Further Personal Information
Sport Specific Information
|When and where did you begin this sport?
||He began weightlifting in 2000 in Nauru.
|Why this sport?
||"I tried athletics and other sports, but I only had fun with weightlifting."
|Name of coach
||Paul Coffa [national], AUS
||He trains at the Oceania Weightlifting Institute in Mont-Dore, New Caledonia.
||Dav (Facebook profile, 17 Nov 2018)
|Memorable sporting achievement
||Winning Kiribati's first Commonwealth medal at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland. (Athlete, 07 Aug 2016)
|Most influential person in career
||His parents and coach. (Athlete, 07 Aug 2016)
|Sporting philosophy / motto
||"Go for gold." (Athlete, 24 Jul 2014)
|Awards and honours
||He was the flag bearer for Kiribati at the opening ceremonies of the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing and the 2012 Olympic Games in London. He was also the flag bearer at the opening ceremonies of the 2010, 2014 and 2018 Commonwealth Games. (GNS, 24 Jul 2014; olympic.org, 2012; thecgf.com, 06 Oct 2010; china.org.co, 29 Sep 2008; gc2018.com, 04 Apr 2018)
He is well-known for his dance moves while leaving the stage at the end of a competition. He dances to raise the profile of Kiribati and to highlight the impact of climate change on his home country. "Most people don't know where Kiribati is. I want people to know more about us so I use weightlifting, and my dancing, to show the world. I wrote an open letter to the world last year to tell people about all the homes lost to rising sea levels. I don't know how many years it will be before it [Kiribati] sinks." In October 2018 he was named Oceania National Olympic Committees [ONOC] ambassador for climate change. (iwf.net, 08 Oct 2018; fbdio.com, 21 Jul 2016; theguardian.com, 16 Aug 2016; iwf.net, 29 Mar 2018)
He was part of the Kiribati men's weightlifting team that finished second at the 2012 Oceania Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Samoa. As the team's nominated lifter, he became the first athlete from Kiribati to qualify for an Olympic Games on merit. He went on to finish 17th out of 21 competitors in the 94kg event at the 2012 Olympic Games in London. (foxsportspulse.com, 28 Jul 2012; olympic.org, 2012)
He became the first athlete from Kiribati to win a medal at the Commonwealth Games, following his gold in the 105kg event at the 2014 Games in Glasgow, Scotland. (bbc.com, 30 Jul 2014; SportsDeskOnline, 20 Nov 2018)