in ophthalmology. The year 2010 she competed in the INBA Team Nevada Contest in the figure division.

Mina also appeared in videos for Sports-women There she demonstrated her wrestling skills and strength. After graduating medical school, she went into a practice. Mina has iterated “that she will always love bodybuilding.” Although it seems she has retired from sports, Mina now is an Ophthalmologist working at Bel-Red Vision.  Her academic credentials are also as impressive as her athletic feats. As an undergraduate she majored in biology and then got her doctorate in ophthalmology  Pacific University College of ophthalmology.

Mina mistokua
Some of Mina’s art : Mina’s Art  

After getting married and starting her professional career in ophthalmology , she now goes by the name Mina Fordcye . Mina spends time between patients and new hobbies. Mina’s new passion includes drawing and painting. Being a lover of pets her painting subjects include dogs.  Dr. Fordcye  is a member of American Optometric Association  and the Optometric Physicians of Washington. Her internships involved her working in the San Diego Naval Hospital and Pacific Cataract and Laser Institute.  Currently based in Bellevue, Mina provides medical service to the community.  Now being part the medical field, she helps people maintain healthy eyes. Fans will miss her very much on stage.One does not need an ophthalmology degree to see she was a marvel on the bodybuilding stage.

Mina Mitsuoka

The Camelita Jeter Story

Carmelita Jeter  is an three time Olympic gold medalist, who holds records in sprinting. She was born in 1979 a resident of California. Her talent was revealed early in her life. Prior to excelling in sprinting events, she was a skilled basketball player. During high school she began to be a track athlete. From there, her skills and talents only grew. Jeter is a graduate of California State University earning her degree in physical education. She remains the school’s most decorated track and field athlete to date. Her professional debut was in 2007 in the World Championships. This competition brought her a great victory in which she won her first medal in the 100m. That same year she won a silver medal in the USA Track and Field Indoor Championships. The year 2008 was a turning point in which she changed her coach and running technique. Jeter stands at 5-4 and a weight of 135 lbs. Her athletic credentials are immense and impressive. Her runs times include 10.64 (100m), 22.20 ( 200m), 10.92 ( 2008 London Grand Pix), and 10.83  (2009 World Championships). Faster than the Flash or Sonic the Hedgehog, she has become the ultimate sprinter. Besides her athletic endeavors she also is involved in philanthropy. She continues to be involved in fund raising for breast cancer research. She was in 2014 the official ambassador for Susan G. koleman ‘s California Circle of Promise Initiative. This program was designed to raise awareness about breast cancer in the African American community. Track and field fans however are more familiar with athletic feats.

      The 2012 Olympics was an event in which Jeter amused audiences. She was the pillar of the 4X100 relay. Carmelita Jeter became the first athlete to win medals in both the 200m and 100m race  at the Olympic Games. These spectacular feats come as no surprise. During the mid-2000s she had been gradually improving. Jeter has successes in the World Championships of 2009 with a record time 10.67. That made her the third fastest woman in history. The 2010 saw Jeter win two gold medals and silver in the World Championships. At this point was clear that her performance could only increase.

That was what made her performance so special. Jamaica produces great runners, but their dominance has been threatened by US talent. Her performance earned her a Jesse Owens Award one of the most prestigious track and field accolades. Jeter has revealed many thoughts and feelings about her career, sports, and live through various interviews. Her views on the student athlete are different from the common perspective. She once said “enjoy college and high school because you don’t get those years back.” Jeter delineates further ” you have plenty of time to become professional.” Too often the student athlete is regimented so they miss out on the simple joys of youth. Carmelita Jeter felt she made a sacrifice at the expense of the care free times of being a young adult. She also emphasized that education is the main goal of being at a university, even if  you are an athlete. If an athletic career does not work out she explained, you need to have a back up plan. Jeter believes that it is best to balance your life, athletic activity, and school work. Jeter revealed that getting to the 2012 Olympics was not a simple task. She admitted “that nobody thought I could make it at my age.” This was around the time she lost her beloved aunt Brenda Washington to breast cancer. This caused her much distress. She was able in her own words turn negative events into positives.

