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Sandy Williamson, NPC and IFBB Pro League Official

Submitted by IFBB Pro League Staff


*Photograph by JM Manion

Date of Birth, Place of Birth:
I was born on February 10, 1952, in Detroit, Michigan.

I attended Wilson High School and, in 1973, obtained my Nursing Degree from the Reading Hospital School of Nursing.

For the past 35 years, I have been employed as an Adult Intensive Care Unit Registered Nurse
( ICU RN).

Current City of Residence:
I currently live in Riverside, California, U.S.A.

Athletic Background:
In High School, I lettered in Tennis and played Field Hockey. For the past 25 years, I have enjoyed competing in local 10K, half-marathons and marathons. I also have 18 years experience as an Aerobic Instructor.

IFBBPRO.com – How did you first get started in the "physique" field?
I was diagnosed with anorexia in 1973, which I battled for about 5 years. During that time, my ex-husband, who was a powerlifter, convinced me to start training in a gym with weights. We went to see the first Ms. Olympia in 1980 in Philadelphia. Once I saw Rachel McLish, I was hooked. I then met Candy Csencsits, who was responsible for getting me involved in judging.

IFBBPRO.com – When did you first get involved in the National Physique Committee of the U.S.A., the NPC?
I actually was involved in the American Federation of Women Bodybuilders, the A.F.W.B., in 1982 and then became involved in the NPC when they took over the A.F.W.B. in 1984.

Sandy and John Carl Mese representing the U.S.A.
at the 1987 IFBB International Congress in Madrid, Spain
*Photograph courtesy of Weider

IFBBPRO.com – You were the USA delegate, along with John Carl Mese, at the 1987 IFBB International Congress in Madrid, Spain. Was this your first IFBB Congress?
Yes, it was. My first IFBB Women’s World Amateur Bodybuilding Championships was in 1986 in Singapore. Mae Mollica, who was at the time Chairperson of the NPC and IFBB Women’s Committee, couldn’t attend so Jim Manion, then Chairman of the NPC and IFBB Vice President for North America, asked me to attend instead.

IFBBPRO.com – In 1988, at the IFBB International Congress in Brisbane, Australia, you were named to the IFBB Women’s Committee as North American Representative and worked with Chairperson Carol Graham from Australia. How did it feel to play a key role in the pioneering of women’s bodybuilding?
In one word … wonderful! I have always felt that weight training, along with the nutritional aspects of bodybuilding, are the best way for women to maintain their physiques. Being part of this sport and the NPC and IFBB has changed my life in so many ways … from the physical training and healthy eating that is so crucial to a fit lifestyle; to the wonderful friendships that I have made around the world. Because of bodybuilding, I had the rare opportunity to travel far and wide and to see so much more of the world than would have normally been possible.

Sandy, member of the IFBB Women’s Committee,
with Chairwoman Carol Graham (Australia)
at the 1988 IFBB International Congress in Brisbane, Australia
*Photograph courtesy of Weider

IFBBPRO.com – In 1989, at the Paris Congress, you were appointed Secretary of the IFBB Judges Committee and began working with Dr. Rafael Santonja, then Chairman, now IFBB President. What impact on the sport did you want to make, or hope to make, as Secretary of the Judges Committee and member of the IFBB Executive Council?
I was very honored that IFBB President Ben Weider, with the full support of IFBB Vice President for North America Jim Manion, appointed me to this position, considering the many thousands of people worldwide that are involved in growing the sport. I have always prided myself on the personal integrity I bring to the judging table and I felt privileged to be in a position to work towards elevating the standard of judging worldwide. Additionally, I strongly believe it was important to have more women involved in the judging. At that time, there weren’t many women on international judging panels. I recall many contests where I was the only female judge. I’m very pleased to see the progress made in this area.

