Bodybuilder ruled his world
Former My Olympia visits the WaikatoELTON SMALLMAN
It was standing room only at Hamilton's Supplement King as eager fans queued out the door to see former Mr Olympia Ronnie Coleman.
More than 150 people patiently queued for three hours at the Te Rapa fitness supply store to meet one of the most successful professional bodybuilders of all time.
Mr Coleman, 47, who is 1.83 metres tall with shoulders that span almost a metre – has won bodybuilding's highest honour – Mr Olympia – a record eight times.
He is in New Zealand for three days to promote his brand of nutritional supplements and meet his fans.
"I've been to New Zealand three times and I always have a good time."
Andrew Bailey, owner of Supplement King, said he was determined to get the big man to Hamilton.
"As soon as we heard, we made sure we did everything we could to get him to Hamilton so people could come in to see him."
His efforts paid off with better-than-expected numbers turning out.
"We knew there would be a big crowd for Ronnie but we didn't think it would be this big so we're really happy."
Peter Ratima was the first of Mr Coleman's fans to meet him and waited patiently at the front of the queue. He has read Mr Coleman's books and magazine articles and was keen to meet him in person.
Mr Coleman had balanced his bodybuilding career with his job as a police officer in Arlington, Texas, but he has now retired from both to pursue his business interests. "I'm busier now than when I was Mr Olympia," he said.
Elton Smallman is a Wintec journalism student.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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