Monday, January 29, 2018

Christine Pomponio-Pate: A Figure "First Lady"

Each division has something for everyone (women's bodybuilding, fitness, fitness, figure, bikini). We have said over and over that the figure divsion is the comic-book division, where the women look like they are ripped straight out of a comic book or modeled just like an action figure. When the figure division began in 2003, it gae women who had "fitness-division like" muscle yet not the fitness/gymnastic background a platform to showcase their physiques and not having to do a routine. While something thought it wouldn't last due to the lack of posing involved, it has continued to be a top division for the IFBB and NPC with big numbers turning in, with bikini being the only division with higher numbers. While most successful competitors range from 5"6 to about 5"10, there have been those who repsthe "shorties" and let their physique stand tall about others who had the height advantage. One such competitor was Christine Pomponio-Pate.

Standing at 5 foot one and one of the founding ladies of the figure division, Christine had quite the journey of coming to the IFBB. She competed in soccer for 10 years and began working out with weights during her days in high school. in 1994, and worked in a gym, when an near-tragic accident could have ended everything for her. Here are details of the incident from the Denver Post (

The former soccer player passed out due to low blood sugar. Her car crossed the median and hit a truck head-on. Mechanical failure kept her seatbelt from being fastened, leaving nothing to prevent her from exiting through the windshield. She hit the steering wheel with her face, causing severe oral damage on the way out. She was semi-conscious the next two days. Six years of difficult recovery followed. 

Within those six years, she had 11 surguries to fix everything. Looking at her during her competitions days and now, you wouldn't think she has been through hell, but believe me, she has. And the fact that she has been able to accomplish so much since then has made her so grateful for everything she has in her life and why we are grateful, honored, and humbled to celebrate #CPPWEEK this past week.

Christine began back weight training as part of rehab. One thing let to another and she ended up competing at the Colorado State Fitness Championships, winning the overall fitness title right off the bat. The next step was competing at the National stage, competing at the NPC USAs in 1999 and NPC Nationals in 2000 before winning her IFBB Pro card in 2001 by winning her class at the NPC Team Universe. Christine saw herself as a backyard gymnast, meaning having strong mandatories but that's about it. She has entertaining routines yet they were basic at best. The IFBB Pro Figure division came in 2003 and Christine knew that was more for her. While she has struggles in the inargual year, faith came a-calling in 2004 where she placed 6th at the Califronia Pro with a completely revamped and jaw-dropping physique. It ended up not being a case of sheer luck as was runner-up to Davana Medina at the New York Pro and placed 6th in her first Figure Olympia. She would only get better going foward, including placing in the top six at her Figure International competitions (4th in 2005 and 6th in 2006) and winning the 2005 Tournament of Champions and 2006 Califonia Pro. Christine's career would end at the 2006 Figure Olympia with an amazing 4th place finish, even betting out then-Figure International Champion Mary Lado. During her time as a competitor, she graced several magazines, including FLEX, Muscle and Fitness, and IRONMAN, in addition to a few local publications. In addiiton to competiting, she did commercials for local businesses such as American Warehouse and Granite Depot. She still does local commercials for the Denver area.

2004 Figure Olympia...when the one-piece suit was still a thing, LOL.
While she did qualify for the 2007 Figure came a-calling again...a life inside of her. She gave birth to her first child Riley in December 27, 2007 and then to twins Brax Disel and Colt Sterling on October 27, 2014. After giving birth to Riley, withing MONTHS she looked like she didn't even had a child. She shot with Marc Thyssen for a couple of awesome photo gatherings: FitHeat 2010 and Fitness Supermodel Weekend 2011. Both times, if she were to have entered the Olympia, she would have easily been a top-three contender. That's how good she looked. She did a shoot with PictureGroove seven months after the birth of the twins, and wowed people again.

Don't take out word for how amazing of a woman Christine is, here are what some have said about Christine:

dallas3, FitGems Contributer: "Christine is the ultimate professional and would define class. Whether on stage with her grace and poise or doing commercials, Christine has always been a positive representative of the fitness industry"

Michael Buso, fan: "I’ve never met her (in person). But when she competed, she had a beautiful physique."

Alissa Carpio, IFBB Fitness Pro : "Always loved her!"

2006 Figure Olympia. Her last show...for now, anyways.

Despite not stepping on a competiion stage since 2006, she has entertained the idea of maybe doing another show once the time is right. And the way she looks these days, it wouldn't surprise us if one day she decides to one day step back on stage to show this generation of figure competitors how it's done. But no matter what, we feel she is one of the best figure competitors in IFBB history and a champion for the "short girls" who feel they can't hang with the taller competitors. Christine is proof-positive that whether on the stage, modeling, commercial acting, motherhood, and life in general, size DOES matter...on the inside.

For more on Christine, check out her Facebook page:

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

9th Annual FitGems Awards Voting is OPEN


Here's the official ballot for the 9th Annual FitGems Awards! Like we've done every year for the past nine years, we give you, the fans and athletes, the power to vote on who YOU feel was the best of 2017. A few people have wondered why we don't select a small group of people to do the voting on this considering the size of the awards. Simple answer: We trust you all. You follow these athletes on a daily basis. Many who vote DO represent the industry whether as a competitor, coach, personal trainer, spectator, or other. We don't vote or have any say in the matter of who wins. We just make the ballot and leave it to you all to decide who was the best of the past year, and I think these awards have done a good job of that. We wouldn't be doing this if it wasn't for your support, and we can't thank you enough for that.

You can vote once per day on all the categories. You don't have to vote for them all, but it would be cool if you voted for as many as possible. Voting will go on until January 15th at Midnight Eastern Time. At that time, polls will be closed and winners will be announced beginning January 17th and ending on January 19th, with our announcements taking place on Instagram ( Here's how the announcements will break down this time around:

January 17th: Misc. Awards
January 18th: Amateur Awards
January 19th: Pro Awards, as well as the annoucement of the 2017 FitGems Nation Woman of the Year

Best of luck to everyone!

The big one...who gets our highest honor of 2017?! PRO CATEGORIES AMATEUR CATEGORIES MISC. CATEGORIES