Terry Morrow: Women Today inks two 'Biggest Loser' favorites for 2013 installment

Television weight-loss stars Olivia Ward and Hannah Curlee — best known as the Curlee sisters from "The Biggest Loser" — will headline the 2013 installment of Women Today Expo.

Ward was the winner of season 11; Curlee was runner up.

A diverse woman, Ward is a professional mezzo-soprano opera singer and a certified spin instructor.She's also a triathlete

Ward's biggest motivation for going on "The Biggest Loser" was being 261 pounds, 35 years old and diagnosed with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) and being told she would likely never have children unless she lost weight.

As an opera singer, she was also tired of losing coveted roles to people who looked healthier, she says. She received a degree in vocal performance at the University of Alabama, and master's degrees in vocal performance and opera performance from the New England Conservatory of Music.

She had a poor diet and never exercise, leading to obesity, and the weight gain continued as she was diagnosed with PCOS.

After spending 22 weeks on the Biggest Loser Ranch, Ward lost 129 pounds.

She also maintains a regiment. She continues to maintain her weight loss with a 90-minute cardio work out six days a week and travels the country to speak about fitness.

Curlee earned a bachelor's degree in communications and public relations at the University of Alabama. In her high school days, she was the homecoming queen and star athlete, but avoided her 10-year high school reunion.

"I was too ashamed to let everyone see what I've become," she says.

Weight didn't become an issue for Curlee until she was 20 years old.

She had an accident, which resulted in emergency back surgery and ended her collegiate sports career. She began to gain weight.

At 32, Curlee stepped onto the scale for the first time at "The Biggest Loser" and weighed 248 pounds. Twenty-two weeks later, she wowed 8.5 million viewers, having lost 120 pounds.

Today, Curlee tours the country speaking about the importance of nutrition and wellness and maintains her weight loss through cardio workouts and early morning boot camp regiments.

Other guests are being booked now for the News Sentinel's Women Today event, March 1-3, at the Knoxville Convention Center.

While organizers are awaiting the signatures of the main stars of the event, they can reveal others who have declared they'll be here.

Food Network's "The Next Food Network Star" finalist Martie Duncan will be attended and mingling with the audience. Based in Birmingham, Ala., Duncan has worked in web development and as a policeman before devoting her time to client's entertainment wants.

Dr. Lori, who is an antiques appraiser from Discovery Channel's "Auction Kings," also will be in the lineup. She uses her talents to reveals insider tips about art, antiques, museums, and auctions while telling clients what their antiques are really worth.

"Next Great Baker" contestant Heather Grubb of Knoxville says she didn't think about what being a reality show might do to her business.

Photo by WallingMcGarity

"Next Great Baker" contestant Heather Grubb of Knoxville says she didn't think about what being a reality show might do to her business.

And finally, Knoxville's Heather Grubb, finalist from TLC's "Next Great Baker." She owns Cake of Knoxville and has two children.

Terry Morrow may be reached at 865-342-6445 or morrowt@knoxville.com. Follow him on Twitter@telebuddy for the latest entertainment news.

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