Wheelchair bodybuilder Jen Pasky Jaquin was a guest poser at the 2018 National Physique Committee (NPC) Wheelchair Nationals, the 2019 and 2020 Arnold Classic Pro Wheelchair, and the 2019 Wheelchair Olympia. She returned to guest pose at the 2020 Wheelchair Olympia on Saturday, Dec. 19, 2020. Only this time, she was in for a surprise.
Unlike her previous guest posing appearances, the 2020 Olympia heralded new territory for the sport of wheelchair bodybuilding. Following her posing routine, the 42-year-old Pasky Jaquin received the first-ever International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness (IFBB) pro card for female wheelchair bodybuilding.
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The Olympia Wheelchair Bodybuilding had just wrapped. Harold Kelley had won his third ever Olympia title and remains the only athlete in the division to win that title since the division’s Olympia debut in 2018. Nick Scott — the CEO, President, and Founder of Wheelchair Bodybuilding, Inc. — was the co-host alongside Olympia MC Bob Cherillo for the Wheelchair division. He announced Pasky Jaquin and then after routine shared the news with her. She cried tears of joy as Olympia President Dan Solomon presented her with a medal. Pasky Jaquin was the first female wheelchair bodybuilder ever to pose at the Arnold Classic.
If you’re out of the loop, here’s a quick primer: athletes in the Wheelchair Division are judged on their upper body musculature — that is, their triceps, biceps, chest, shoulders, and back. They complete four mandatory poses: front double biceps, side chest, back double biceps, and abdominals. For a glimpse as to what Pasky Jaquin’s free-posing routines look like, check out the video below from WheelChairBB’s YouTube channel that features her guest posing routine at the 2019 Olympia.
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Pasky Jaquin’s lower body paralysis came after giving birth at age 25. In her self-written biography on wheelchairbodybuilding.com, Pasky Jaquin said, “I knew right away when I had the epidural that something was wrong. I lost all feeling from my lips down and I never gained the feeling back from my legs down to my toes.”
The future of wheelchair bodybuilding is promising and competitive female wheelchair bodybuilding is still uncharted. However, now that Pasky Jaquin has achieved a huge milestone, perhaps 2021 could be the year when female wheelchair bodybuilders from around the world get the chance to compete on bodybuilding’s biggest stage.