Reported November 27, 2002
Lisa Uzzle Wins the Fitness Nationals
La Cour, Norman and Rando Get Pro Cards in T.U. Policy Change
Good Choice: Uzzle Wins at Last
Lisa Uzzle, a 5’2 1/4 tumbling tumbleweed from Oklahoma who came oh so close to pro status on more than one occasion, finally got her due, winning Medium-class and Overall honors at the NPC Fitness Nationals on November 23 in Dallas after a five-year climb to the top. Lisa was simply marvelous, and according to one report, she emerged from the ritual backstage photo session to a warm ovation from the other fitness athletes. Yes, indeed, it was about time. Look for more on this 39-year-old newcomer to the pro ranks, along with complete coverage of the Nationals, in the March ’03 IRONMAN.
Speaking of Things That Are About Time
In tears backstage at the Nationals over her best bud Lisa Uzzle’s victory in the fitness competition, Oklahoma firefighterand ’02 Team Universe Bodybuilding champTonie Norman learned she had even more reason to turn on the faucet. The NPC made good on its promise to seriously consider graduating Team U Overall winners to the pros, and the Board of Governors, including all the district chairmen, voted it into law, making Norman and longtime Men’s champ Skip La Cour the first beneficiaries of the new policy.
The Team U is the NPC’s drug-tested national championships, with class winners qualifying to compete in the IFBB World Amateur Championships. Previously, the only way Team U bodybuilders could turn pro was by winning their class at the Worlds. The T.U. has a recent history of repeat winners, however, and U.S. nonparticipation in the World Championships due to world politics has made it that much harder for those athletes to make the leap to the pose-for-pay ranks. La Cour, in particular, missed out on two chances to earn his card. As it was the second year in a row that the men did not go overseas, the policy is retroactive to 2001 and applies equally to the women’s division. That brings ’01 Men’s champ Greg Rando into the ranks of pro-card holders as well, as his counterpart, Lisa Aukland, got hers at the ’01 North American Championships.
Congratulations to three excellent flexers. Your great challenges are yet to come.
Pro Babes Galore to Compete in 2003
The IFBB schedule for the upcoming pro season is just bursting with opportunities for female physique stars to burst forth. With five bodybuilding shows, eight fitness contests and seven figure matches, as of Thanksgiving week, fans from coast to coast will have plenty of chances to take in a show.
As always, the women’s season starts with the Arnold Fitness Weekend, where the Figure International joins the Ms. and Fitness contests of the same name on March 1 in Columbus, Ohio. The following weekend, on March 9, it’s the New York Pro Fitness in the city of the same name.
Two events take place worlds apart on May 3, with the Pittsburgh Pro Figure being the stateside entry and the Slovakia Pro Fitness going down in Bratislava. Then look for more feminine physiques than you can toss a dumbbell at to congregate in the Big Apple for the newly expanded Night of Champions weekend, with Pinnacle-sponsored competitions in women’s pro bodybuilding, fitness and figure headlining on Friday, May 30.
The Hungarian Pro Fitness is slated for June 7, with two big summer shows to follow:
the New York Pro Figure on August 9 (in conjunction with the NPC Team Universe) and the Jan Tana Classics in women’s bodybuilding, fitness and figure on August 1516 (in conjunction with the Masters Olympia).
The Southwest Pro Cup becomes the Pinnacle Pro Cup and moves to the weekend of September 27, featuring women’s bodybuilding, fitness and figure shows (in conjunction with pro men’s and masters bodybuilding competitions). So far that’s it before the Ms., Fitness and Figure Olympia contests on October 24 in Las Vegas, but it’s probably not set in stone. All indications are, those wacky Pro Division schedulers are still chiseling.