A SCOTS brother and sister have defied the odds to both qualify for the world bodybuilding championships.
Jimmy Salmond, who has been body-building for three decades, will be joined by his “little” sister, Lynn, at the event in Rome tomorrow.
Lynn, 46, used to hate the gym but got a “buzz” for the sport after teaching zumba classes three years ago, and realising her body had good potential to compete.
Although he was pleased to see her start the sport, Jimmy, 48, says he has offered Lynn little guidance, and she has made her way independently.
The siblings grew up in Leven, Fife, where they both still live. Their parents had no history in the sport but Jimmy and Lynn’s children , plus Lynn’s husband Oly, are currently training.
Securing a place at the world championships first involved brother and sister winnign local qualifiers before doing the same at the British Championships.
Lynn, 46, said: “My brother has been competing since he was 17, and I’ve been watching him.
“I used to hate the gym. Then I started teaching zumba with my daughter in 2013, and I lost a stone in six weeks.
“Then I thought, I might compete, I might give it a go. I started competing in April 2014.
“In my first show, I came third out of about 13 or 14 girls, and I got a buzz. I train six days a week now, with cardio every morning.
“The standard at the championships will be super high though, and I’m going to go there with no expectations.
Jimmy however, a seasoned veteran of the world championships, intends to go for gold at the competition.
Jimmy, 48, said: “I’m competing in two categories – over 45s and a short class, as I’m only 5ft5. Personally, I’ve been top six in the world before, and my plan is to go and win it, that would be the real icing on the cake.
“I’ve been doing this since I was in my teens, and my sister has always been there to support me.
“After she started doing zumba, I didn’t mention her getting into bodybuilding, but she asked me if I thought she would be good enough to compete, and I said ‘absolutely.’
“I gave her advice on her diet, but she’s done it on her own. It’s not rocket science, it’s about discipline, eating the same bland diet every day.”
The pair’s mother Sandra said she was immensely proud that both siblings would be competing in Rome, and praised Jimmy for promoting the sport in the Leven area.
She said: “I’m really proud of my kids and their achievements. We’ve all followed Jimmy’s career since he was 17, and Lynn was his biggest fan, now it’s his turn to support her.
“When Jimmy started in his teens, bodybuilding was not big in this area of Scotland. Arnold Schwarzenegger was a big hero for him.
“My husband James Snr got into Charles Atlas magazines when he was younger, but he didn’t do anything about it.
“Now, Jimmy’s absolutely into helping young people at the gym, and he also organises an annual Fife bodybuilding show.
“Lynn, Lynn’s husband Oly, her daughter, the whole family goes to Jimmy’s gym.”
The International Bodybuilding & Fitness Association championships take place in Rome tomorrow, and Lynn is competing in the toned class, with Jimmy in the over 45s and short class.
Lynn and Jimmy are travelling to the competition today.