IFBB Pro Amy Richardson (née Kozle) was one of the hardest working and most driven athletes I’ve come across during all of my work in bodybuilding and fitness. She was a physique-based athlete, a strength-based athlete, and a small business owner.
I first met Amy sometime in 2015 in Howell, MI. At that point, Amy and her future husband Ken [Richardson] ran a gym, put on powerlifting events, and were heavily involved in the local fitness industry. Years later, our paths would cross many times at gyms, expos, and contests especially in Pittsburgh. One of Amy’s top goals was earning her IFBB Pro card and I was so happy when she accomplished this goal. That said, that was one of many goals. She was a real fighter and as soon as one goal was achieved, there were many more that lay ahead. And while we weren’t close friends, I can speak to my interactions with her, what I observed from seeing her interact with others, and the interviews and training footage we were able to get for StrengthAddicts.
One of the first things that comes to mind when I think of Amy is just how much she loved being a bodybuilder and strength athlete. There wasn’t an on and off switch for her when it came to that. When you spoke to her you almost immediately could sense that she was living her life her way and she spread that positivity wherever you she went. I will say that I often wanted to get more out of her on interviews, but she said little, and let her actions do the talking. That’s rare in this sport. And while she was tight-lipped on film, she was a whole other person in everyday life. Most of the interactions I remember were from the booths she ran at the shows in Pittsburgh. I don’t care how tired everyone was, it’s like she knew what to say to make people laugh. And sometimes it wasn’t what she said, but what she didn’t. She just had an undeniable No Bullshit appeal about her. If you asked her for her opinion, she’d give it to you. She was honest, hardworking, and totally driven. Unlike some, she didn’t just stroll into a huge show and come out with a pro card. She had to fight hard. Amy was known to bring it contest day and took good placings, but getting pro status took time and effort. She was all about working hard and never giving up.
Athletes like Amy Richardson are what make bodybuilding such a great sport.Christian Duque
From a journalistic angle sometimes the best content isn’t during the battles on stage or the awarding of top honors, rather, it’s the downtime. It’s when people’s guards are down and they’re just being themselves. And if you can capture that in a picture or a video – that’s gold.
I was able to see how Amy talked to others and the kind of advice she gave. Even from my limited interactions with her, I knew she was all about giving people the truth. Sometimes the truth isn’t what people want to hear, but it’s what they need to hear.
Once you know where you really stand and what you have to do to improve, then it’s just a question of how badly do you want it. It’s that pursuit for achieving goals that fuels everyone in the sport of bodybuilding. The real athletes – like Amy was – are never content for long. They don’t reach a goal and then rest on their laurels. There’s a time to celebrate, but then it’s onto the next goal. That’s how I think she lived and fighting hard to achieve your own personal goals would be a great way to keep her memory alive and strong. I have no doubt she will be remembered and celebrated by all those who knew her. There’s not a doubt in my mind about it.
I’d like to send my sincerest condolences to Ken and all of Amy’s family and friends. She was a terrific athlete and a wonderful human being. RIP.