Laurie Vaniman

Many of the figure and fitness competitors started out in dance or gymnastics. Laurie Vaniman was one of the dance gals. Once she entered college, she ended up falling in love with weightlifting. On a lark, she entered a competition in 1996 where she placed 2nd, and at that point she was compelled to compete. Her story is an interesting one, because it spans two segments, practically two careers.

She managed to earn her pro card in 1998, and was going like gangbusters until she was devastated by an infection and subsequent medical problems. She came back in the Pittsburgh Pro Fitness competition in 2001 earning 9th place.

Laurie is 37, stands 5’5″ tall, and weighs about 125 lbs. Laurie has that mega-watt model’s smile that makes many other fitness models long for more talent.