Normally, athletes have a person that inspired them in their career. Jeter said it was her aunt who was her inspiration. Her aunt was not an athlete, but a person that was close and encouraging in her life. The women in her family were her role models. Jeter described her aunt as ” whitley of the family ” ( from the TV show A Different World ). Carmelita Jeter revealed that “the women I look up to are every day women.” However, she does have favorite athletes she likes to see compete. She is a fan of Serena Williams, and Candace Parker. Being a former basketball player she love watching the WNBA. Jeter has much respect for Becky Hammon assistant coach of the Spurs. She is not just an athlete, but also a sports fan. This should be no shock. Carmelita Jeter recalling her childhood stated ” I grew up in a sports household.” She would play basketball with her dad and brother on the weekends. Her beginnings were humble as she revealed ” I didn’t come from a family with a whole lot of money so if we knew we weren’t going to be super smart in the class room we had to be athletic and get scholarships.” Track and field gave Jeter more of a competitive drive and a desire to push herself further. At the 2013 World Championships in Moscow she was able to compete with a torn quadricep. She won a bronze medal in that 100m race.

          Carmelita Jeter during her athletic career followed a particular training and diet regimen to enhance performance. When preparing for competition her diet consists of vegetables and some baked goods. Eating three meals a day with two snacks in between, rest was also important. Jeter claimed that her focus was intense starting her day early and being in bed by 9:00 pm.

London Olympics Athletics WomenJeter said staying hydrated is also critical to her training. Also Carmelita Jeter incorporates weight training into her fitness program. Her schedule goes as follows : in the weight room from 6:30 to 7:45, trains in UCLA, and has cryotherapy. Jeter does this to have her muscles relax from exercise and completes this six hour a day training by 12:30. Jeter also likes doing pilates saying ” that’s why my abs look the way they do.” This training regime produced an impressively powerful body. As she said “when I hopped on the scene I was very fast and very muscular.” She also believed in her own assessment “that it turned people off.” She did not let dated and old fashioned beliefs deter her. To Jeter there is nothing wrong with women being strong. The track and field athlete has embraced the movement of physically strong women saying “I love that women want to strong not just mentally, but physically.” Carmelita Jeter  also clarifies ” it is definitely  inspiring to see the movement to be strong is relating to women and is trickling down to young girls.” Her philosophy is “that is okay to be muscular and it is okay to be buff.” She has started from humble roots to Olympic champion. She certainly will inspire many young women athletes.

        Currently Jeter was set to compete in the 2016 Rio Olympics. Unfortunately, injury pulled her out of the trials. It was clear that if she was not sustain the injury to her quadricep, she would have been excellent. Carmelita Jeter at age 37 is still in great shape. Normally athletes reach there physical fitness peak around this time frame. Jeter has made no indications about whether she will continue to compete or attempt to appear in the 2020 Olympics. The year 2017 she did not run at all instead focusing on mentoring young athletes. It seems that quadriceps issues continue to be a hindrance to her competitive streak. It is too soon to say that she is retiring or done with the sport. If 2016 was the last year fans see her actively compete, she went out with an impressive accomplishments.

The Camelita Jeter Story

Michelle Jin

Michelle Jin is a physique competitor and bodybuilder from China. She was born in  Wenzhou a small village in 1974. This was the period of Maoist China and she was raised in a conservative family. Although the Communist Party of China adopted a policy of promoting women’s rights, much of the population was slow to change their attitudes in regards to women. Her family thought that a woman being an athlete was not the proper career course to take. Michelle Jin came to the United States in 1996 and this was when she first got exposure to gym culture. Introduced to it by a friend, she enjoyed weightlifting. Training hard through the years she decided to compete. By 2014 Michelle had won the NPC Junior USA Championship, which got her notoriety in Muscular Development magazine. He local hometown newspaper even congratulated and interviewed her. The Wenzhou Evening News  asked about her training regimen and her plans for the future. Michelle stated that she wanted to continue competing and gain a fitness training certificate. For her 2014 victory she revealed she trained four months prior to the contest, which also included two hours of running. Her diet consisted of chicken breasts, fish, and vegetables to reduce body fat. Jin’s efforts paid off and she became another competitor in the IFBB. Since 2006 she has been competing on stage and will not be stopping anytime soon.

