Monday, July 2, 2007

Bodybuilding champ enjoys Greek odyssey

Tarren McCall is a world bodybuilding champion. The Manukau 45-year-old won the over-35 figure crown at the National Amateur Bodybuilders' Association world championship in Sparta, Greece, this month.

McCall is elated with the win but says it is not enough for her to retire.

"I'm not going to give up or stop until I'm not doing so well," says the mother-of-four.

She has only been in the sport for four years and says she still enjoys it.

Now she has her eyes on two other overseas events this year, the International Natural Body Building Association's Olympia in Greece in November and the Natural Body Building Association's Universe in Spain in December.

But her first assignment will be the South Pacific Natural Body Building Association's championship in Taupo in August.

She says she needs to do well at the Taupo event to qualify for Olympia.

McCall returned with lasting memories of her trip to Greece.

While competing in the historical town of Sparta, she says she felt the spirit of the ancient Olympics.

The Greek organisers put on an extravaganza the likes of which she?d never been in before, she says.

"It was held in the town square where more than 5000 people watched while dining or walking through the square.

"There were lights and smoke going off all night. I'd never been in a contest like this before."

The square was nearly four times the size of Auckland's Aotea Square.

McCall says travelling was the only downside. It took the eight-member New Zealand team 30 hours to get to Athens.

"We were then put on a bus and driven for another four hours to Sparta.

"We arrived after midnight. It was tough."

The competition on June 16 took seven hours.

"We started at 8pm and finished at three in the morning."

McCall's opponents were 10 years younger than her.

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