Master of the universe earns rest
Mr Universe made a triumphant return home to Nelson on Wednesday after claiming the most prestigious amateur body building title the sport has to offer.
A weary but elated Mark Anderson was greeted by a small band of family and well-wishers at Nelson Airport, 10 days after claiming the supreme title at the 2007 NABBA Universe Body Building Championships in Alicante, Spain.
Anderson said he was still coming to terms with his achievement.
"I'm really rapt," he said. "I didn't expect to win overall. I expected to win my class, but not overall.
"I still can't believe it."
After taking out the short open physique category, Anderson progressed with the other category winners to the supreme competition, which saw him come out on top and crowned Mr Universe.
He said the level of competition was very high, with the "cream of the cream" of international body builders competing.
Despite a few days relaxing in Thailand, Anderson is looking forward to catching up on sleep and spending time with his family before heading back to work on Monday as a personal trainer to "pay off the credit card".
New Zealand had further success at the tournament with Christchurch woman Annette Gallagher winning the Ms Universe crown. She and fellow Cantabrian Richard Parnham also took the couples title.
Delaine Patterson of Queenstown won the tall women category, and New Zealand claimed the teams title.
Anderson's success comes six years after he was convicted on two counts of possessing prescription medicines without reasonable excuse and one of selling a prescription medicine, cypionate, commonly known as the male hormone testosterone.
He said he was pleased to have achieved his goals "properly this time".
The Nelson Mail