ST. GEORGE– The Natural Olympia, the largest natural body building competition, will take place in Reno, Nev. on Nov. 11, 12 and 13.
Twenty-five year resident of St. George Shanna Downard, 49, will proudly compete at the Natural Olympia competition, which will be her fourth competition of the year and the fourth competition of her natural body building career.
Her career started when a local trainer approached her and said she would be a perfect candidate for competing in body building contests.
“I decided ‘let’s try it’ and it just fit into place,” Downard said. “I was a little over weight and wanted to get into shape and this was perfect.”
Before training for natural body building competitions, Downard simply lived an active lifestyle, which she said prepared her for the competitions in which she now participates.
Natural body building means the competitors do not take any form of body enhancing drugs such as steroids. However, the candidates can take supplements and protein to help boost his or her body.
Within the natural body building realm, Downard competes in the masters group, which includes females from 40-49 years old. There are several classes that women compete in natural body building and Downard competes in the Ms. Physique portion.
If Downard places in at least fourth place at the Natural Olympia, she can move up from amateur to professional natural body building, which is where the money is made through sponsorships and competing.
Downard currently works as a veterinary technician at a local veterinary clinic, but she would like to learn how to be a trainer and help others in their journey of healthy living. She is a mother of two children and has three grandchildren who support her career goals.
“My grandkids think it’s pretty neat and I am always getting them to eat healthy, like green beans,” Downard said. “[My kids] think it’s pretty alright.”
For more information about the Natural Olympia visit naturalbodybuilding.com.
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