joanna thomas by Bill Dobbins
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joanna thomas athletic model
77 images

joanna thomas muscle competitor

I was born on 12 December 1976, in Truro, Cornwall, England, UK.  I had chronic athsma, so I didn't participate in any strenuous physical activities to speak of, though I would have liked to.  At 14 years of age, I came across a BB Magazine belonging to a college student who was staying with my family, and I was completely inspired by the way the women looked.

It took 3 months until I had built up enough courage to finally go to the gym... and I'll always remember what I said, at 107 lbs., straight up and down in shape... I said to the gym owner's wife, "I want to build muscle", to a reply of, "now you leave that to the men, dear".  But her husband game me a 3 split routine a week and for 2 years I did that routine and gained 91 pounds, while eating only 3 meals a day and no supplements. 

By 17 I had a burning desire so strong to be a bodybuilder and I knew what I was to do with my life.  It's hard to explain, I now see it as something I was meant to do and be, a bodybuilder first and then I wanted to compete.  By 17 I began training and a bodybuilding lifestyle and my motivation came from within.

My goal was to be a Pro Bodybuilder and first step was to get my Pro Card, so from 17 to 20 I trained like a robot and made many sacrifices in the process. My goal was to win the British Championships. In 1997 at the age of 20 I made it to the British stage and a 3rd place finish in the finals of which my sister Nicola Thomas was the first lightweight in the history of British BB to win the overall title and Pro Card (she retired without competing as a pro).

The following year, 1998, I made another big change and left everything I knew and moved to Manchester to train. I had come to realize that where I was living, in a little town in Cornwall, was holding back my progress as an athlete. The move paid-off and with help I won the same title as my sister did the year before and so made more history. Also, I was the youngest female to ever win a Pro Card in Britain at 21 years old.

So in 1998 at 21 years old in a big city knowing hardly anyone, I now have a pro status and I knew physically and mentally I had a long way to go. I made a decision to wait until I had a physique that was going to be competitive enough... 3 years!

In 2001 I tried getting ready for the Jan Tana and won .. now at this stage I found it amusing as I just couldn't believe it. Suddenly I had an invite to the Ms. Olympia!

So the story continues... my friend, Steve Wennerstrom, kindly offered to allow me to stay at his place in San Diego so I could prepare for the Ms.O in the USA. I was finding it difficult to prepare in the UK, and so I took Steve up on his offer. I did the 'O' in October and for prejudging didn't quite make the finish I'd wanted and looked better in the evening show. A number of factors contributed to the outcome, and while being disappointed at not showing up on stage at my best, I was pleased to have finally reached a huge goal. My anxiety about the contest, my condition, my new surroundings, and other things made my 1st O much less exciting an experience than I'd hoped for.

Currently I am living in Venice and training hard to win IFBB competitions. I am very gratified by the Email I get from fans, the traffic to my website and the people who approach me to buy photos when I appear at Expos and guest posings. I have great ambitions for the future and all this support is very much appreciated, I can assure you.