Surviving and Thriving

Cydney Gillon has gone from reality-show contestant to figure champ–and now her sights are set on winning the Olympia.

Photos by Per Bernal

Cydney Gillon might be known in recent years as one of the top figure competitors in the IFBB Pro League, but she’s actually been competing in other endeavors much longer than that. The former University of Pennsylvania track athlete was also a contestant on the long-running show Survivor in 2016, in which she made it to the final four. Her competitive experience and desire to succeed has taken her a long way, but she is far from done. After placing in the top three at the 2016 Figure Olympia, she now has her sights set on taking the top title in the sport. 

FLEX: You were going for your pro card in figure at the same time you were competing in track. That couldn’t have been easy. What was it like juggling two different endeavors like those?

CYDNEY GILLON: I had been competing in shows since I was 14 years old, so stepping onstage wasn’t new to me. It was tough doing both because I needed carbs for track and lifting in school, but I was also focusing on figure. Bodybuilding is tough on its own, but to handle it with three-hour workouts made it even tougher. Fortunately I had supportive coaches who would ask, “Are you dieting or not?” and, “Can you not be dieting?” They would push me to the track for my workouts, and they were a big help for sure. 


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