 For tens years she has been with the bodybuilding sport. Her rankings have not been high as a professional bodybuilder, but she as presented a powerful and balanced physique. She has competed in the Optimum Classic Pro (2015), the Junior National Championships (2011), and the Omaha pro (2016). Beginning her career as a lightweight bodybuilder, physique is still new. Creating the physique that the judges want can be a difficult task. Besides being an athlete Michelle Jin enjoys biking and hiking in her free time.  At first Michelle Jin had some doubts about her bodybuilding pursuits. She was fearful that a woman with muscle could not look beautiful. Once she got over this irrational fear, she was able to compete and make considerable improvements. Michelle likes competing in the physique division rather than bodybuilding. She has siad in interviews that it gives her a better chance of going up in competitor  rankings. She stands in competition 120 lbs in weight and is 5′ 2” in height. When not on her strict diet she enjoys hamburgers and donuts. Three years now she has been an IFBB pro and it looks like there are many more contests for her to conquer.

Michelle 2017
Michelle’s Twitter

  Michelle Jin is also active on social media including Twitter and Facebook. She also has her own Youtube page in which fans can ask questions and engage. She continues to keep busy between competing and work. Now living in South Carolina, she is an excellent representative to Chinese athletes and specifically Chinese women athletes. Maybe her actions will inspire young women seeking to do the same.

Michelle Jin

Florence Griffith Joyner: Icon, Athlete, and The Fastest Woman in the World

Florence Griffith Joyner was a track and field  athlete who is still one of the fastest women to run. Elaine Thompson currently is the only athlete that has come close to her record. She was an icon and inspiration to many fans and athletes alike. Delorez Florence Griffith was born in 1959 in Watts area of Los Angeles. Although living in poverty she recalled her childhood years as joyous. Joyner stated “we did not know how poor we were; we were rich in family. ” She had eleven siblings all raised by her mother, who worked as a seamstress. That early support system was critical to her rise as an athlete.  Florence Griffith Joyner would become a popular figure of the 1980s due to spectacular athletic  performances and fashion style. Her popularity went beyond athletics when she got endorsements, did acting, and clothing design. Joyner became a part of American popular culture. This was important for women’s sports. Women who participated in athletics were never accepted as role models at this stage in history.Florence Griffith Joyner contributed to the positive shift in acceptance of the female athlete in the mainstream.

     Joyner’s journey into running began as child. As a young person she competed in races sponsored by Sugar Ray Robinson Foundation. From age 11 she would continue to run into her teenage years. She was so talented that she was able to receive a scholarship to California State University. There she would major in business. She would later graduate with a degree in psychology. There with the assistance of her coach Bob Kersee  Florence Griffith Joyner would be positioned to be an athletic champion. She won first place at the NCAA 400 meter race in 1983. It was clear she was going to rise to the top. Her Olympic debut could have been sooner, but she could not compete due to the US boycott of the Olympics in 1980. Joyner would come into the Olympics in 1984 winning a silver medal for the 200 meter race. Her performance was not as spectacular, but her fashion presentation and entertaining mannerisms captivated sports fans. Joyner had a interest in fashion and she felt that women’s track suits should be designed  to be aesthetic.  As a high school student she suggested that her teammates wear tights with their uniforms. The 1984 Olympics was a place in which she experimented with a different type of track uniform.

She was known for wearing one legged track suits and wearing jewelry while competing . Athletes tried to avoid wearing such accessories for fear that it might slow them down. This seem to be a myth, because it did not effect Joyner’s running speed.   Her track suits were bright and colorful. She designed them herself and it got her much attention. She was not just a pretty face. When she returned to the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, Florence Griffith Joyner would make history.

