Volume 12 Week 5

Sunday, Jan. 20


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Orléans Ward
Matt Luloff

Beacon Hill,
Cyrville Ward
Tim Tierney





(Posted 10:30 p.m., Sept. 26)
Former Olympian,
Ms. Fitness World an inspiration to young girls

By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

Members of the Inspired by Vanda Fitness Studio on Youville Drive surround owner Vanda Hadarean during Saturday's open house. Fred Sherwin/Photo

When Vanda Hadarean first opened her own fitness studio in 2009, the former Olympian and four time Ms. Fitness World had a vision to inspire young girls to be strong, confident and beautiful both inside and out, and so "Inspired By Vanda" was born.

Seven years later she continues to inspire in her spacious studio on Youville Drive.

"I love helping people into a healthy lifestyle. I also believe starting young is very important," says Hadarean, who won a silver medal as part of the Romanian team at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona. "The program here is a blend of hard work and consistency, but also at the same time allow the girls to be themselves and have fun."

While a handful of the older girls go to IBV to workout and stay in shape, most of Hadarean's young students train to compete in fitness competitions which combine gymnastics with dance and sport aerobics..

"A lot of the girls have gymnastics background, but also some come from dance or nothing at all," says Hadarean.

Hadarean's most successful student, Emily MacDougall, came from a gymnastics program as does her newest student Alea St-Jacques.

MacDougall will be competing in the upcoming Ms. Fitness Universe contest in Las Vegas, while St-Jacques is hoping to one day follow in her footsteps.

Like the rest of the girls at IBV, St-Jacques trains three times a week for about two hours per session on top of her gymnastics training.

"I like it because you need to be able to do a lot of things all at once," says St-Jacques, referring to the performance side of competitive fitness.

Line Lantheir's daughter has been training with Hadarean for the last six years. During that time she has seen her grow from an eight-year-old girl who lacked self-confidence and was having trouble concentrating on her school work into a confident 14-year-old teenager who is focused and determined.

"She absolutely loves it. She hasn't won a lot, but it doesn't matter to her. Just being with her friends and achieving whatever she can is enough," says Lanthier.

While it's hard to say if any of Hadarean's students will become a world champion, what is certain is that they are all healthier, more confident and more fit than most of their peers and they can thank Vanda Hadarean and Inspired by Vanda for that.

For more information about the IBV program visit them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Inspired-By-Vanda-291241870897699/.

(This story was made possible thanks to the generous support of our local business partners.)





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