IFBBPRO.com – How have you seen the sport of women’s bodybuilding evolve throughout the ’80s and ’90s? Where does it currently stand?
Obviously the sport has changed tremendously over the years, sometimes for the good and sometimes not. Even though the number of women bodybuilders has decreased over the years, I truly believe there will always be women that want to see how far they can take their physiques. My one regret is that, as judges, we weren’t consistent with our judging.

Sandy (back row, third from left), Secretary of the IFBB Judges Committee
and Member of the IFBB Executive Council
at the 1989 IFBB International Congress in Paris, France
*Photograph courtesy of Weider

IFBBPRO.com – Your thoughts on the evolution of Fitness and Figure?
I love Fitness! It’s a sport that involves not only the physique but as well, the athletic ability of the competitor. I was also very pleased when Figure became a sport discipline. I knew of so many women who trained hard but who didn’t want to compete in bodybuilding because of the amount of muscle needed to be competitive. Figure is the perfect avenue for these women. It’s always good to have a goal to train for. I liken the Figure competitor to the hundreds of thousands of people who run. The numerous 10K and marathons give these people a goal to train for and the same can be said for the many thousands of women that go to the gym everyday to make themselves better. The Fitness and Figure competitions give these women a goal to train for.

IFBBPRO.com – At the 1992 Congress in Graz, Austria, you received the IFBB President’s Gold Medal from Ben Weider, given only to a few select people around the world each year for outstanding achievement as an IFBB official. What were your thoughts on receiving such a prestigious award?
It was a distinct honor to be chosen from the many thousands of people around the world who dedicate their lives to promote the IFBB and the sport.

Sandy presenting her annual report to the IFBB Executive Council
at the 1990 IFBB International Congress in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Seated to her right is Dr. Bob Goldman (USA), Chairman IFBB Medical Committee, and
Jim Manion (USA), IFBB Vice-President for North America
*Photograph courtesy of Weider

IFBBPRO.com – At the 1999 Congress in Bratislava, Slovakia, Ben Weider presented you with the IFBB’s highest award – the Oscar Statement Memorial Award – given each year to the top official [administrator] in the IFBB. How did it feel to be so honored?
Obviously, wonderful to be recognized for the work that I had done over the years, especially since this is only given to one person each year.

IFBBPRO.com – After 1999, you limited your IFBB travel to the Women’s World Amateur Championships only. What was the reason for cutting back on your trips abroad?
I lost my mom in 2000 and realized that I wasn’t spending enough time with my family due to the amount of travel that I was doing. So, I decided to cut back on some of my travel to have more time with my family. I do miss the international travel and hope to be able to attend some of the congress’s in the future.

Sandy has always been a passionate advocate
for women’s involvement in sport as athletes,
judges, officials, and administrators.  Here she
presents her annual report at the
1991 IFBB International Congress in Katowice, Poland
*Photograph courtesy of Weider

IFBBPRO.com – Any sport-related disappointments that you care to share. How do you handle disappointments?
I can honestly say that the sport has given me so much over the years so I really don’t have any disappointments. Having said this, I generally believe that you have to always look for the positive and learn from life’s disappointments. You can’t let the negatives take hold of your life!


Your favorite food? Vanilla ice cream.

Your least favorite food? Tuna.

Your favorite movie? The Harry Potter series.

Your favorite TV show? I like shows that are light-hearted, such as Home Improvement and Sex in the City.

What types of music do you like? Rock and Roll.

Favorite songs? Any Bon Jovi song.

Any hobbies? Hiking, walking & reading.

How do you spend your leisure time?
With my family and 4 dogs.

Do you have any pet peeves?
My biggest pet peeve is when people don’t accept responsibility and accountability for their actions and look to blame others
when things aren’t going right.