         Florence Griffith Joyner would win three gold medals and one silver in the 1988 Olympics. During the World Championships in 1987 she had already set records. This was an incredible comeback from the 1984 Olympics. Between 1985 and 1986 Joyner had not been running. She spent most her time working as a bank teller and hair stylist. She then realized that she missed running too much and returned to competition. This time she altered her training regimen. She began weight training to improve her performance. She mostly focused on squats and luges to build stronger leg muscles. Florence Griffith Joyner had to balance both her career and athletic pursuit. The reality of the Olympic athlete is that they do not make enormous amounts of money, unless they get endorsements. To many athletes competing in the Olympics is like an expensive hobby.

Florence Griffith Joyner had already acquired a nickname for her athletic feats among fans. Flo-Jo became a household name. Joyner would set a record making her the fastest woman in the world. She ran a 10:54 in the 100 meter final in the 1988 summer Olympics. The biggest and most impressive feat was her record of 10:49 in a 100 meter sprint. While fans cheered this world record, detractors were quick to make baseless accusations of steroid use or that her run time was assisted by wind. Darrell Robinson a track athlete made this accusation without any evidence. Another Olympic athlete Joaquim Cruz made this accusation claiming the change in Joyner’s physique. Her more muscular appearance came from a new training program and she never failed a drug test. This seems to be a problem with women athletes. When they perform well and appear strong they are accused of performance enhancing drug use. Even by the 1980s there were still people who did not fully accept women in sport.

Even though she never failed a drug test and there was not any proof of these accusations, the statements still persisted. Alexandre de Merode head of the International Olympic Committee Medical Commission revealed that Joyner was singled out for extra testing due to the rumors circulating in 1988. This was obviously unfair considering East Germany had a state sponsored doping program and it was rare that their athletes were singled out for more drug testing. Despite this negativity, Florence Griffith Joyner continued to perform under these harsh rumors. Her most popular aphorism was “when anyone tells me I can’t do anything I  I’m just not listening anymore .” This attitude was a way of persevering in the face of negative criticism and dealing with hostility from racism and sexism in the United States.

        Florence Griffith Joyner was and continues to be an important icon. The reason is she demonstrated that a woman in athletics could be powerful and show grace. Her journey was the positive results of Title IX and the civil rights movement. African American athletes were being integrated into the sports world and America began to accept them. Athletes like Jackie Robinson, Wilma Rudolph,  Althea Gibson, and Alice Coachman opened the door for African American athletes. Florence Griffith Joyner became an African American icon, inspiring women of various backgrounds. She was involved in women’s cause stating “It’s important women  to see women make strides.” Joyner also expounded further remarking ” women need to be in control of their lives and feel good about themselves.” This confident personality radiated and captivated female fans. She inspired women to get into running and made it fashionable. Florence Griffith Joyner became a celebrity eventually working as a model, doing acting, and endorsed various products.

After her retirement from racing in 1989, she embarked on numerous ventures. She started the Florence Griffith Joyner Youth Foundation, continued to design clothing, and ran a nail kit company. By 1995 she was also the co-chair on the President’s Council on Physical Fitness. Once again she wanted to compete again and in 1996 wanted to compete in the 400 meter run. Unfortunately tendinitis in her right leg stopped her from competing. Although she did not appear in athletics, Joyner did have acting roles. She appeared in Santa Barbara in 1992. Her influence was extensive in the sports world.

35e07745d6754d5c1c85959c6bb80918  Florence Griffith Joyner was such a popular athlete that LJN Toys produced dolls of her likeness. Normally this was reserved for popular cartoon shows or other properties, but a prominent female athlete was getting this treatment. Her media appearances and athletic talent did so much for the promotion of women in sports. Joyner’s talents were recognized and praise during her lifetime. She was inducted into USA track and Field Hall of Fame in 1995. Her life was cut short by a seizure she had in her sleep in 1998. This was caused by cavernous hemangioma in which a collection of  dilated blood vessels form a tumor. This causes seizures, which Joyner had been getting treatment for in 1993 and 1994. Although she only lived 38 years, her impact will be everlasting. The flashy outfits, the amazing athletic performances, and charm made her unique. Women track athletes are no longer considered an anomaly. Florence Griffith Joyner’s efforts contributed to the acceptance of women’s sports in the mainstream and motivated a new generation of runners who would emerge in the 21st century.

