Weekend Gold Coast Bulletin




ON Monday, Lataisi Mwea (below) will celebrate his 21st birthday in a very unique way.

On his coming-of-age day he will board a flight to Tokyo to compete for the Republic of Kiribati, a small group of islands in the Pacific Ocean.

His journey to Tokyo began when he came here to train for the high jump but switched to sprinting and began training sessions at PCYC Ashmore with renowned coach Leanne HinesSmith who will be joining him in Tokyo.

When Covid hit last year, Lataisi was stranded here due to the border of his country closing and ever since he has been working towards his dream of competing at the Olympics.

“I love being at PCYC Ashmore,” said Lataisi. “Everyone has been so helpful.

“The Technogym equipment is perfect for my weights sessions and there is a grass athletics track right next door, so it is a brilliant set up for me.

“I can’t wait to get over there and compete for my country.”

One to cheer for when you are not supporting Australia.


IT’S not often we enter a venue to cover an event and are astonished by the people in the room, but the opening night of Ripped at The Pink Flamingo was one of those.

There were beautiful young women everywhere, each of them natural, unaffected and glowing with health.

Leading the pack was recently appointed Pink Flamingo ambassador Ellie Gon

salves (pictured with Sue Porrett) who has five million-plus followers across all social media platforms. (We can’t say too much but the stunning model, swimwear designer and actor is set to appear in a toprating reality show in the near future).

Sue Porrett said she was buzzing with enthusiasm about the latest venture.

“I’m so happy. It has been tough over the past year but we are slowly coming out of it and now have five different troupes doing 10 shows a week and each one is pitched at a different demographi­c.

“The aim was always to provide high-class entertainm­ent for all sections of the community, which we are doing.”

And all of it in beautiful downtown Broadbeach.


THERE’S another reason to watch the rhythmic gymnastics at the Tokyo Olympics beside the skill, athleticis­m and artistry of the competitor­s.

Gold Coaster Himeka Onoda (right) is on the team and will be readying herself for the experience of her life.

“I am so excited about the Olym

pics. Most of my family is from Okinawa and Tokyo and although I was born and raised here, I always used to visit Japan to see my extended family whenever possible,” said Himeka. “I haven’t been there in nine years and, as this is my first Olympics, it means a lot to me to get to compete over there.” The journey for Himeka began at a local gymnastics club and she fell in love with the beauty and precision. “The training, dedication and hard work required,

especially for a group routine, is enormous.

“Everything has been performed thousands of times to make it look that easy. The team and I train around 30 hours a week and then I either attend university, work or sleep. My mother used to drive me to Brisbane every day for eight years which is bonkers when I think of it.

“My family have dedicated so much time and effort to get me to Tokyo and I can’t thank them enough for everything.”

It takes a lot of hard work to make anything look easy.


THE fickle finger of fate in the shape of a small child may have

rekindled a long-ago romance.

Recently separated and living with her young son she accidental­ly left her mobile phone within reach of the toddler. He started pushing buttons, as they do, and somehow started dialling random numbers.

An hour or so later the phone rang and it was a lover from yesteryear whose number she had kept.

She explained what had happened, he wasn’t the first to ring back, and they got chatting. It turns out that he is newly single, still had feelings for her and now they are going to try again to fan the flames of love.

Second time is a charm hopefully.

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