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Mother of Four Sets Her Sights on Gold Medal in International Firefighting Competition

When Malinda Baum of Killeen competes in the International Firefighting Olympics against three thousand other firefighters from around the world next week, she'll be doing more than defending her title as the world's strongest female firefighter.

She'll also be striking a blow for equality - especially in parts of the world where women are looked upon as 'too weak' for a job traditionally held by men.

"In some countries there are no women firefighters," Malinda says. "Many men consider it unthinkable because of gender stereotypes. I hope to break down some of those myths and open the profession to women around the world."

Ms. Baum, an Army spouse who has four children aged 16 to 21, has made believers out of many firefighters in Central and North Texas - some of whom she trained in her role as Physical Fitness Instructor at the North Texas Firefighter Training Academy.

During the competition Malinda will compete against men she personally trained in both powerlifting and the 'Toughest Firefighter Alive' competition. She leaves for Sheffield, England on Thursday, August 26th.

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