Sandy (far left) seated at the IFBB Executive Council table
at the 1992 IFBB International Congress in Graz, Austria.  Seated to her immediate left
is Jim Manion, IFBB Vice President for North America, Eric Weider, IFBB General Secretary,
Dr. Rafael Santonja, IFBB Executive Assistant to the President [now IFBB President], and Ben Weider.
*Photograph courtesy of Weider

IFBBPRO.com – Your thoughts on the IFBB Professional League?
I think the Pro League gives the athletes a sport that they can be proud of. Over the 25 years that I’ve been involved, the contests have gone from high school gyms to theaters and convention centers and the prize money continually increases. The sport would definitely not be where it is today without Joe and Ben Weider. And the Pro League couldn’t have a better Chairman than Jim Manion because he really cares about the athlete. The Pro League gives the professional athlete a say in how their sport is governed.

IFBBPRO.com – Do you have a mentor? Individuals you looked/look up to? People who supported/support you who you’d like to thank?
Besides my husband Ted, my biggest mentor and supporter is Jim Manion. I don’t think the sport, especially in the USA, would be anything like it is today without him. I have watched Jim evolve with the sport over the years and I can honestly say he really cares about the athletes, promoters and sponsors. Internationally, I would have to say Pam Kagan. She gives endlessly of herself no matter where she is. She is always wonderful to every person that she comes into contact with.

Sandy at the 1993 IFBB International
Congress in Seoul, Korea
*Photograph courtesy of Weider

IFBBPRO.com – Do you have a life motto or "words to live by"? A philosophy of life?
I always say if you have your health nothing else matters. Life is short so take advantage of each day.

IFBBPRO.com – As a Registered Nurse in ICU, you must lead a very hectic life. How do you find time to do all the work you do with the NPC and Pro League … and all the traveling?
It is hard but I love being involved in the sport. I did cut back on some of my traveling in recent years to be able to spend more time with my parents before they passed away and now my in-laws since they are getting up there in age.

IFBBPRO.com – Any final thoughts?
I am grateful to the sport for all it has given me over the years. I have made so many friends throughout the world and was able to see most of the world because of the sport. It has definitely helped make me into the person I am today. It never ceases to amaze me the dedication of the athletes that compete in our sport. I have been overseas with women who were mothers, worked full time, coached Little League and still found time to train, diet and compete on a national and international level. I really think we have some amazing people in our sport.


Throughout my 60-year term as President of the International Federation of BodyBuilders, I have had the privilege of knowing a great many people – athletes, judges, officials, administrators and supporters of our sport and federation.

When I first met Sandy in the late ‘70s, I knew that she was destined to play an important role in the development of women’s bodybuilding. I was pleased when she was elected Secretary of the IFBB Judges Committee in 1989 because I recognized in her a passion for the sport and a keen sense of commitment to the growth of women’s bodybuilding and later, fitness and figure.

Sandy is a pioneer in the true sense of the word. During the early stages of women’s bodybuilding, Sandy played a vital role in all important decisions affecting the sport. As a member of the Judges Committee, Sandy brought a high degree of integrity to her duties and responsibilities. In 1999, I was honored to present her with the Oscar State Memorial Award, given each year to the top IFBB official worldwide.

Sandy is a tireless worker; highly motivated, dedicated, and loyal. Despite a high-stress job, Sandy gave freely of her time and energy and championed increased women’s involvement in our sport and federation, not only as athletes but also, as judges and officials.

Sandy continues to play an invaluable role in the National Physique Committee of the USA and in the IFBB Professional League.

Ben Weider, O.C., C.St.J, C.Q., Ph.D.
IFBB Founder and Honorary Life President
President, IFBB Professional League

Ben Weider presenting Sandy with the
at the 1999 IFBB International Congress in Bratislava, Slovakia
*Photograph courtesy of Weider

As a member of the NPC Board of Governors and an IFBB official, Sandy Williamson serves as our Women’s Representative.  She is an efficient, dedicated official that our sport is proud of.  Her talents span a quarter century and promise to continue into the future.

Sandy spends an inordinate amount of time working with the women athletes.  The positive results can be seen in the enormous growth of women in our sport.

Her dedication extends beyond one gender as she frequently uses her professional talents to assist male bodybuilders with their concerns.  Her efforts are always praised by those that receive her guidance.

