HERALD WEEKLY ISSUE 446 : 11 February 2009

‘I wanted to finish 3 years ago’ - Sam Pera Jnr

Our Champion weightlifter, speaks first to the Herald about his decision to end all competitive weightlifting

It has come as a tremendous shock just months out from the Mini-Games that our champion weightlifter, Sam Pera Jnr has announced his retirement from all competitive weightlifting.
The announcement came on Tuesday afternoon from Cook Islands Weightlifting’s Tony Hole.
With Pera Jnr certain to be the major draw card at the Mini-Games, Hole was understandably very upset at Pera’s decision however he said he respected that decision and acknowledged it was Pera alone who had to make it.
The Herald spoke to Sam Pera Jnr later on Tuesday afternoon at the Atupa home of his grandfather.
Pera told the Herald that after a career of six years in weightlifting, during which he won over 30 medals for the Cook Islands in international competition, he felt that it was time to stop competing.
Pera started lifting competitively in 2002 and for the past three years has been attached to the Oceania Weightlifting Academy under world famous trainer Paul Coffa. He ends his career having reached the 105kg plus category. Now out of the Mini-Games, potentially, that’s three medals gone.
Pera said he actually wanted to stop three years ago when he was at the Academy in Samoa however he could not work up the courage to tell his father and also Tony Hole. He was also afraid of how others would react.
Pera said his decision to stop was a personal one and did not have anything to do with the previous difficulties with CISNOC over funding or the current problems with CISNOC surrounding the funding for his return to the Academy now based in Noumea. He felt within himself it was time for a change, time to move on and try something different.
Still young, he’ll be 20 years old in March. He says he will look for a job and see what happens. He still plans to keep lifting weights to keep fit and help train younger brother Sirla who is a promising weightlifter. Pera Jnr is unsure whether he will take up another sport.
Sam Pera Senior said he understood his son’s decision. He had long talk with Jnr. A top weightlifter himself, Pera Snr had a break of six years from the sport before returning to lift competitively with distinction.
Pera Jnr’s decision comes at a time when his potential is unlimited. In a sport where greatness comes with age, at just 19 yrs old, his future was very bright. We may never know what he may have been capable of.

Herald Issue 439 11 February
- ‘I wanted to finish 3 years ago’ - Sam Pera Jnr?
- Government hangs Ruaau out to dry
- Flies reach epidemic level in Arorangi
- Economic Summits – Talking the Talk or Walking the Talk
- Parliament: Deregistration, Fuel farm and OIA amendment

Herald Issue 445 04 February
- The third political party: Why?
- Christmas message
- New Party will offer decisive leadership
- 2008 Kokonati Oscars of the year !
- Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

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