Bodybuilding legend and women’s bodybuilding pioneer Lisa Lyon passed away on September 8, 2023. She was 70 years old. Lyon was battling pancreatic cancer for a while. She was in hospice care at her home in San Fernando Valley where she breathed her last on September 8. The news of her passing was reportedly confirmed by a friend of hers to TMZ. She was in a critical condition for the past few weeks.
Lisa Lyon is largely credited for imbibing the spirit of bodybuilding in women and making it popular among them. She shot to fame in the 1970s for her elite fitness level that did not overshadow her femininity. The pioneering bodybuilder competed professionally as a bodybuilder for a short while but it was a great breakthrough for female bodybuilding. She made a huge impact with her stage appearances. The bodybuilding community honored her contribution to the sport by inducting her in the IFBB Hall of Fame in year 2000.
— New York Post (@nypost) September 9, 2023
The late bodybuilder went on to become a successful fitness model as well. Lisa Lyon also tried her hand at acting and worked in several movies. For those who may not be familiar with Lyon might remember her for the iconic photo where she was seen lifting seven-time Mr. Olympia Arnold Schwarzenegger on her shoulders.
Lisa Lyon, standing at 5-foot-4 and weighing a mere 120 lbs., impressively supports Arnold Schwarzenegger, who weighs 225 lbs., on her shoulders.
Lisa Lyon’s legendary career at a glance
Lisa Lyon has cemented her position in history by daring to become a bodybuilder in an era where women’s presence in the sport was essentially non-existent. Her greatness is not in the length of her career or a long list of competitive victories. It lies in the fact that she opened women’s minds to the possibility of pursuing bodybuilding as a career and passion.
Lisa Lyon competed professionally as a bodybuilder only once in her career and won the IFBB Women’s World Pro Bodybuilding Championship in 1979.
She became a voice of women’s bodybuilding and appeared on several talk shows, magazine covers to promote it. Her storied modelling career saw Lyon work with several iconic photographers like Helmut Newton, Joel-Peter Witkin, her boyfriend Robert Mapplethorpe, and Marcus Leatherdale. Her work with Mapplethorpe is prominent for presenting her body as the perfect synergy between feminine and masculine features.
— Enta AI | Entertainment News (@Enta_AI) September 2, 2023
To share the wisdom she has gained from years of training, Lisa Lyon also wrote a book titled Lisa Lyon’s Body Magic, published in 1981. Her acting career saw her act in a total of three films, Three Crowns of the Sailor (1983), Getting Physical (1984) and Vamp (1986).
By pursuing her passion for bodybuilding, Lisa Lyon started a revolution. It has now culminated into an inseparable aspect of the bodybuilding industry. Women’s bodybuilding in 2023 has evolved to become a much sought after profession. Many women bodybuilders have etched their names in history alongside their male counterparts. Lisa Lyon had a huge role to play in this.
Fitness Volt expresses heartfelt condolences to Lisa Lyon’s family and friends for their loss. We wish them all the strength to deal with the pain of losing a loved one.