Sandy has consistently supported the ideals of the National Physique Committee of the U.S.A., Inc., the IFBB and the IFBB Professional League.

Simply said, Sandy is a great official and wonderful friend to me and my wife Debbie.

Jim Manion
Chairman, National Physique Committee of the U.S.A., Inc
IFBB Vice President for North America

Chairman, IFBB Professional League

Sandy Williamson, NPC/IFBB Pro League Official,
and Jim Manion, Chairman, NPC and IFBB Pro League
at the 2008 California Pro Figure
*Photograph by JM Manion

I have had the distinct honor and pleasure to have known Sandy for almost 30 years and I have attended many IFBB international amateur events where Sandy, as Secretary of the IFBB Judges Committee, lent her invaluable expertise to ensure the judging was conducted to the highest standards.

Sandy is one of the most dedicated, committed and loyal IFBB officials I have ever met. As an ICU Registered Nurse, Sandy works in a high-pressure environment and leads an extremely hectic life. Despite this, she was always available when needed. I enjoyed very much her company and friendly, outgoing personality and, apart from the work that she and I were involved in at IFBB World Championships, we made time to get to know each other and became good friends.

Congratulations Sandy on your success!

Pamela Kagan
IFBB Executive Director

I have known Sandy for 20 years, as colleagues on both the IFBB Executive Council and IFBB Professional League Committee. Additionally, I have attended a number of Women’s World Amateur Championships at which Sandy was Head Judge.

Sandy brings to the judging table and committee boardroom an unparalleled level of dedication, conscientiousness, professionalism and expertise, coupled with uncompromising integrity. Sandy’s outgoing, positive, friendly and helpful nature make her a pleasure to work with. Her knowledge, experience and skill in judging physique competition is unequaled, which is why competitor’s gladly welcome and sincerely appreciate her willingness to candidly discuss their strengths and weaknesses.

Over the years, Sandy has been, and continues to be, a very strong advocate for women in sport. Her contributions towards the growth and development of women’s bodybuilding, fitness and figure make her a true pioneer.

The fact that Sandy, with a busy career as an ICU nurse, still finds time to lead a very hectic life in sport speaks volumes to her selfless passion for bodybuilding, fitness, figure and the NPC and Pro League.

Tony Blinn
Chairman, IFBB Technical Committee
General Secretary, IFBB Professional League
Webmaster, IFBBPRO.com

I have worked side by side as a head judge with Sandy for the past twenty five years and she is so dedicated and thoughtful doing what she does in her position as the Woman’s Representative in both the NPC and IFBB that I am so thrilled she is being recognized for her accomplishments.

Working as a full time nurse and being able to check hundreds of figure, fitness and women’s bodybuilding entries for all the national shows is no small task! In her capacity as head judge for the women, she goes way out of her way every show to make sure she is able to talk to any athlete that may approach her after a show. She takes numerous notes on each woman she judges and we often confer on this as the show goes on.

It’s one thing to be a great judge. It’s another thing to be both a great judge and a caring one. That is Sandy! She knows what it feels like to be on that stage and she really wants to help each competitor realize as much of their dreams as possible. I consider myself so lucky to call her my friend and I look forward to working with her for many years to come.

Jim Rockell
Head Judge
IFBB Professional League



  1. 11 Comments to “Sandy Williamson, NPC and IFBB Pro League Official”

  2. Dear Sandy,
    I had the WONDERFUL experience of seeing my friend Lynn Roth in the Chicago Jr. Nationals. I had photographered her and all of the contestants. No press credentials, but I was close.
    First time at a show of this size. I would love for everyone to see the photographs that I had taken,EVERYONE just looks WONDERFUL. GREAT expressions and the lighting was perfect. I handed out a few of my cards and I was able to track down Albert in Oxford, MI Winner of the Bantam weight. And I forwarded my site to Pam. I was hoping that you may get a chance to view the images. Please let me know what you think and if any would be of interest to you or the NPC
    Web Site: DeeLacy.com
    Thank you for your time
    Diane Lacy

