wendy fortino

Olympic-level runner Wendy Fortino lost out on a chance to compete on the track and field stage. But the setback wasn’t nearly enough to keep the 26-year-old from Modesto, California away from the gym — proving yet again that you just can’t keep a good athlete down — and as she kept working out, a new interest began to blossom.

Nudged by peers identifying the potential of the determined, highly talented 5-foot-1, 115-pound former gymnast and dancer, Wendy set her sights on fitness competitions. She’s set to make her debut at the Sacramento Pro/Am this fall.

Wendy’s story comes with such a compelling twist that it seems only fitting her shoot happened in the shadows of Hollywood. The only thing left is a fairy tale ending in which the ostensible underdog wins her first show in the capital of her home state — something you can’t help but root for, especially after getting to know her.

Indeed, though only a rookie fitness girl, Wendy is brilliantly accomplished academically, holding a Bachelor’s Degree in Physical Education from Cal State Stanislaus and a Master’s Degree in Kinesiology from Cal Poly — no small feat given that the prestigious tech school only accepts about one-third of applicants. She’s also a certified personal trainer through the American College of Sports Medicine.

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