An Exclusive interview with multi-world champion from Manipur, Ngangbam Shantikumar Meetei
Ngangbam Shantikumar Meetei, the multi world champion , a citizen of Taiwan who hailed from Manipur has become the first ever natural bodybuilder to be crowned the Mr. Natural Olympia title by defeating the whole world in the recently concluded Nov.10-13, 2016, the 19th Mr. Natural Olympia which was organized by the INBA PNBA(International natural body building association, professional Natural body building association ) in Las Vegas, the USA.
Dr. NgangbamShantikumarMeetei is presently teaching as an English professor at Taiwan. He had also written his autobiography called "My journey". In his book he captured his journey of life starting from, Manipur to Delhi and his migration to Taiwan. His writing touched upon many aspects of life and articulated his dreams, love, adventure, poverty, education, family relations and racism very well.
- Sub Junior Manipur- Gold, 1989
- Delhi 4 times- Gold.
- Northern India 3 times-Gold
- northern India overall title.
- Taiwan National games 3 times- Gold-2007,2009,2011.
- Hongkong invitation- Gold,2006.
- East Asia- Gold,2006.
- East Asia- silver,2008.
- senior Asia-Gold,1999
- Senior Asia –silver-2007
- Senior Asia – silver-2008.
- Senior Asia –bronze-2012.
- world- Gold( Master 40 to 49), 2013.
- world –silver(open men short class, 2013).
- World- Award of excellence, 2014.
- Mr World cup –Gold( Master 40-49), 2014
- world cup- silver(open men short class 2014).
- world cup overall Master champion, 200
- world cup overall open Men champion (senior), 2014
- Natural Olympia- Gold( Master 40 to 49 years), 2014.
- Natural Olympia – silver(open Men short class), 2014
- Natural Olympia – bronze(porofessional Master),2014
- Natural universe- best presentation Award, 2015.
- natural universe- silver(professional masters), 2015
- World- gold( PNBA Pro. Master 40 years and above.
- world- top 6(PNBA pro. Open Men – totally open, no limit), 2016.
- PNBA Naturral universe- Gold(PNBA Professional Master), 2016.
- Classic body building/ physique- Gold( Qualified Professional Master), 2016.
- First ever Asian to be crowned as the new PNBA Professional Master Mr. Natural Olympia cham[ion(40- 49 years) Nov. 12, 2016, Las Vegas, the USA.
- At what age did you start body building?
Dr:I started when I was about 22/23 years old.
- Apart from bodybuilding what are your hobby?
Dr: Travelling, reading, watching movies etc.
- What inspired you to pursue in the field of body building?
Dr: Winning at my first competition inspired me to continue bodybuilding. Before that I was doing yoga and was not interested in it even though I was told I had very proportionate body.
- Please share about how you struggle in life apart from bodybuilding?
Dr: From childhood at kanglatombi till my Ph.D at JNU, New Delhi I suffered because of financial problems. From childhood till the end of college from D.M college our family couldn't afford even two meals a day for even a complete week. During college life at D.M college, I even went to district hospital to sell my own blood to buy my books and some necessary clothes. But even my blood I couldn't sell as my blood type was AB+. At JNU, after I stopped asking money from home not to bother any more I suffered for more than3/4 years. Inever could pay my mess bill on time even though I worked any kind of legal part time jobs. My name was always no.1 in the eviction list for almost every month
- Please share your biggest achievement in life?
Dr: My biggest achievement is to have a life blessed with a Professor job (Ph.D degree in education), Mr. world titles in sports, and a family with a wondering wife and 4 children.
- Please share your opinion regarding the facility given by the Indian government in the field of body building?
Dr: Concerning the interest of so many athletes in bodybuilding the facilities, infrastructures, the incentive e and financial supports are far, far away from satisfaction, especially compared to sports like cricket which wasted everybody's time. Indian government should be more balance and fair in treating different games and sports.
- Please share the differences between the Indian and Taiwan government's facility towards the player?
Dr: Taiwan government provided enough facilities for sportsmen. But in India facilities are far from satisfaction.
- Other than Taiwan, has any other country requested you to represent their country?
Dr: No country had asked me as they know I have a good earning as a professor.
- Can you share your feeling when you represented Taiwan for the first time?
Dr: When I knew I could represent Taiwan in the Mr. Senior Asia, my first ever Asian level championship I was very excited as it was my long cherished dream from my University life at JNU, New Delhi.
- Do you have any plans in future to represent India?
Dr: No, not at all as I am the first elected president of INBA Taiwan ( International Natural Body Building Association, Taiwan). But I would surely love to help many athletes from India, especially from the NE regions to compete in INBA naturally by avoiding steroids, hormones, drugs and other illegal substances.
- When and why did you change your citizenship?
Dr: I changed my citizenship in 2002 so that I could compete in the international championships freely competing from Taiwan. If I didn't I would never be the first ever Manipuri to get Senior Mr. Asia title, forget about getting my Mr. World, Mr. World cup, Mr. universe and Mr. Olympia titles.
- Do you think that there is a need of encouragement in the field of body building?
Dr: Yes, especially to encourage young athletes to be natural by staying away from all those unhealthy and illegal substances. If natural, this sport is not only sports, but also good for fitness, strength, shape and health.
- Please share your message to all the youth and players?
Dr: My message to all the youth is to engage themselves in some kind of sports, be natural in diet, be healthy, be positive, work hard, have dreams and never neglect in their studies. Doing sports is not only for the competitions and health. Sports discipline us and help us to be away from bad habits and crimes.
- Please share your message for India and Manipur in particular?
Dr: My humble message to all the youths of my land, kangleipak(Manipur) is to be positive in their outlook. Be strong, stand on your feet, neverfail to see a bright future beyond the present crisis can last forever.
–As interviewed by Milsun Luwang