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Arnold Amateur Profiles - Cheri Nguyen

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  • Arnold Amateur Profiles - Cheri Nguyen

    By most accounts, Cheri Nguyen is what we call in Texas a tiny little thing!

    But if you look at where this Arnold Amateur Figure Competitor comes from, you can see she stands tall.

    She grew up in state custody, due to mental and physical abuse inflicted on her by many members of her family.

    She says, ďSurviving such an upbringing caused me a lot of social anxiety and low self-esteem. Getting involved in weight training and figure competitions gave a feeling of pride and strength I didnít have before. Not that I donít have my insecure moments, but I find myself needing the approval of others less and less all the time.Ē

    Not one to forget where she came from, she volunteers with an organization (CASA, Court Appointed Special Advocates) whose aim is to protect children of abuse and their best interests by giving them a voice.

    She says, ďIt reminds me of my own abuse story, and how far Iíve come. I only hope that I can inspire and encourage these children, and show them that anything is possible. They donít have to settle for the life that someone else decided they should live. They are worth more. We are worth more.Ē




  • #2
    AZ: What or who inspired you to be involved with figure competition?

    CN:
    I wasnít close with my father. In fact, I lived in childrenís homes and state custody from the age fourteen to eighteen.

    He was a natural bodybuilder; unfortunately, he had an accident that confined him to a wheelchair.

    In an effort to bring us closer, and at the same time make him proud, I took up bodybuilding.

    It didnít exactly help repair our relationship, but it did start a fire inside me, along with a passion for weight training and living a healthy lifestyle.

    AZ:
    Is there a reason you chose figure competition as opposed to fitness or bodybuilding?

    CN:
    When I first started training, it was my intention to pursue bodybuilding, like my father and hometown idol Kim Chizevsky-Nicholls.

    However, it became apparent that with my height and build, I was better suited for figure.

    AZ:
    How long have you been training?

    CN:
    I started training in 2000, shortly after the birth of my son.

    I had no prior gym experience, and learned most by hands on training.

    AZ:
    We saw you take the National Stage twice last year. Will we be seeing you do so again this year?

    CN:
    Yes, you will be seeing me take stage at national level again.

    I will be until I go pro!

    AZ:
    What does competing at the Arnold Amateur mean to you?

    CN:
    Competing is a feeling of accomplishment.

    Win or lose, I look at it as a learning experience, and it gives me the confidence to carry on to my next show!

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