Florence Griffith Joyner: Icon, Athlete, and The Fastest Woman in the World

Iris Kyle : The Best Bodybuilder Ever

Iris Kyle has been one of the most successful bodybuilders of the 21st century. Her impressive amount of victories demonstrate a true talent for the bodybuilding sport. She was able to break both Corey Everson’s  and Lenda Murray’s records. Since 1994 she has been competing and has been a force to be reckoned with. Iris Kyle will certainly be remembered in IFBB history has one of the most important athletes to grace the stage. Iris Kyle won the Ms.Olympia in 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014. Besides her Ms. Olympia titles, she holds seven win in the Ms. International competition. She did this in a span of ten years. Although a woman of many talents she had generated criticism from fellow competitors and detractors alike. Whatever one thinks of the physique she presents, one cannot say is not a great bodybuilder. Talent like this keeps the sport alive and interesting. Iris Kyle was born in 1974 in Benton, Michigan and participated in sports during her childhood. She ran cross country, played basketball, and,  softball. She would continue to play basketball on a sports scholarship, receiving a degree in business administration  with a minor accounting from Alcorn State University. Her contact with bodybuilding did not come until she moved to California.

When she was in Orange County Iris recalled being amazed by the gym she went to seeing fit looking people. There she became a devoted reader of Flex, Muscle and Fitness, as well as Iron Man Magazine. What took her by surprise was seeing Lenda Murray’s physique in a magazine. To Iris’s own admission, ” I wanted to develop a physique like hers.” Everyone gets inspiration from somewhere and Iris found her’s. She was also inspired by Bev Francis. Iris then at the age of 23 won her pro card at the 1998 NPC USA Championship. Before that she won her very first bodybuilding competition in the 1994 Long Beach Classic. It was clear that she was going to be major competition going into the 2000s. A new generation of female bodybuilder had emerged.

       Iris kyle would go against some of the longtime greats such as Juilette Bergmann and Lenda Murray. She lost the overall to Bergmann, but won the 2001 heavyweight title. Iris would come in second both in 2002 and 2003 to Lenda Murray who even out of retirement was formidable. The 2004 Ms.Olympia was different and Iris dethroned Lenda Murray. There was criticism from fans and even competitors alike.

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Lenda Murray said ” she destroyed her look as a woman.” This seems ludicrous, because their physiques are similar with only slight differences. Critics who never liked or wanted female bodybuilding in the first place claimed that Iris Kyle had gone “too far in her appearance.” These statements and claims seem baseless. Iris was presenting a larger and balanced physique which is why she won some many contests. At 5 ft 7in  and 165 pounds in competition she was able to sculpt her body into a new model for the female bodybuilding physique. Just like Bev Francis and Lenda Murray they ushered in a new look. when these new paradigms are introduced, they are not always accepted. The Lenda Murray comments can be seen as a form of jealousy. When you win so many times it natural to feel frustration when you lose.  It seems odd that someone Iris idolized would say such a thing.  The 2004 Olympia was the passing of the torch. Many observers of the sport claim this was the period female bodybuilding went on a sharp decline. The sport was not generating as much revenue or gaining as much attendance, but that does mean the quality of competitors went down.

