View Full Version : Cebuano players to get Olympic class barbell training soon?

06-20-2007, 12:31 AM
:o Looks like the Cebuano players will get help with their powerlifting and barbell training soon. Maybe its time for Eclipse gym(gym of PBA players in manila) to open a branch in Cebu and hire this US olympian powerlifter ? God is smiling on Philippine basketball lately. see article below:

US Olympian finds Pinay fiancee
SPORTING CHANCE By Joaquin M. Henson
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
CLEVELAND – Two-time US Olympic weightlifter James Wilkens had no luck in three failed marriages with American women so he decided to look for a Filipina wife two years ago.

Wilkens, 66, sought assistance from the Christian Singles Movement of the Akron Baptist Temple of which he is a devoted follower. He was asked which country to send his biography.

“During the Vietnam War, I was in Subic Bay being treated for wounds and I found the Filipino people so warm, friendly and hospitable,” said Wilkens who lives outside this Ohio city, the site of Games 4 and 5 in the recent NBA Finals. “Russia and some South American countries were suggested but I insisted on the Philippines.”

Within months, Wilkens received over 100 responses from Filipinas whose ages ranged from 18 to 43. He pruned the list to three candidates then chose Marietta Constantino, 37, after hours of conversing on the phone and exchanging long letters.

Last April, Wilkens flew to Cebu to meet Constantino and was overwhelmed when he was welcomed in the airport by over a hundred of her relatives and friends. From the airport, he was whisked to the Constantinos’ home where a long table overflowing with food waited for him. He stayed a month getting to know his fiancée and went back home to Akron to wait for her arrival in October.

“Marietta is now working on her fiancee’s visa which will be good for 90 days,” said Wilkens, a former Marine with a bronze star and a purple heart. “We’’ll get married in the US. Our plan is to settle in Cebu, where we’ll build a house, by December of next year. I’ll apply for dual citizenship if it’s possible as I intend to live in the Philippines for good in my retirement. We could visit the US in the summer and go back to Cebu in winter.”

Wilkens might even be able to help out the Philippine weightlifting team once he settles down in Cebu. He was on the US Olympic team in the heavyweight division in 1968 and the superheavyweight class in 1972.

“I finished in the top 10 both times but didn’t get a medal,” said Wilkens. “Russians won the gold in both Olympics because they were pumped up with steroids. I never lifted for any US school but I was trained by the country’s best lifters in Akron. I’ve done a clean and jerk of 435 pounds, snatched 360 and thrusted 356. I ended up with a lot of knee, elbow and shoulder injuries.”

Russia’s Leonid Zhabotinsky took the gold medal in the heavyweight category in 1968 and another Russian, Vassiliy Alekseyev, won in the superheavyweight division in 1972.

Wilkens, who has bachelor’s degrees in business administration and criminal justice and a master’s degree in business management, said the experience of the 1972 Olympics was horrifying. A Jewish friend from Ohio, named Goldberg, represented Israel and was killed by terrorists in the Munich massacre.

Wilkens said he once lived in Hollywood and was a bodyguard for celebrities like Farah Fawcett, Tom Jones and Elvis Presley. A karate black belter and kung fu practitioner, Wilkens worked 25 years in law enforcement as a state trooper, country sheriff, prosecutor’s investigator, field investigator for the US Congress and polygraph examiner. His career files include letters from President Bush and Senator John Glenn congratulating him for his election as county sheriff. He retired at the age of 60 in 2001.

Of course, Wilkens was disappointed the Cleveland Cavaliers were swept by the San Antonio Spurs in the recent NBA Finals.

“I was hoping my neighbor would be the MVP,” said Wilkens, referring to LeBron James who lives 10 miles away down the road from his home.

Wilkens said he was “trapped” by his first wife into marriage when he was 21 although the relationship lasted 18 years. His second marriage ended after three years and his third, after six. Wilkens has been single the last 13 years. His four children, aged 38 to 43, are happy he has found someone to live the rest of his life with and they couldn’t be happier because his wife will be a Filipina.