Shelley Ann Beattie was born on August 24, 1967 in Orange County California. At the age of three, tragedy struck when Shelley lost her hearing due to an aspirin overdose. School became a nightmare when her peers associated hearing loss with mental retardation. Shelley could only understand communication when someone was facing her.
At the age of eleven years, Shelley moved from California to Oregon where eventually she would have speech therapy and operations that would allow her to deal with her hearing loss.
Shelley turned to sports to fulfill her lack of social contacts.
She competed in track and field, cross country, hurdling and the 400 metre sprint. She was so successful that she set school records in the hurdles.
Weight lifting became a passion for Shelley when she was fourteen years of age. Her idea was to compete against males as the females were not giving her enough challenge.
There may have been a desire to hit back at students who had made fun of her in her early years.
Shelley attended Western Oregon State College from 1984 to 1988. Once again, sports was her comfort in new situations.
She focused on weight lifting to heal a serious sports injuiry and to give her a sense of accomplishment. She graduated in 1988 with a degree in Child Psychology and Special Education.
While at college, Shelley studied jazz dance and choreography and joined a dance company. Dance became a way to control and express her emotions. During this time, Shelley began to participate in amateur bodybuilding competitions.
Body Building Competitions
Her first competition was the Portland Rose Cup (Novice).
She weighed only 124 pounds and it was part of the reason that she finished 4th in the heavyweight class. Shelley decided to make a profession out of weightlifting. Unlike females in her high school track team, there was serious competition from the women in weightlifting. Her biggest challenge was Nikki Fuller with whom she only managed to come second place in many competitions.
Plans to Beat Nikki Fuller
The ever-determined Shelley worked with Oregon State exercise and physiology graduate Aaron Shelley in 1989.
With him, she made tremendous progress and became a transformed bodybuilder in 1990. With improvements in her diet and training, she took the overall title at the 1990 NPC Emerald Cup and the Pacific Coast Championships. She earned her pro card in bodybuilding at age 22 when she won the overall title at the 1990 NPU USA Championship.
Afterwards Beattie had a very demanding schedule. Weight training at a professional level and working as a group home counselor for developmentally delayed teenagers left her with little time or energy. She scheduled her workouts around her jobs.
Receiving a sponsorship from a major fitness company enabled Shelley to concentrate full time professional in wrestling.
After winning the 1990 NPC USA and turning pro she found herself in some problems with the politics of the body building federation known as the IFBB; she was unable to compete at the 1990 Ms. Olympia after her USA victory.
After missing the 1990 Ms. Olympia, she competed for the first time as a professional at the 1991 Ms. International and finished third. The same year she reached 7th at Ms. Olympia. In 1992, she added more poise and grace to her physique and presentation and finished third at Ms. Olympia, her highest professional bodybuilding achievement.
During the early 1990s, Beattie also joined the American Gladiators TV show as “Siren”, performing in 44 episodes between 1992 and 1997. Because she was deaf, she received visual cues from referee Larry Thompson as well as from fellow Gladiator, Salina “Elektra” Bartunek, while competing. Spectators would wave their hands in the air or stomp their feet, rather than applaud, to acknowledge her performances.
Bi-Sexual or Lesbian
Shelley was in a six-year relationship with John Romano, a well-known columnist for the magazine Muscular Development. Until her death, Beattie lived on a farm east of Salem, Oregon with girlfriend Julie Moisa. She worked with people with physical impairments, made drums and jewelry, and worked as a personal trainer.
The End of an Incredible Life
Beattie, who had long battled manic depression and attempted suicide by hanging herself in Portland, Oregon on February 13, 2008 and died three days later without regaining consciousness.
Shelley lived an incredible life facing many social challenges. She was a fantastic athlete. paula
- 1986 – Portland Rose Cup Novice 4th (HW)
- 1987 – Collegiate Emerald Empire 1st (HW)
- 1987 – Portland Rose Cup Novice 3rd (HW)
- 1988 – Portland Rose Cup Novice 3rd (HW)
- 1988 – Oregon Championships 3rd (HW)
- 1989 – Western Oregon Championships 1st (HW)
- 1989 – Collegiate Emerald Empire 1st (HW)
- 1989 – Vancouver Natural Championships 1st (HW)
- 1989 – Portland Rose Cup Novice 1st (HW)
- 1989 – NPC Emerald Cup 2nd (HW)
- 1989 – Pacific Coast Championships 2nd (HW)
- 1990 – NPC Emerald Cup – 1st (HW & Overall)
- 1990 – NPC USA Championship – 1st (HW & Overall)
- 1991 – IFBB Ms. International – 3rd
- 1991 – IFBB Ms. Olympia – 7th
- 1992 – IFBB Ms. International – 7th
- 1992 – IFBB Ms. Olympia – 3rd
- 1993 – IFBB Ms. International – 9th
- 1993 – IFBB Ms. Olympia – 7th