Christy Opara

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Christy Opara (born 1970 in Nigeria) is a track and field athlete and the owner of Body & Soul Fitness on 1st Avenue North.

Opara was deemed the "fastest runner in Nigeria" when she was 15 years old, and was selected a few years later for the Nigerian Olympic team, but did not compete in the 1988 games. She was recruited during the games, however, by Brigham Young University, where she won the NCAA Championship in the long jump as a freshman. After completing her degree in exercise physiology with a minor in nutrition, she moved to California to train for the 1992 Olympic Games with California State University coach Gudrin Alamanski. In Barcelona, competing as Christy Opara-Thompson, she won a bronze medal as part of the Nigerian women's 4x100 relay team. In later competitions she set the Nigerian record for the long jump and was, for two years, the "World's Fastest Woman" in international 60 meter sprint competition.

During the 1996 Olympics, Opara moved to Atlanta to work as a trainer. She later moved to Birmingham and trained clients at a number of local gyms before opening Body & Soul Fitness downtown in 2005. The gym provides training for general fitness, weight loss, sports, rehabilitation, strength and speed, as well as offering massage and nutritional meals.


  • "See Christy Run" (June 15, 2006) Urban Living 2006 special section. Black & White.

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