Michelle Blank Second at Toronto Pro in Fitness Return

She's Back: Michelle Blank returned to fitness at the 2013 Toronto Pro.

She’s Back: Michelle Blank returned to fitness at the 2013 Toronto Pro.

Even though Canadian Ryall Vasani of Alberta came away the winner at this year’s Toronto Pro, Michelle Blank may have stole the show with a surprising second place finish in her return to fitness. The 31-year-old, limited to competing in women’s physique since a calf injury forced her out of the Fitness International early last season, had missed over a year from the division.

Speculation grew that Michelle, who has a history of injuries, might not be healthy enough to compete in the sport again. But that changed this past weekend. Like many dedicated athletes, she’s been outspoken in her support of fitness and determined to engineer a comeback. This latest trip to Canada marked her first time competing in fitness since 2011, when she finished in the top six at the Olympia.

The studio was well-represented in fitness elsewhere at the Toronto show. Our own Ashley Sebera made her IFBB debut and finished seventh, Amanda Hatfield took sixth, and Iowa’s Babette Mulford was eighth. But Michelle’s rousing comeback, complete with a playful punk rocker theme routine, perhaps outshined all.

It’s not the first time the Ocean City, New Jersey native has overcome an injury or setback. She was forced to retire from elite-level gymnastics at 17 after a back injury, but never lost her passion and eventually returned to the sport as an adult. Not long after that, she met the accomplished fitness pro Tracey Greenwood and a new passion began. Michelle was an instant star and went on to win a pro card in just her second show in 2010. It’s great to see her back on the fitness stage again and hopefully she’s there to stay.

*Read more about Michelle at her website.

*Check out Michelle’s physique posing routine at the 2012 St. Louis Pro. She placed second.

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~ by Dean Sucich on June 4, 2013.

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