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Emily Joy was born in Dunkirk, New York and raised in Silver Creek, New York with her older brother. When Emily was eight, her father began coaching her in Olympic weightlifting. She competed in the National Junior Olympics and the Empire State Games, earning medals in all meets. She began gaining weight in second grade, partly due to secret overeating, and as an adult, she stopped participating in weight lifting but continued to overeat. After high school, she attended the State University of New York College at Fredonia, earning a bachelor's degree in childhood education and a master's degree in literacy. Now 29 years old and 264 pounds with high blood pressure, Emily wants to start her 30s with a clean slate, being healthy and living life to the fullest. A longtime fan of The Biggest Loser, she knows she will thrive in the structured environment of the ranch. After she loses the weight, she hopes to travel to Europe and go hiking through her family's homeland of Sicily.