The reigning Mr Samoa is excited to defend his title at this year’s competition next Saturday.
Athletes competing met Samoa Bodybuilding Federation (S.B.F.) coach Johan Keil at his gym yesterday morning to check in ahead of Mr Samoa 2018.
Last year’s winner John Ailaulau Lemoa has been in intensive training for almost 11 weeks.
Lemoa said he doesn’t feel any pressure from having the title.
“I come to the gym every day, go home and eat well, live a healthy lifestyle.
“Our local talent pool has grown, so I’m expecting quite a few new faces at the competition this year.
“It’s just good to have another avenue in sports the youth can pursue as a hobby or career.”
This is the second consecutive year the even has run, and coach Keil said they want it to grow and grow.
“We want to make it an international level competition, get more and more people coming in.”
Johan Keil has run Joe’s Gym since 2003, when he became involved in bodybuilding.
“It’s basically about helping the kids, giving them something to do,” he said.
Keil is taking a more hands-on role in this year’s Mr Samoa after judging last time.
A Samoan bodybuilding team will head to Pago Pago in February for Mr American Samoa.
“We’re looking at taking at least 10, we’ll be picking those guys from Mr Samoa here,” Keil said.
“They’re all very dedicated athletes, just training all year round.”
John Lemoa has a normal 9-5 job in sales and marketing at the Samoa Tourism Authority.
“They’re very flexible, I can just train before and after work,” he said.
He is very grateful to the S.B.F. for bringing back the Mr Samoa competition.
“Creating a platform and avenue for us, and something to look forward to every year.
“Last year I think we had over 30 athletes competing, and we’re getting more this year.
“There’s a big team from Pago, and teams from New Zealand and Australia.”
Keil said it’s not just about the bodybuilding for competitions.
“We’ve got a few guys that have lost a lot of weight.
“It’s more about the change of lifestyle, getting healthier.”