11 of the Strongest Women Throughout History


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Jan Todd

Born on May 22, 1952, in Pennsylvania

Stats: none on record

Jan Todd developed an interest in powerlifting after she married her husband, Dr. Terry Todd, back in 1973. He happened to also be the first powerlifting champion in the United States and ultimately convinced his wife to try the sports out. Numerous publications, including Sports Illustrated, have hailed her as the strongest woman in the world. This title came on the heels of her accomplishments such as being the first woman to ever powerlift more than 400 pounds with a deadlift of 412 pounds.

Heini Koivuniemi

Born on June 6, 1973, in Finland

Height: 5 ft 9 in

Weight: 156 lbs

Finnish born Heini Koivuniemi won second place in the World’s Strongest Woman competition in 2001 and then third place in 2002 and 2003. She was able to set a world record after throwing a 27-pound keg over bat at 11 ft and 4 in height. Koivuniemi was also featured in the BBC documentary film Strongwomen in 2002.

Robin Coleman (Helga)

Born on March 30, 1973, in Texas

Height: 6 ft

Weight: 210 lbs

Robin Coleman is an American actress and television personality, but she started as a bodybuilder. One of her notable competitions was during the inaugural World’s Strongest Woman in Zamibia where she placed third. But Coleman became famously known in the United States as Helga after a stint in American Gladiators back in 2008. Coleman was also known for her performance in 2001’s strongwoman contest, where she was able to squat a car for 15 reps.

Chen Wei Ling

Born on January 4, 1982, in Tainan, Taiwan

Weight: 106 lbs

Chen Wei Ling has taken the world by storm by being able to lift a weight thrice her actual body weight. Her impressive powerlifting skills have given her the bronze medal during the 2008 Beijing Olympics. She snatched 84 kg and clean and jerked 112 kg for a total of 196 kg.

Abbye “Pudgy” Stockton

Born on August 11, 1917 in California

Died on June 26, 2006

Height: 5 ft 2 in

Weight: 115 lbs

She may be small in size and frame, but Abbye “Pudgy” Stockton‘s accomplishments have paved the way for women in powerlifting and bodybuilding. She and her husband, Les Stockton, were frequent visitors of Muscle Beach where they practice gymnastics and acrobatics. Abbye gained media attention after lifting her husband above her head in adjoining headstands. In addition, she pressed 100 pounds, snatched 105 pounds, and clean and jerked 135 pounds in contests.

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