There were reasons she could not influence why Kim Chizevsky did not receive the recognition she deserved. When, for example, in 1996 she won the title of Ms. Olympia, dethroned Lenda Murray, one of the most popular bodybuilders of all time. In addition, she was larger and more muscular than most other women at a time when the racers were still very resistant to mass and extreme musculature.
Of course, competitors who would follow a few years later, such as Iris Kyle and Alina Popa, would reset the standard and make more mass and muscle the norm rather than the exception. And I remember once saying that “too much” is a relative and variable scale. However, Kim would still suffer great resistance due to her physical development.
Another hurdle for Kim was what the sport called an “overall presentation.” Kim was an attractive athlete. But the previous Miss Olympias was what you might call “glamor girls”, strikingly beautiful and also excellent bodybuilders. When Rachel McLish, Cory Everson and Lenda Murray are the standard, it sets a fairly high bar.
In fact, when Kim first competed as a professional, she didn’t put much effort into things like hair and makeup to emphasize her aesthetic qualities. But she took steps to correct her overall presentation, and when in 1996 Ms. Olympia, I remember standing next to Jim Manion and hearing him say how much nicer Kim looks on stage.
Unfortunately, first impressions sometimes persist and many referees and officials have not really acknowledged this change. After her victory in 1996, Kim – who had a contract with Weider – was told that if she did not switch to fitness, her contract would not be renewed. Due to this pressure, Kim tried to compete in fitness with some success, but not with success in the title of Ms. Olympia Bodybuilding. She did an excellent job of losing muscle, strengthening her fitness and was able to perform mandatory fitness and gymnastics, but her natural build and size were not very suitable for the Fitness Division. If some found her too big and muscular for bodybuilding, imagine what she looked like in a fitness group.
As a photographer, I was always aware of Kim’s aesthetic qualities and tried to capture them on film, rather than just photographing muscle poses. As a result, image viewers often did not recognize the subject. Kim, along with her husband and coach Chad Nicholls, has revolutionized muscle and fitness levels for both men and women. In 1996, Kim Chizevsky introduced us to a new level of muscle mass that we had never seen before. I hope the photos I present here will help the viewer show how special and remarkable Kim Chizevsky was. People do not believe what they see, just as they see what they believe.
Kim Chizevsky deserves recognition as the great 4-time Ms. Olympia and 2-time Ms. International, but also as someone who persevered in spite of the challenges and continued to improve after success. Kim is married to Chad Nicholls and lives in Springfield, Missouri. She is the mother of 2 boys Dominica and Morgan, promoter of the IFBB Pro League and NPC.
Kim Chizevsky-Nicholls is considered one of the greatest and most muscular bodybuilders of her time. She was the first bodybuilder to win both Ms. International and Olympia in the same year in 1996. By October 22, 2000, she was ranked as the best bodybuilder on the IFBB Pro Women’s Bodybuilding List. In January 2008, Chizevsky was inducted into the IFBB Hall of Fame.
History of the Kim Chizevsky competition
· 1999 IFBB Ms. Olympia – 1
· 1998 IFBB Ms. Olympia – 1
· 1997 IFBB Ms. Olympia – 1
· 1996 IFBB Ms. Olympia – 1
· 1996 IFBB Ms. International – 1
· 1995 IFBB Ms. Olympia – 2
· 1995 IFBB Ms International – 2
· 1994 IFBB Ms. International – 5. · 1993 IFBB Ms. Olympia – 5. · 1993 IFBB Ms. International – 1.
· 1992 IFBB North American Championship – 1. (HW and overall)
· 1992 NPC Junior Nationals – 1. (HW and overall)
· 1991 MPC Midwest Grand Prix – 1st (overall)
· 1991 NPC Continental USA – 1st (overall)
· 1990 AAU Central USA – 1st (overall)
· 1990 AAU Illinois – 1st (overall)
· 1990 AAU Southern Illinois – 1st (High)
· 1990 NPC Tri-State – 1. (HW)
· 1989 AAU Central USA – 2nd (high)
· 1989 AAU Illinois – 1st (High)
· 1989 Tri-State Bodybuilding (Illinois) – 2nd (LHW)