Ali is 23 years old half Korean, half German, 5’9″ Olympic weightlifter. Currently ranked 24th throughout the USA in all weight classes, Ali took 5th place at the national championships in her personal weight class.
Growing up she dabbled in a variety of sports, all the way from tennis and water polo, to gymnastics and figure skating. Her most cherished sport however, would have to be volleyball, which she played all throughout High School, both for the varsity team, as well as a club team.
Ali crossfitted for about a year after graduation, before deciding to switch over to Olympic weightlifting, where she fell in love with the notion of “lift heavy shit”. Since then, it’s been game over for Ali, and she hasn’t stopped lifting full-time for a over a year and a half now.
“I love love LOVE anything and everything to do with the beach, music (ALL types), FOOD, babies, as well as people who evoke passion and inspire. Things I dislike are alarm clocks, poor spelling, people who don’t squat below parallel (other than those who physically can’t), and close mindedness”.
Amenah is a strength athlete. She started with the sport of strongman, and is currently competing in raw powerlifting meets. Growing up, her family would only identify endurance athletes as “athletes”. However, while she knew she was physically strong, there was no outlet for her strength. So it wasn’t until a bit later in life that she discovered her passion.
“I’ve always been an active person. From hiking and gardening, I’ve always generally been an outdoorsy person, but I never had a sport, or a focus. As I finished up nursing school, I found the barbell…and I fell in love with it! I loved how lifting made me feel. I love doing things I never believed possible, helping others achieve their goals, and the shared excitement and camaraderie with my fellow competitors. I feel stronger minded, stronger hearted, and stronger bodied every day.”
Amenah has won three strongman competitions, a powerlifting competition, competed at America’s Strongest Woman twice, and the Arnold International Strongman Championships. Most recently she deadlifted 451 pounds at The Reebok Record Breakers powerlifting meet.
“I compete as a super heavy weight in both sports. By supporting others in the gym, at competitions, and sharing a bit of myself on social media, I have found a strong connection with tons of other women. I feel I am blossoming at the age of 37, and feel more empowered and confident than ever before. I am so fortunate and excited to be on the GRRRL Team. I hope to inspire and encourage others to find what makes them feel stronger and more joyful than they ever dreamed possible!”
CASSIE NICOLE VALENTINE (AKA THE LITTLE BRUTE)
When she was younger, Cassie was in every sport her grandparents could possibly get her into.
“I started with gymnastics because that’s what my grandma wanted, but then moved into soccer a couple years later. A few years after that, I got into softball and basketball. I stayed in both of those sports for awhile, but when I was 10 my grandfather finally convinced my grandma to let me try martial arts. As soon as I found myself in a gi and on those mats, it was all over for everything else!”
Cassie has been training in Kempo Jujitsu for nearly twelve years, as well as training and competing in Judo for just over three years. She is a first degree black belt (shodan) in Kempo, and a blue belt (yonkyu) in Judo. Cassie has just started out on her MMA journey.
“All throughout my time in martial arts, I’ve been an avid competitor. About a month into Kempo, I went to my first competition and placed first in all of my divisions. Since then, I’ve competed in numerous Gold Cup events, Moko Moko tournaments, and many other local/semi local events in Kata, Sparring, Pankration, and Grappling.”.
There hasn’t been a single division where Cassie didn’t at least finish in the top three. In 2006 she was nominated to join Team USA to fly to London, England and compete at the European Open. Here she placed 1st in Kata, 2nd in Pankration Sparring, and 3rd in Point Sparring.
Aside from training, Cassie loves simply being outdoors.
“My Papa used to take me everywhere with him, so hiking, fishing, biking, camping, or anything that allows me to be out and about in nature just makes me really happy. I’m a big fan of anime, maybe because a lot of them have some kind of martial arts involved in them, but I also enjoy some of the ones that don’t. I’m also not ashamed to admit I am a huge World of Warcraft fan. I’ve been playing (when I can around work, school, and training) for about six years now. It’s something that gets me out of my head for awhile, and is just a really fun outlet. My highest level character is a Lvl. 100 Night Elf Death Knight.”
Need we say more?!
Cris is one of the world’s most well known, and highly regarded female athletes.
She has overcome just about every conceivable obstacle, both in and outside the Octagon, to become one of combat sport’s most respected and legendary competitors.
Cristiane was a national-level handball player in Brazil before being discovered by Rudimar Fedrigo, a Chute Boxe Academy trainer in 2004 while she was still in high school. After only three months of training in Muay Thai, Cris “Cyborg’ Santos started training jiu-jitsu and had her first mma match.
We’re proud to have Cris as a GRRRL ambassador.
Kandyce (Kande) Williams is a lightweight boxer, fighting out of San Bernadino California. Ranked 7th in the US and 34th in the world, Kandyce has 4 pro fights to her name, and is recognised globally as one of the rising stars in her division.
Her reputation is growing to such an extent that she is having issues finding higher ranked fighters to face.
“I’ve grown to have a better understanding that these things happen a lot in boxing. Injuries….fights falling through. I used to get upset and want to give up, but I’ve matured. I’ve actually become a better, well-rounded fighter because I put all of those frustrations and energy towards training camp. I have good expectations for next year. I’m hoping to fight more than I did this year with the intention of no opponents falling out. I’m hoping to get more positive recognition next year because I currently feel like the female fighter that can’t get a fight to stick.”