    By Diane Lacy on Jul 1, 2009 at 9:56 am

  3. Sandy,
    Very Impressive career.  I feel even more honored to have had you as one of my judges at both the NPC and IFBB level.  I look forward to many more years of  your advise after each competition.
    Victoria Larvie                                                                                                                                             IFBB Fitness Pro

    By Victoria Larvie on Dec 26, 2009 at 10:22 am

  4. Hello Sandy, I hope you remember me This Michael Broadway I have been a part of the NPC for years as you know and I train top level competitor and I would like to talk to you about some girls I have if you time to talk with about them.

    By Michael Broadway on May 25, 2010 at 7:58 am

  5. Hi Sandy,
    My name is Heather Dees and I compete in Figure Class D on a National Level. I have changed my last name, from Udy to Dees, since I was married last September 2009. I have been competing since 2008 and did my first National show in Atlanta, in November 2008. I value you comments and feedback and unfortunately didn't get a chance to speak with you after Junior Nationals last month in Chicago, where I place 6th. I would love to get some feedback from you as to what I can improve on from Juniors and use that information as I prepare to Step on Stage at USA's in Las Vegas this month. If you have time in your very busy schedule to let me know and I would be happy to send you pictures. I appreciate you taking the chance to read my email and look forward to seeing you at the 2010 NPC USA's on July 31st.
    Best Wishes,
    Heather Dees
    (formerly Heather Lynn Udy) 

    By Heather Dees on Jul 14, 2010 at 4:11 pm

  6. Hello, I was wondering if you are familiar with this organic, low-glycemic, thermogenic coffee found at  www.fatlosscoffee.com  I know it will influence many since America's strong passion for coffee & the obesity epidemic.
    I would like to know your professional opinion towards this. I would be happy to send you a sample.
    Kind Regards,
    Kimberly Rader
    847-220-3116  www.BellaMedica.net 

    By Kim Rader on Oct 12, 2010 at 12:43 am

  7. Hi Sandy,
    My name is Ashley Danielle Putney.  I have been very interested in pursuing my dream in becoming an NPC/IFBB pro Bikini.  I have been working really hard in trying to build a great bikini physique.  Day in, and day out, I have been training, practicing, and dieting.  I am 22 years old, married, with a 2yr old son, Christopher.  I have been juggling a waitressing job, and going to school for  nursing, so it has not been the easiest to start this sport.  I did a  local OCB show a couple months ago just to get a feel of the sport, and I absolutely loved it!  I can not wait for the next time I can get on stage.  I placed 4th in the show and it was such a great experience for me.  My first NPC show is going to be the Arnold Amateur this March 2012.  I know it is a very big show and that's what really motivates me the most.  I will push myself hard and give it 110% knowing I am competing against a few hundred girls.  I am so excited! I am 7 weeks out right now and I just had a few questions on what exactly the NPC/IFBB are looking for in there bikini girls, btw posing, stage presents, and their overall build?  I didn't want to go into a big show not prepared and not really knowing what to expect.  I would greatly appreciate any advice you could give me for the show.  
    Thank you so.. much!:)
    Ashley Danielle Putney                                                                                                                      

