We recently praised Jake and Kristal Wood, aka Wings of Strength, for firstly saving in 2015, and then, within a year, presiding over a small but significant expansion in professional female bodybuilding. We've also recently highlighted and praised how Alina Popa (Jennie Roosa etc.) and Margie Martin (Brittney O'Veal) seem to have taken it upon themselves to ensure there is a new generation of female bodybuilders coming through to the pro ranks.
The future: Jennie Roosa (left) and Brittney O'Veal
However, for female bodybuilders outside of the US and Canada, where national level shows can provide FBBs with pro cards, the problem of how to become part of this exciting new pro FBB world remained. At the Omaha Pro this year we saw how WoS - working with Alina Popa - provided Elena Oana Hreapca with a guest posing spot partly to highlight the quality of talent that had reached the top of the amateur FBB tree in Europe (and elsewhere) and simply had nowhere left to go.
Wings of Strength Facebook page, September 24th
As I write this the world has changed just a little. I am happy to say that amateur female bodybuilders in Europe, Central and South America, Australia, Asia and the rest of the world now have an opportunity to earn an IFBB Pro Card.
This also includes Canada and the US.
Announcing that the brand new IFBB Ms. Wings International will qualify three female pro bodybuilders in 2017 - one from each of the light, middle and heavy weight divisions.
This will all take place at the IFBB Wings of Strength Chicago Pro in early July of 2017 at the Tinley Park Convention Center. The three new pros will be eligible to compete in the Chicago Pro later that same weekend.
My wife Kristal and I would like to thank IFBB Professional League President Mr. Jim Manion and IFBB President Dr. Rafael Santonja for working with Mr. Tim Gardner and myself to provide a path to a pro card that has been absent for many women around the globe. We would also like to thank Ms. Oana Hreapca of Romania for shining a light on this need during her guest appearance in Omaha in 2016. We also extend our thanks to Mr. Jack Titone along with his dear wife Ms. Ann Titone for gracefully allowing us to highlight Ms. Hreapca during their Omaha Pro Show.
We at Wings of Strength are very excited about the coming year and the direction women’s bodybuilding is going. We rise!
Well that is good news!
Imagine! The best amateur FBBs in the world lining up against each other.
From Europe, Oana; from South America, Flores Neide Souza Campos... I'm sold already! But as well as being an "international" event, North American women will be taking part too. That means you could see Oana and Flores and Theresa Ivancik (assuming she hasn't decided to stick with Physique permanently!) on the same stage.
I'm almost too thrilled to think of the names of other women from around the world who could compete! There must be a whole bunch of Brazilians whose names are not coming into my excited mind right now. Australians, Asians, Kashma! Kashma could be there!!! From the UK, IBFA champion Christal Cornick, or the rising young star Maz Burn now have a potential route through which to follow Lisa into the pro ranks.
And then there's the possibility of...
Who would you love to see at the 2017 Ms Wings International?
Who have I forgotten? Who would best represent your country?
And Wings of Strength have even managed to resurrect the "Ms International" name! What's next? Continental qualifying events for the IFBB Ms. Wings International?!
I can dream!
Time to watch Oana guest posing again methinks...
To remind ourselves how significant it was, of course.