Saturday, 15 July 2017
Chicago 2017: FBBUK: Wendy McCready
Words can't describe how I feel right now! wrote Britain's Wendy McCready after she had followed up her 3rd place in Toronto with another in Chicago. I'm just super happy & proud, she continued, finding some words. Holy cow I'm really going!
Where Wendy is going is to Scottsdale, Arizona and the Rising Phoenix in early September. Her two 3rds mean she currently leads the points qualifying table, and with only one qualifying event left, she is guaranteed one of the qualifying places.
"Gladiator Girl" - Wendy guest posing
It's just reward for this gem of British Female Bodybuilding, 21 years after she first competed at the age of 19 at a local show in her native County Durham having originally entered the gym to improve her karate skills. I definitely didn't set out to compete as a bodybuilder, she says. I loved my martial arts & wanted to become a successful fighter. However, once I started lifting weights I enjoyed seeing my body change and get stronger. I was never just happy with lifting a certain weight, I always wanted to see if I could lift more, especially more than my training partner!
2007 - Wendy's muscle beauty captured by Juan Carlos Lopez
I then got approached by a lady who was about 15 years older than me who had competed in Figure, she continues. At the time I thought she was big but I began doing a couple of sessions with her and learnt more about training. I made it my mission to be stronger than her. I discovered Muscle & Fitness, Flex and Musclemag, so I buried myself in them and read as much as I could about training. It wasn't long before this obsession became Bodybuilding's gain and karate's loss. I decided to hang my fighting gloves up with karate and concentrate fully on my weight training.
2008 - 5th, Tampa Pro
At the 1998 EFBB British Finals, another encounter, this time with one of the greats of British Female Bodybuilding, became, according to Wendy, "a big turning point" in her career. I met Kimberley Anne Jones. I was a Lightweight at the time and she came to see me at the British finals and offered her help. I've never looked back.
2012 - 3rd, Toronto Pro
She became British champion in 2004, back in the days when that title came with a pro card, and the following year she made her first trip to the US to compete. Wendy's first top 6 finish came in her third pro show in Tampa in 2008, and before this year her only other top 3 finish was in Toronto in 2012. She never came close to getting to the Olympia as anything other than a spectator, and last year saw her give Physique a try.
Backstage in Chicago with Isabelle Turell
This year, by my reckoning Wendy's 12th as an IFBB pro, has been by far her most successful, and she'll be flying to the US once more in September to take her place among Female Bodybuilding's elite at last. If the many messages of congratulation on her Instagram from her iron sisters (British, European and North American) are anything to go by, there will be few more popular competitors on that stage.