Battle of the Belles - XI
by Warren Rosenberg - MetroSports Magazine October 18, 2021
The mid-October cold front that blew into the New York Metro region this past Sunday did nothing to chill the enthusiasm and effort of the competitors who spent the day at Port Chester New York’s Abendroth Park to participate in the eleventh annual Battle of the Belles. Hosted by Fem and Fierce, a 501c3 non-profit organization dedicated to empowering women and creating opportunities for women to shine, this eleventh undertaking of the Battle of the Belles, a nationally-sanctioned Strongwoman competition, highlighted the progress that women have made in the traditionally male-dominated strength competitions.
Historically, the Battle of the Belles was one of the first all-female competitions in the Sport of strongman. Typically held during the month of October, the Battle of the Belles was first organized by Dr. Stefanie Tropea, a New York Chiropractic physician based in Westchester County and winner of the 2013 ‘America’s Strongest Woman’ title.
Women ranging from teenage years all the way up to the masters class with women in their 40’s and 50’s competed in five events which include the Log Clean & Press, Wagon Wheel Deadlift, Conan’s Wheel, Frame and Keg Carry Medley and the crowd favorite Atlas Stones! Friends, family and members of the community came out to show their support. As has been the case since the initial Battle of the Belles in 2010, net proceeds from the event are being donated to the Bennett Cancer Center of Stamford to honor Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Anna Giorgi, Fem and Fierce founder and organizer of this event along with her husband and business partner Todd, reflected back on her first Battle of the Belles stating that, “this was the very first competition I ever competed in back in 2013. Without having any type of prior athletic background… I was petrified but being surrounded & supported by so many strong empowering women was life changing for me personally.”
Master’s level competitor and first place winner in her division, MacKenzie Sharp (below left) commented, “Anna and Todd have a special place in many people’s hearts around here. They got many of us started in the sport (my very first strongman experience was a Fem+Fierce clinic at NY Strong) and have an unwavering passion for it. Their events are tough, but extremely well run. This one seemed right - as a team we wanted to celebrate Anna for all she’s endured. For me it was important because my mother and two close friends are breast cancer survivors.”
Novice Lightweight competitor Riki Quinn (above right) was equally complimentary noting that, “This is my 3d time competing in a strongman/ woman event. But my first time in an all-women's event. It was an inspiring, emotional and uplifting event with strong AF women for #breastcancerawareness . Also, this community is the nicest and most welcoming.”
In addition to the typical participants this year’s Battle of the Belles included a Junior Belles event for athletes under the age of twelve who showed strength, heart and courage as they pushed through four events.
Look for more complete coverage of the event in the upcoming full issue of MetroSports Magazine with full results and more interviews.
Photographs of the event are now posted for viewing and purchase at www.nyspg.com with 50% of the net proceeds going to charity.