First Tongan to qualify for World Mr. Olympia says ‘it was hard’

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The first Tongan body builder to qualify for the 2017 World Mr. Olympia title has attributed his success to hard work and sacrifice.

Mateo Vaihū of Veitongo said he had to keep to a very strict diet to make sure he gained the required weight for the competition.

He had to get his weight down to between 93-95 kilograms 12 weeks before the competition.

He said it was hard because his body fat level was already low and he had to lose some muscles to get the weight.

Vaihū will take part in the Mr. Olympia Men’s Classic physique competition in September after defeating Teina OʻMalley in the New Zealand International Federation Bodybuilding (NZFBB) Classic Men’s Physique early this month.

His name has been listed on the Mr Olympia website as the only Pacific contestant among 14 competitors from the United States and one from Trinidad.

He said he was lucky to be sponsored by Moe El Moussawi, the president of the New Zealand International Federation Bodybuilding, who represented New Zealand in the Mr. Olympia Open top 10.

Sharing his experiences with anyone who was interested in bodybuilding, the 41-year-old said. “If you are interested in body building you have to live a healthy living,”

“Look for advices from those who have reached international stage.”

Vaihu is a personal trainer and helps people exercise and advises them on their diet and nutrition.

He became interested in body building in 2008 while he was a rugby league player.

He said he met a friend at the gym when exercising for the league and he encouraged him into becoming a body builder.

In 2015 he won gold representing New Zealand in the 2015 Amateur Olympia on the Gold Coast in Australia.

His award led him into professional body building, becoming the second Tongan body builder in the world to be recognized with an IFBB Pro Card.

He followed Tevita ʻAholelei who is based in the United States.

Vaihu was stripped of the gold medal in 2011 at the Pacific Games in New Caledonia after a positive drug test.

He is married and has a son and a daughter with his wife.

The main points

  • The first Tongan body builder to qualify for the 2017 World Mr. Olympia title has attributed his success to hard work and sacrifice.
  • Mateo Vaihū of Veitongo said he had to keep to a very strict diet to make sure he gained the required weight for the competition.
  • Vaihu is a personal trainer and helps people exercise and advises them on their diet and nutrition.
  • He became interested in body building in 2008 while he was a rugby league player.