Kari and mates meet Schwarzenegger

Normal, Sports

The National, Friday, 27th May 2011

PAPUA New Guinea weightlifter Steven Kari won in his division to contribute to the Pacific Islands team that defeated the USA Mainland in March this year.
The competition was held during the annual Arnold sports festival at Columbus, Ohio, on March 4-6.
Action movie hero-cum-politician Arnold Schwarzenegger was a special guest at the event and met Kari and teammates.
The weightlifting competition was organised by Mark Cannella and Dan Bell between the Pacific Islands team and the Mainland USA team and was the highlight of the festival this year.
The six weightlifters that represented the Pacific Islands team were all from the Oceania Weightlifting Institute in Noumea, New Caledonia, among them PNG’s Commonwealth Games representative Kari, who competed in the 85kg division.
Kari’s team mates included: 56kg – Manueli Tulo (Fiji); 62kg – Manuel Minginfel (FSM); 77kg – Yukio Peter (Nauru); 94kg – David Katoatau (Kiribati); and 105+kg – Itte Detenamo (Nauru).
The Islanders team was handicapped because they did not have a full complement however, they were strong enough to beat the US by winning five of the seven categories contested only going down in the 69kg and the 77kg category.
Kari and his team mates also had a once-in-a-life time opportunity to meet former Mr Olympia, famous actor and now former California governor, Schwarzenegger.
The “Governator” presented the winner’s trophy to the Islanders and also spent time talking with the Pacific Islands team.
Upon receiving the trophy, coach Paul Coffa said: “We’ll be back – next year for a rematch.
 “Hopefully with a full team,” he added.
The Arnold festival attracts 200,000 visitors for the three days every year and covers many sports.
It was rated a successful multi-sports festival by all accounts attracting 300 competitors with weightlifting being one of the highlights of the three-day event.