At age 8, Emily Joy of Silver Creek began training in Olympic weightlifting with the help of her father. She competed in the National Junior Olympics and the Empire State Games, earning medals in all meets.
Now 29 years old and 264 pounds with high blood pressure, Joy has found herself on the ultimate television weight-loss show, "The Biggest Loser."
Returning for its 13th season, "The Biggest Loser" begins Tuesday at 8 p.m. and will feature Joy along with veteran trainer Bob Harper and a few 'celebrity' contestants.
Former World Wrestling Entertainment wrestler Kim Neilsen will be competing against Silver Creek native Emily Joy (right) on season 13 of NBC’s “The Biggest Loser,” which begins Tuesday at 8 p.m.
Arriving in teams of two - including mother/daughter, father/son, brother/sister and husband/wife - contestants will be eager to change their lives together. To anyone who has watched the show over its 13 seasons, each year new twists and turns are added to try and spice things up. On the upcoming season, teams that come to the ranch will actually be competing against each other.
Joy will arrive on the ranch donned in the 'pink team' colors along with former World Wrestling Entertainment and Total Nonstop Action Wrestling entertainer Kim Nielsen.
Born in Dunkirk, and raised in Silver Creek with her older brother, Joy is looking to battle through what her NBC bio says was a result of 'secret overeating'.
"She began gaining weight in second grade, partly due to secret overeating, and as an adult, she stopped participating in weight lifting but continued to overeat,' her Biggest Loser bio reads.
Joy graduated from SUNY Fredonia, with a bachelor's degree in childhood education and a master's degree in literacy. She now resides in North Carolina.
"A longtime fan of The Biggest Loser, she knows she will thrive in the structured environment of the ranch," the bio continued. "After she loses the weight, she hopes to travel to Europe and go hiking through her family's homeland of Sicily."
Her competition on the season, beside the other 18 contestants, will be fellow 'pink team' member Kim Nielson. Nielsen, who wrestled under the name "Desire," broke her back in a wrestling match six years ago which ended her career. She became pregnant with her third child, stopped exercising and started overeating. Now a single mother of three at age 38, Kim weighs 252 pounds and says she is tired of hiding from fans, friends and family because of the way she looks.
The contestants will hit the ground running with a three-part challenge as soon as they arrive. Once divided, the two groups of players will be trained by Bob Harper and Dolvett Quince.
Hosted by Alison Sweeney, 'The Biggest Loser' will feature contestants who include Nancy Rajala, who has 13 children and 55 grandchildren and didn't gain weight until she became a widow at 52; Roy Pickler, a Santa Claus and scout leader who wants to get in shape so he can continue taking scout troops on adventures as he has for almost 25 years; music producer Adrian Dortch, who has been a background vocalist for artists like Seal and David Foster; Ben Shuh, a father of nine children with a 10th on the way; and Cassandra Sturos, whose weight has held her back from pursuing her dream to move to New York and be a writer.
The winner of 'The Biggest Loser' receives $250,000, plus the start of a brand-new life.
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