Dubai: One of the top international bodybuilding champions has stepped forward as a strong proponent for the inclusion of bodybuilding as an Olympic sport.
"Yes, I am a strong proponent to bodybuilding being recognised as an Olympic discipline as it is such a great sport. And if you take a look around then you will see the huge number of popular world champions that our sport has put forward," professional bodybuilder Kai Greene told Gulf News.
Greene was a special invitee of Life Pharmacy during the course of the Arab Health Forum that concluded at the Dubai World Trade Centre yesterday.
"I firmly believe in all the good aspects of our sport and the authorities would do well to include bodybuilding in the Olympic Games," Greene added.
Since the early 2000s, the IFBB, the world governing body for the sport, has been attempting to make bodybuilding an Olympic sport. They achieved early success after the IFBB obtained full membership with the International Olympic Council (IOC) in 2000.
After that there were continuous unsuccessful attempts to get an IOC approval to make bodybuilding a demonstration event at the Olympics, a move that would hopefully lead to it being added as a full contest. However, this has not happened so with the popular argument that bodybuilding is not really a sport.
Greene became interested in bodybuilding through his love for visual art. He regards his work on his own body as an extension of his artistic bent. "I had this idea of becoming a bodybuilder all my life as I see this as a sport whereby I can see my spirit expressing itself and taking me onto the bigger things in life," Greene said.
"There are always two sides to every argument, but I tend to believe that at its root bodybuilding upholds the basics of self-development and self-mastery," he added.
Greene's first major success came in 1999 when he won the Team Universe title. However, he took a five-year break from all competitions only to make a comeback in 2004 and win the Team Universe event again, thus qualifying as a professional bodybuilder.