This is a clip from 1997 , when Lenda Murray did a tryout for the WWF. This was the period in which she lost her first Ms.Olympia in 1996. After competing the following year without regaining her Ms. Olympia title she went into retirement. During this time she was exploring different career paths. Wrestling was one area in which women with muscular physiques were gaining mainstream acceptance. Chyna popularized this image and became a professional wrestling icon. Lenda’s attempt to break into wrestling was only temporary, but this clip is fun for archival purposes. Lenda would make her return in 2002 and then retire from competition 2004 after her defeat by Iris Kyle. Lenda today is a promoter of female bodybuilding shows. It would have been interesting to see if Lenda went down this path, what type of wrestler she would be. The wrestler names could either be bench pressing Brenda or Marie Muscles. At least fans got to see her pose on bodybuilding stages. Yet some are curious just how much damage that body of 153 lbs of muscle could inflict.
Some really good news has come to the fitness world. The Ms.Olympia is coming back having been absent since 2014. Fitness Volt also made the announcement that the Olympia was returning with the open division for women’s bodybuilding. Jake Wood has to be thanked for his efforts in keeping the sport alive. Lenda Murray has also been an active promoter of shows even when the IFBB was lacking. However, Fitness Volt’s assessments should be questioned : “Now, the Women’s Open division was a controversial one since being dropped from Olympia weekend back in 2014.” The only thing that is really controversial is how people react to a highly developed female physique. There remains people who reject the idea of women being strong or looking a certain way. This subtle sexism becomes so obvious when discussing women competing and their muscular physiques. Fitness Volt then claims “And there just wasn’t enough interest behind it to justify keeping the division in the lineup.” That is not entirely accurate. Longtime and hardcore fans were devastated to hear that the Ms.Olympia was cancelled. There was still enthusiasm by supportive fans,but they were ignored by the IFBB. From 2014 to 2019, there were still small numbers of female bodybuilding contests and the Wings of Strength Rising Phoenix was filling the void. Hopefully, enough promotion and internet exposure will take the Ms.Olympia to new heights. It will be no surprise to see some of the former Ms.Olympia champions attend as audience members.
Toni Harris wants to become the NFL’s first female football player. The young athlete did get a football scholarship, which few women in the United States have done. Toni Harris is the first woman to receive a full collage football scholarship. She made an appearance on CNN explaining her love of the sport and her desire to compete. Harris was also featured in a Superbowl ad. There seems to be a common notion that women do not like football or they would not be willing to play it. Toni Harris states in the interview at times it can be overwhelming, but also there is an element of excitement. Her teammates are very supportive of endeavors. The question remains if she can actually make it on an NFL team. Standing at 5 ft 7 in and weighing 164 lbs its not like she is a small woman. Even if she does not make a professional football team, it is wonderful that women are being more involved in the sport as athletes and fans.
The first ever women’s fitness club open in Kabul. Fitness culture has been growing around the world and it is no longer exclusive to men. This fitness club in Afghanistan shows that women are doing something to reassert the rights they lost under years of war and neocolonial conquest. The gym is owned by Tahmina Madidnuristani and she states that it was her lifelong ambition to run a business. Violence from the Taliban, Haqqani network, and multiple terrorist organizations make leisure activity difficult in Afghanistan. Sports facilities are limited and few women have access to them. This however is changing. Women’s lives are so restricted in remote areas they are forbidden to go to school or gain employment. The opening of a fitness club is a major women’s rights statement. The new fitness clubs that are emerging have grown in popularity and male disapproval has not stopped women from joining. For once, Afghanistan has at least some positive news.