Iris Kyle’s dedication and persistence shows that women can do this just as well as the men. She would continue to dominate the sport in the 2000s and 2010s. She would later retire ( temporarily) in 2014 after winning another Olympia. This was a low point, because 2014 was the last Ms.Olympia and Iris was no longer competing. When it was announced that there was to be the Rising Phoenix to replace the ms.Olympia Kyle then came out of retirement. She announced that she would appear in 2016 on stage, but something happened. For some reason she was not invited to the competition. This is a deliberate violation of IFBB rules. If you are professional then you are allowed to compete in contests. It seemed as if the sponsor the Rising Phoenix show did not want Iris to compete and complications occurred over contracts. This was a mistake to have a show that was a successor to the Olympia and not have Iris Kyle in the line-up. Decisions like these harm the sport and anger fans.  Tim Gardner the organizer of the show made this mistake. Hopefully, Iris Kyle will make a stage appearance in 2017.

         The ten time Ms.Olympia has gathered a following over the years. Iris Kyle also has engaged in business ventures opening Bodi Cafe which specializes in smoothies and supplements. Iris Kyle also has her own Youtube Channel in which she shows training techniques. The channel currently hold about 2,388 subscribers.

2009 Arnold Sports Festival
Follow Iris Kyle : Iris Kyle YT and Iris Kyle Facebook

Her Facebook page has generated a following of 150, 778 people. Besides that Iris Kyle maintains a website  in which she also helps and consults in regards to weight training. Iris kyle  continues to have influence in the bodybuilding community and her name is readily recognizable in many fitness circles. Her constant victories and uniqueness have gained her nicknames such as ” the female Ronnie Coleman” and “iron maiden.” She also got exposure in mainstream entertainment on the show Wipeout . Being a vary religious individual she has stated “Christ has strengthened me.” She starts her days reading the Bible and with a prayer. Iris Kyle’s time is spent training clients, conducting seminars, and doing guest posing. The Olympia champion certainly has a busy schedule.  Iris Kyle has faced many competitors including greats like Yaxeni Garcia, Alina Popa, Lenda Murray,  Juliette Begmann, and Vicki Gates.

Iris Kyle had stated that her biggest challenge was competing against Lenda Murray and Yaxeni Garcia. These two competitors were difficult for her to beat, but she eventually did. There was a level of confusion in 2005 with the 20 percent rule. The IFBB stated that all competitors in women’s divisions must reduce their muscularity by a 20 percent margin. Iris wanted to follow the rules and come to competition smaller.  Iris went in at 155 pounds, but Garcia came in larger and won. The contradiction in judging has always been frustrating to athletes, At that moment Iris Kyle realized she had to change and it had to be guided by her own assessments. The irony was that Lenda Murray was announcing the winner that year. Iris Kyle then reverted back to the same training regimen. She trains from heavy lifting to supersets  and drop sets.

 After losing to Lenda Murray in both 2002 and 2003 she was determined to win. Iris has facetiously claimed ” if you are going for the champ you have to completely knock out the camp.” Iris Kyle then began a long reign in 2004 of dominating both the Ms. International competitions and Ms.Olympia. Kyle puts her success down to “training smart not hard.” During the off season she trains five days and has two days of rest. She trains one body part per day and allows herself to do three days of cardio training. Kyle although successful has faced criticism. Critics claim she took her physique “too far” and that it was harming the bodybuilding aesthetics. These claims are baseless, because she is no more extreme than any other physique that appears on stage. Iris Kyle simply to the physical paradigm to another logical step. Her physique combined the large size of Bev Francis and the balance of Lenda  Murray while maintaining the symmetry and definition of Corey Everson and Carla Dunlap. Iris Kyle perfected what these early pioneers had started. The idea that women who get “too big” lose their femininity is antiquated and sexist. This is about building a physique and although people may not find it suitable for women, no one can say women are terrible bodybuilders. There is a point when it becomes more than just pleasing judges or acclimating to a particular perspective. Iris Kyle revealed in an interview “never allow someone else’s opinion to dictate your future.” Surprisingly she admitted that someone once said to her she would never become Ms.Olympia. They were obviously wrong. There may not be a Ms.Olympia contest anymore, but Iris Kyle being the last one carries on that legacy. Iris Kyle will be considered in sports history as one of the most accomplished bodybuilders.

Iris Kyle : The Best Bodybuilder Ever