Kortney “KO” Olson
Kortney Olson is a visionary powerhouse who is making her mark to create a world where women are free from all forms of self-harm. Kortney is the Originator of the not-for-profit organisation, Kamp Konfidence, which is a prevention-based wellness experience for teenage girls aged 14-17 that has taken the country of Australia by storm. The Kamp Konfidence team are on a mission to teach the habits, principles and lessons that aid the development of self love, all in a non-judgemental, fun and friendly environment.
Kortney is the first and reigning Australian Women’s arm wrestling champion, Queensland state Brazilian jiu jitsu champion, 4 time international bodybuilding competitor, author, TV personality, certified personal trainer, and Olympic lifting and cross fit coach. Kortney is here to raise the bar-bell in gender equality.
Kortney’s proudest accomplishment is being crowned as “The woman with the world’s deadliest thighs” by Stan Lee, creator of Marvel Comics, after she appeared on an episode of Superhumans where she demonstrated her leg strength by smashing watermelons between her thighs, exerting 3 times the crush force of a reticulated python, and knocking out a professional MMA fighter.
“I have this unshakeable belief that if the female energy isn’t united, lifted up and emancipated globally, our chances of survival as a human race are slim to none. How can we focus on be our best when we’re busy fearing we look our worst?”
Kortney loves dogs, plays golf, and likes to leave the toilet seat up after using the men’s restroom. She’s also certified as a Laughter Yoga instructor and a Psych-K Facilitator, with the aim to empower and inspire people to seek natural wellness.
LEANNE DEL TOSO
Leanne, always known as a happy, healthy and sporty girl, developed a neurological condition known as Hereditary Sensory and Motor Neuropathy at age 19. She lost the ability to run, jump and balance on her own, as well as losing sensation in her hands and feet. Her future was unknown as she spent years completing physiotherapy and treatment in hospital.
Leanne decided that she wanted a better quality of life, and found wheelchair basketball in 2006. Her love for this sport was instant. In her first year she experienced much success in winning ‘Best New Talent’ in the WNWBL (Women’s National Wheelchair Basketball League).
Leanne played her first international tournament in Japan in 2009, and went on to play in every tournament taking her to the 2012 London Paralympics where the Australian Gliders won a Silver medal. During her 9-year career, Leanne has won a multitude of awards winning 3 club MVPs, 2 Athlete of the Year awards, Banyule Council Sportsperson of the year, True Sport Award, and has won 3 National Championships in 2011/12 and 2015.
Leanne is a wheelchair basketball coach, mentor and role model for people with disabilities, but most importantly for all women. Leanne is also a motivational speaker where she uses her story to motivate others from all over the world to believe in themselves and “have a go”. Her elite status and leadership qualities enable her to promote and empower the next generation to dream big, just as Leanne did. In 2015, Leanne was awarded for representing Australia for over 100 International games, which has been her biggest personal honorary accomplishment to date.
Leanne has just returned from the Asia Oceania qualification tournament, with the Gliders being unsuccessful in their campaign for a spot to compete in the Rio Paralympics in 2016. Whilst the result was disappointing, Leanne will regroup and continue to motivate and inspire in the sporting arena as she begins a new chapter working with GRRRL to spark this revolution.
Monique is a MLB for the American football team – Los Angeles Temptation and carries the distinction of being a hall of fame inductee whilst also still being a current rostered player. Monique is making her come back this season following a serious knee injury that curtailed her involvement last year.
Monique also has a sporting pedigree that pre-dates her involvement in American Football having represented Mexico at soccer through the U19 level.
Rose is is an American mixed martial artist who is currently competing in the Women’s Strawweight division of the UFC. As of December 10, 2015, she is #3 in the official UFC Strawweight rankings.
Our THUG GRRRL started practicing Taekwondo in Milwaukee at the age of 5. She earned her poom belt (junior black belt) at age 9. After that, she went on doing both karate and jiu-jitsu at the age of 16. In high school, she started training kickboxing and mixed martial arts with Duke Roufus at Roufusport and she was also a senior-year wrestler at Milwaukee High School of the Arts.
“It’s really nice to know hard work does pay off. Just keep a positive attitude and no matter what comes your way, challenges or roadblocks, just don’t let it phase you, you can overcome anything.”
Tania is recognised as one of the top 3 parkour athletes in North America. Tania is a 28 year old badass born in San Diego, who currently lives in Tijuana, Mexico where she performs dental surgery. On top of being at the top level of her sport in just under four short years, Tania has practiced Karate for 14 years of her 28.
“When I started parkour, I thought it was a very interesting discipline, but since i started giving more of my time to training, it has become part of my life. I have learned a lot about facing my fears, physically and emotionally. Thanks to parkour, I’ve become a more confident person, and all of my daily life obstacles have become more fun instead of challenging. For me, my life problems now just seem like obstacles and challenges -that I can run through or jump over.”
“Most of all, I want to show the world that women can accomplish amazing things. Thats my goal more than anything. Parkour is more than a discipline, it is something fun and progressive. This is what makes it more interesting and entertaining. Among many other things, I have gained a more strengthened body, mind and spirit which makes me feel far more enlightened.”
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