2023 Wellness Bodybuilding International Preview

The second edition of this contest will see a new champion crowned.

The 2023 Wellness International is one of three IFBB Pro League women’s contests to be held at the 2023 Arnold Sports Festival on Mar. 2-5 in Columbus, OH. This contest is in its second year, and eight Wellness competitors are scheduled to compete. Here is the roster for this competition, with names in alphabetical order:

2023 Arnold Classic Roster — Wellness

Check out more details to look forward to in this contest below.

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2022 Champion Out Due to Injury

The 2022 winner of this contest was Isabelle Nunes, and she was on the original roster to compete in the 2023 show. However, she reported in an Instagram post on Feb. 22, 2023, that she will not compete due to a knee injury.

“Since last year, I’ve been treating a knee injury (meniscus). I had done the treatment when I was in Brazil and was training without pain…But a few weeks ago, the pain became unbearable. Training and cardio were impaired. I’m not an athlete who delivers 70-80 percent, I always want to show my best, and unfortunately, in this condition I wouldn’t be able to.”

At the time of this article’s publication, there is no word on when Nunes will be cleared to compete next. She is qualified for the 2023 Wellness Olympia thanks to her runner-up finish in the 2022 contest. 

As for the Wellness International show, this leaves the 2023 championship open for the rest of the competitors. So, who will show up in the best shape to earn the trophy and interview with Arnold Schwarzenegger?

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Top Contenders

With Nunes out, below are the athletes who could score spots on the podium and potentially the Arnold Classic crown.

Angela Borges

Brazil’s Angela Borges is coming off a third-place finish at the 2022 Wellness Olympia in Las Vegas, NV. She was the runner-up to Nunes in this contest in 2022. Based on those finishes, Borges should be considered the favorite to win the contest.

Since turning pro in 2020, Borges has never finished outside of the top three in any of her nine pro shows. She won the Pittsburgh Pro in 2021, which is her only victory to date. Her 10th show could be her second pro win and her first major title. If successful, she would be in a prime position as the number one contender to two-time Wellness Olympia champion Francielle Mattos at the 2023 Olympia in Orlando, FL.

Kassandra Gillis

Kassandra Gillis is a Canadian competitor who scored a fourth-place finish in the 2022 Wellness Olympia. She was fifth in the Arnold competition in 2022. Gillis has two Toronto Pro wins to her credit (2021, 2022) and the 2021 Chicago Pro title.

Gillis competed as a Figure athlete in her amateur career. She has great shape in her upper body, and her lower body has improved significantly in her years competing in Wellness. It would not be a surprise to see her in the final two waiting to hear who the champion for 2023 is.

Sunny Andrews

Sunny Andrews should be considered a contender based on her overall résumé. She won the 2022 Pittsburgh Pro and New York Pro titles, and was third in the 2022 Arnold. However, she placed out of the top 15 at the 2022 Wellness Olympia. It’s unclear what happened during her prep or time onstage that resulted in that finish, but she will seek redemption in Columbus.

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Others to Watch

While the top contenders have momentum entering the contest, the roster for this contest is deep, and any of the following athletes could also make a run for the podium.

Marissa Andrews

American competitor Marissa Andrews won the 2022 St. Louis Pro to qualify for the Wellness Olympia, where she finished seventh. She was not in the 2022 Wellness International competition, so this will be her first time competing as a pro on the Arnold Classic stage.

Andrews turned pro by winning the 2021 NPC Junior Nationals, and started competing immediately after. This will be the start of her third pro season. The St. Louis pro victory is her only win so far.

Alexis Adams

Adams was the 2022 NPC Junior Nationals champion. She placed third in her pro debut at the 2022 Tampa Pro Wellness Contest — her only pro contest. Some experts see her placing high in big contests in the future, and the Wellness International could be where those predictions come to fruition.

Amanda Burnett

Burnett won her pro card at the 2022 NPC USA Championships. Like Marissa Andrews, Burnett wasted no time earning her pro stripes. She was the winner of the 2022 Legion Sports Fest Pro, which earned her an Olympia qualification.

Burnett finished out of the top 15 in Las Vegas, NV, in mid-December 2022. Going from an amateur to Olympia competitor in the same calendar year is no small feat. This is also her first time competing in the Wellness International.

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Dark Horses

If the future is fated with an underdog victory in Columbus, these athletes could manifest it. Everyone on this roster is a dangerous on a pro stage.

Rayane Fogal

Fogal has only competed twice since turning pro at the 2021 Amateur Olympia Brazil contest. Her pro debut was at that year’s Musclecontest Brazil Pro show, where she placed third. She returned to that contest one year later and won it.

Even though Fogal qualified for the 2022 Wellness Olympia, she didn’t compete in the contest. This will be her first time competing in the United States.

Andrea Hrenko

Hrenko was the 2022 Arnold Amateur Wellness winner, which garnered her an invite to the Wellness International in 2023. Hrenko competed twice as a pro in 2022. She finished 10th in the Puerto Rico Pro and 12th in the Tampa Pro.

Fans who want to watch the 2023 Wellness International live in Columbus can purchase tickets on the Arnold Sports Festival website. People that can’t be in attendance can watch the show via its pay-per-view stream, courtesy of Fanmio. 

Featured Image: @angelaborges on Instagram