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James Collier: Good Morning Dayo and it's nice of you to agree to do another interview with us.
Dayo Audi: Nice to talk to you James. If I may recall, the last MT interview was in 2005. This is probably going to be the final interview as a competitive bodybuilder.
JC: I've heard a lot of things on the grapevine: that you won the WBBF Mr Universe title in Lithuania and that you have just recently been appointed the UK President of the same Federation – many congratulations.
DA: All you have said is true and thank you. I've done a couple of interviews on the subject in Body Fitness and The Beef.
JC: Any pics of the contest?
DA: They are out on the WFF/WBBF website www.wff.lt. None yet on my own outfit's website www.sportspn.co.uk, as that is due to be revamped. It's 6 years old now and is in need of a total revamp. It will be on there once the new-look website is up and running.
JC: Have there been any updates on the show in Doncaster?
DA: Yes, I have a sneak preview of the press release and poster which itemises all that will be going on on the day – a combined strongman, bodybuilding and fitness event. Perhaps the most positive outcome was the WFF Council's decision to accept and support the continued existence of the SportsPN Classic, which as you know, I've run now for the past two years (see 2007 and 2008). In appreciation of this pragmatism I've acceded to their suggestion to create a category which will act as a qualifier for their World Championships in Lithuania which usually takes place in November, with the possibility of taking a team over to compete.
JC: So the SportsPN Classic will in effect continue?
DA: Yes. The whole idea of the Classic was to set up an event for bodybuilders to compete mainly within the Yorkshire area and beyond. We have had athletes come from as far as London and Cornwall in the South and Newcastle in the North. It was also a show connected to our company, Sports Performance Nutrition, who as you know are engaged in the sale and distribution of sports supplements. Gyms put up shows don't they, so why not supplement companies? Now there is the possibility that top amateurs from around Europe will come over to compete. When this happens the name of the SportsPN show will change to the SportsPN Amateur International Grand Prix.
JC: Would you say the WFF/WBBF is different from other Federations in existence?
DA: Your question is multi-faceted and my answer will reflect my mental orientation as a bodybuilder. If you asked most judges from the different federations they will probably say they are totally different but theirs is the best. They will say they've got the best athletes although the same athletes may have competed in different feds at some point in their career. On a more transcendental level they are all meant to promote bodybuilding, irrespective of the declarations of intent you read in their constitutions. I think it is the athlete that needs to find out for his or her self. The circumstances for my competing with them after ignoring them for eight years and then deciding to serve as President will differ from another and I don't want to stand accused of propaganda and hard sell. It is really up to those independent minded bodybuilders who do what they feel is best for them. No federation or individual is perfect or should claim to be including the WFF/WBBF. Already I have raised concern about the multiplicity of categories which can be somewhat confusing, especially over here in the UK where folk are familiar with the basics. There will only be Physique (men only), Figure and Model Fitness at the show in Doncaster. I've requested the Model Fitness judging criteria. It's not my place as UK President to give opinions about its practice elsewhere in Europe unless specifically asked to do so.
JC: You seem to use the term WFF/WBBF. Is it two federations?
DA: They decided, for pragmatic reasons, to separate Fitness from Bodybuilding. WFF deals with the Fitness categories and routines and WBBF is solely devoted to physiques and bodybuilding.
JC: How have you been spending your retirement time?
DA: I'm not 65 yet you know!! I take it you mean having stopped competing?
JC: Yes, sorry!
DA: A great deal of pressure is off my head now that I do not have to feel guilty about not pushing myself in the gym, not having time to eat enough protein during the day, etc. You know competitive bodybuilding is 24/7. All that is gone now. I've received quite a number of requests for personal training but I do not have the time – I wish I did. However, the most satisfying thing has been the ability now to watch my sons playing football on Sunday – something I was never able to do because of my training and to explain properly as they are too young. Now I can. It's freed up valuable time to do other things as I train just 2-3 times a week now for 40 intense minutes with moderate poundages. Life is full of challenges. One ends and another begins. I have been given the task of organising the WFF/WBBF in the UK. Already four ex-bodybuilders have declared their interest in qualifying as judges which is a positive start. There is a lot of hard work ahead but I never run away from a challenge.
JC: Is there any piece of advice you may wish to pass on to those currently in the sport or wishing to start bodybuilding?
DA: There are only 2 ways to succeed in this unregulated sport where your fate depends on a set of individuals who have the vested authority akin to the Emperor of Rome. Be as cunning as a fox or as fierce as a lion. Whatever you do always have a backup plan. Also try to exit the sport with much more than trophies on your mantelpiece. Keep your true friends very close and avoid those people and influences that can pull you down without providing you with a strategy to get to your goal. Finally, put something back in the 'well' of bodybuilding as you leave, however small, for the benefit of those who will come after you. It will keep the sport alive. As I said in an earlier interview, we are the 'oil' that drives the 'engine' of bodybuilding. Without us there is nothing else connected with the sport that has meaning.
JC: I look forward to seeing you at the Doncaster Dome come May 24th.
DA: Me too. Many thanks for your friendship, help and support over the years. Please keep up the good work James. Thanks.
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