She currently lives in Henderson, Nevada. As of 2012, Iris Kyle is the most successful female bodybuilder ever with nine Ms. Olympia wins (8 overall and 1 heavyweight) and seven Ms. International wins. She placed 1st best female bodybuilder in the IFBB Pro Women’s Bodybuilding Ranking List.
Iris Kyle was born in 1974 in Benton Harbor, Michigan,the fifth of six children. Her early athletic endeavors included running cross country, basketball (point guard), and softball (shortstop). She was an All-American in basketball, and received a number of athletic scholarship offers. Iris attended Benton Harbor High School continued her education at Alcorn State University in Lorman, Mississippi on a basketball scholarship, majoring in business administration.
Iris Kyle claims the reason she got into bodybuilding was when she moved to Orange County, California in 1994 and being surrounded by fit, healthy-looking people she thought she could obtain a similar highly trained, sculpted physique. Iris recalls, she walked into a gym and took out a membership. “I distinctly remember being a bit overwhelmed with the facilities and the seemingly endless variety of training equipment, but I knew at that exact moment … without feeling even the slightest doubt … that I could develop the kind of physique I wanted.” says Iris.
She was later hired by the same gym and, as an employee, got more opportunities for training and growth. She became a voracious reader of FLEX, Muscle and Fitness, Iron Man magazines. In one of Iris’s magazines she recalls “I remember the first time I saw a photograph of Lenda Murray in a magazine. I was in complete awe,” Iris also recalls “I cut out that picture and placed it on my refrigerator and, from that point on, my goal was to develop a physique like hers.” One day, a local promoter was in her gym and, after sizing Iris up, suggested she enter a competition he was doing in 10 weeks, the Long Beach Muscle Classic. Kyle won her first contest, the 1994 Long Beach Muscle Classic. She earned her IFBB pro card at the age of 23 by winning the heavyweight class and overall title at the 1998 NPC USA Championship in Las Vegas.
Kyle has had a series of high placing as a professional. With the exception of the 1999 and 2008 Ms. Internationals, Iris has always placed in the top six in every IFBB pro bodybuilding competition she competed in. Iris Kyle won her first professional win at the 2001 Ms. Olympia, winning the heavyweight title but losing the overall Olympia title to Juliette Bergmann. Looking back, Iris maintains “I sincerely believe that I was the rightful 2001 Overall Ms. Olympia. I’m not saying Juliette didn’t display a nice overall package; I’m just saying I believe my physique was better.”
In 2002, Lenda Murray returned out of retirement to reclaim her Ms. Olympia title in 2002 and 2003, with Iris coming in 2nd place both times behind her idol. In 2004, Iris won both overall and heavyweight title of Ms. International and went on to beat Lenda Murray and win the overall and heavyweight title of the 2004 Ms. Olympia.
In 2005, Iris skipped the Ms. International, and focused defending her Olympia title. However in 2005, the IFBB changed the rules and abolished the weight class system for Ms. Olympia, along with the new ’20 percent rule’ requesting “that female athletes in Bodybuilding, Fitness and Figure decrease the amount of muscularity by a factor of 20%”. This allowed Yaxeni Oriquen to win both the 2004 Ms. International and dethrone Iris at the 2004 Ms. Olympia.
In 2006, Iris rebounded by regaining both her Ms. International and Ms. Olympia titles. In 2007, she again won both Ms. International and Ms. Olympia. There was a bit of a controversy at the 2008 Ms. International. Iris was placed 7th due to “bumps” on her gluts which according to head IFBB judge, Sandy Ranalli, caused “distortions in her physique.”, but rebounded at the 2008 Ms. Olympia by winning the show. Kyle went on to win both 2009 Ms. International and 2009 Ms. Olympia titles in the same year. At the 2010 Ms. International, Iris won her 5th Ms. International, surpassing Yaxeni Oriquen’s four Ms. International wins, becoming the most successful Ms. International champion ever. She has went on to win the 2010 Ms. Olympia and 2011 Ms. International and 2011 Ms. Olympia.
In 2012, Iris Kyle, couldn’t attend the 2012 Ms. International due to a leg injury.
Iris went on to win the 2012 Ms. Olympia and regained her Ms. Intentional title in 2013.
Kyle has won eight Ms. Olympia titles, and has nine wins in her weight class. Between 2000 and 2004, there were two weight classes, and from 2001–04, there was an overall winner between the two class winners. In 2001, she won the heavyweight class, but lost the overall Ms. Olympia title to the lightweight winner Juliette Bergmann.
This discrepancy has led to confusion in various sport publications as to the number of Ms. Olympia titles Kyle has won. Her eight overall wins (2004, 2006-2012) ties her with Lenda Murray (1990-1995, 2002, 2003), Lee Haney (Mr. Olympia 1984-1991), and Ronnie Coleman (Mr. Olympia 1998-2005) for the most Olympia bodybuilding titles.
She also has the most consecutive Ms. Olympia wins with seven, dating from 2006. She also has seven Ms. International wins, more than any female bodybuilder.
In 2013, Iris Kyle won her ninth overall Ms. Olympia, making her the most successful professional bodybuilder of all time.
1994 NPC Long Beach Muscle Classic 1st
1994 NPC Ironmaiden Championships – 2nd (MW)
1996 NPC Orange County Muscle Classic – 1st (HW and Overall)
1996 NPC California – 1st (HW and Overall)
1996 NPC USA Championships – 2nd
1997 NPC USA Championships – 3rd (HW)
1997 NPC Nationals – 4th (HW)
1998 NPC USA Championships – 1st (HW and Overall)
1999 IFBB Ms. International – 15th
1999 IFBB Ms. Olympia – 4th
1999 IFBB Pro World Championship – 2nd
2000 IFBB Ms. International – 3rd (Later disqualified)
2000 IFBB Ms. Olympia – 5th (HW)
2001 IFBB Ms. International – 2nd (HW)
2001 IFBB Ms. Olympia – 1st (HW)
2002 IFBB Ms. International – 2nd (HW)
2002 IFBB Ms. Olympia – 2nd (HW)
2002 IFBB GNC Show of Strength – 2nd (HW)
2003 IFBB Ms. Olympia – 2nd (HW)
2004 IFBB Ms. International – 1st (HW and Overall)
2004 IFBB Ms. Olympia – 1st (HW and Overall)
2005 IFBB Ms. Olympia – 2nd
2006 IFBB Ms. International – 1st
2006 IFBB Ms. Olympia – 1st
2007 IFBB Ms. International – 1st
2007 IFBB Ms. Olympia – 1st
2008 IFBB Ms. International – 7th
2008 IFBB Ms. Olympia – 1st
2009 IFBB Ms. International – 1st
2009 IFBB Ms. Olympia – 1st
2010 IFBB Ms. International – 1st
2010 IFBB Ms. Olympia – 1st
2011 IFBB Ms. International – 1st
2011 IFBB Ms. Olympia – 1st
2012 IFBB Ms. Olympia – 1st
2013 IFBB Ms. International – 1st
2013 IFBB Ms. Olympia – 1st
2014 IFBB Ms. Olympia – 1st
Official website: iriskyle.com