    By Ashley Danielle Putney on Jan 4, 2012 at 9:32 am

  8. Hello Sandy,
    My name is Paola Terry, and I had the opportunity to briefly meet you in person at the Vancouver Natural 2012 on March 31st at the Tanji’s Johnson show. First, I wanted to thank you for the feedback on presentation and performance you gave us on Thursday afternoon at the Vancouver Natural 2012 rehearsal. I wanted to email you, but I don’t have your email, so I figure I could try to reach you via this message and hoping to hear back from you someday.
    I live in Anchorage, Alaska. I’m a clinical microbiologist who works in the microbiology lab at Providence Alaska Medical Center here in Anchorage. I have an enormous passion for medicine and fitness and it motivates me even more to continue down this path after reading your inspiring story since as you said it can be hard to balance both careers, but it can be possible if you have the passion for it.
    I got involved with competing in 2010, I always wanted to compete out-of-state however, the circumstances at that time made it not possible for me to do so. So I continued to compete locally, and continued to workout and wishing that someday I can move on from the local shows to a bigger show out of state and hopefully someday to become a IFBB Bikini PRO. At the beginning of December 2011, I made the decision to compete out-of-Alaska and started to train even harder than ever and with the valuable coaching of Cinzia Clapp (IFBB fitness Pro) and Shawn Clapp of the Team 907 Muscle Girls and personal trainer Valentina Chepiga, I felt that I was ready to get on stage and have fun at the shows this year. They have helped me a lot on this new path.
    The Vancouver Natural of Tanji’s Johnson show was my first out-of-state show where I placed 2nd in the Bikini Class C. Then, I attended to the Emerald Cup three weeks later and won the Overall Bikini Champion title. I was so happy for these accomplishments, and very excited to continue to work on my physique and to improve my performance every day. My passion for this sport started 2 years ago and it is still growing every day and until today I’m still learning more about this world of fitness. It never ends and that’s why it is so fascinating and rewarding.
    I wanted to ask you if you could give me some feedback and advice on my performance for future competitions. I'm working towards becoming a better athlete and hopefully to get a Pro Card, which would be "a dream come true". Since I have never competed at a national level show, and I’m planning to compete in July (haven’t decided which show yet), I would truly appreciate to hear or read your advice on becoming a better athlete at this sport in the bikini division.
    Thank you for taking the time reading this, I really appreciate it.
    Have a wonderful day
    Paola Terry- Alaskan NPC bikini athlete

    By Paola Terry on Apr 28, 2012 at 1:10 pm

  9. Hello Sandy,
          First, I want to thank you for a wonderful show and for taking the time to judge all the athletes one by one. I recently competed at the Jr. Nationals on June 15, 2012 and would love to know what you advised in order to make the neccessary changes to bring a better physique at the USA's in July. I'm in the Figure class E category. I understand you are extremely busy and highly appreciate any feedback I can apply going into my next competition. Thank you very much. Jennifer

    By Jennifer Delgado on Jun 18, 2012 at 2:58 pm

  10. I forgot to mention that I placed 7th in my class and if you need me to forward any pictures, I will do so upon your request. Thank you again. Jennifer

    By Jennifer Delgado on Jun 18, 2012 at 3:07 pm

  11. Hello Sandy,
    My name is Colleen Smith and I recently competed in the NPC Teen, Collegiate, Masters Nationals on July 19/20, 2013 in Class F and my number was 718. I am usually the tallest contestant on stage…:) I have done several National Shows in the past, USA's, Junior Nationals, and North Americans. I am looking for some feedback so I can improve for my next show. I am wanting to compete at North Americans this August if I am able to make the improvements you suggest. Since I am a Master competitor are there certain shows that i should focus on competing in. I also have some great people/resources  to work with out here Heather Dees on my posing and several nutritionists.  I thank you for taking to time out of your busy schedule to read my e-mail and I look forward to hearing from you.
    Colleen Smith

    By Colleen Smith on Jul 22, 2013 at 9:32 am

  12. Hello Sandy! 
    My name is Amber Crowder and I just did the Jr. nationals this year in Class E placing 14th place. I had previously did Nationals placing 5th in which I was soo greatful for! I did feel  that I had made improvements to my physique for Jr. nationals and placed lower. I really love competing, it's a true passion of mine, and I will continue to pursue my dreams in this sport! I really would love your input on what I need to improve in my physique. Thank you for taking the time to read my email and looking forward to hearing back from you!
    Amber Crowder

    By Amber Crowder on Jun 14, 2014 at 9:18 pm

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