New York crew film Samoa weightlifting

By Anina Kazaz 22 June 2018, 12:00AM

A film crew from New York, America, is in Samoa to film a documentary on the Samoa Weightlifting team that participated in the recent Commonwealth Games in Australia. 

Visiting under the Whistle Sports Inc. (Company) programme, the crew visited the Samoa Weightlifting center to document the weightlifting team based on their repetitive success. 

The crew hopes to also discover the secret behind the national team scooping gold and silver medals at the international competition. 

The TV Show - Olympic Outpost, which started in February this year - is streamed on the Olympic Channel website.

The crew, with a mixture of some New Zealand filmmakers, is led by Dan Vukelich and today is their final day filming in Samoa. 

Samoa is where the final episode of the show will be shot because they have been to other countries filming sports success stories. 

 “We are travelling the world documenting various sporting teams and sports from different nationalities and cultures,” Mr. Vukelich explains.

The focus of the documentary in Samoa is the team’s training and the use of the available training facilities. They will also visit other gyms to have a better idea of the kind of training undertaken in Samoa. 

 “It is not only focusing on championship, but weightlifting in general,” Mr. Vukelich said.

The types of sports they document depend on the locations they visit. 

 “We try to really compromise the daily life of the weightlifter here in Samoa,” he said adding they will visit some plantations and homes as well. 

The programme is going to be on the Olympic Channel I.O.C., which is a forum where key stakeholders of the Olympic Movement such as the International Federations and the National Olympic Committee as well as senior professional experts, can contribute their specific know-how ideas and feedback. The channel can be accessed globally.

 “I think it is a great programme to highlight weightlifting to promote it more in Samoa and also promoting Samoa as a country.

 “It is allowing them to bring more eye-balls on the show. On the weightlifting we brought Terron, who is a YouTube weightlifter and hopefully his audience will be more interested in this. It is to help through the promotion,” Mr. Vukelich said.

Terron Fondren-Beckham is an active fitness Youtuber from New York and will be an important part of the documentary in Samoa.

 “It just so happened that I had a weightlifting series, which is one of the best series on my Channel and it’s just all put together. They knew I did the weightlifting stuff and then I come out here to do this, what we are about to do in a moment and it is just a perfect match. 

 “I am really about to enjoy myself having fun and learn some things, I am not on a professional level when it comes to the weightlifting with the Olympians that are here, but I am looking forward to learn. It is more a great opportunity to learn more than anything, because I am kind of doing things on my own, so this is outstanding. 

 “We are going to regular trainings to see how they do things and see where I can improve on. I believe while I am here it is going to be like regular training day. 

 “Usually when I train in New York, my training locations have been underground it was a very cut off place. Just the view, the sky, the fresh air, it is a motivation, how everybody is here. I like the breeze.  It is the first time being so far away from America.

 “This is really a great experience for me, just to see how everything is done outside of America. It is learning about the culture as well, it is a great first trip,” he said.

Tuaopepe Jerry Wallwork, President of the Samoa Weightlifting Federation and national coach said: “Choosing Samoa out of the countries in the Pacific is a great honour for us and we look forward to working with them.” 

By Anina Kazaz 22 June 2018, 12:00AM
Samoa Observer

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