Interview With IFBB Pro Con Demetriou - Part 1.
By Team Bodybuilders.gr
Hi Con, glad you could join us for this interview. To start off, would you like to tell us a few things about your roots with the sport of bodybuilding and how you got the bodybuilding-weight training bug?
CD: I grew up on a farm. I was always into sports at school and all that but I never had the chance to play any team sports. With bodybuilding, I didn’t need to go to training so I started doing it at home. I got some dumbbells for Christmas and I really progressed with that. My mother saw that I was really into it so the following year she bought me a whole gym set.
I hear ya, that’s how most of us started!!
CD: The following year when I was old enough to ride my bike to the boys’ club, I joined there and trained there for a year. After about a year of training, I entered my first competition and I ended up winning. I was one of the smallest guys there but I was very lean and I was proportioned so I ended up beating the bigger guys.
How much did you weigh at that time?
CD: 70 kilos, about 150 pounds.
Where was that, in Australia?
CD: Yeah, it was in Australia, Sydney. I went in one competition every week for four weeks. I won them all and the last one was the Teenage Mr. Australia. After I won the Teenage Mr. Australia, I realized I had what it took to be a bodybuilder. So I put everything into it then. My father, he left me alone after that. I stopped doing so much work in the farm and he got really upset with me. When he saw that I won Mr. Australia, he was so proud. He just let me do what I had to do.
That is quite the story, we all know how parental support at that age can make you or break you! Tell us, how did you turn pro?
CD: I won Mr. Australia six times.
CD: Yeah! Then I entered a competition called “The Elite Tour”. It was like a $10,000.00 prize money. Once I won that, the promoter of the Australia Grand Prix asked me if I wanted to turn pro and compete in his show and that’s when I turned pro. That was in, I think, 2007.
Did you do any other sports in school?
CD: I did ALL the sports in school. I did soccer, football, gymnastics, swimming. I was quite good at athletics, gymnastics and short-distance swimming. And, actually, cross-country and long-distance as well.
So we could say you had a natural tendency to excel in sports. Now, tell me, a couple of weeks ago you competed in the 2010 Orlando Pro show where we actually met with your Greek/Aussie buddy Michael Kefalianos. What did you think of the show overall?
CD: It was a good show and I really enjoyed it. I was so happy to place in the top five. I was happy to have Michael place in the top five as well.
It was quite interesting, too, both from Australia.
CD: Yeah. We’re finally making a mark in the sport. I’m really happy about that.
Did you know you actually beat Mike in the pre-judging round?
CD: Yeah, I heard about that. I was very happy with #5. My goal was to place in top five so I was really happy.
Were you surprised to place in the top five? I think I came backstage and I told you that you probably placed in the top five and you weren’t sure.
CD: Yeah, I wasn’t too sure if I should put my pants back on or not (laughs). I went and asked and “Yeah, yeah, you placed.” I was really happy. I was very happy with my conditioning so I wasn’t shocked that I placed in the top five. I was very happy and surprised.
And before that, you were in the Phoenix Pro or the Australian Pro?
CD: The Phoenix Pro.
You didn’t do the 2010 Australian Pro?
CD: Not the past year, no. I was in America. It was too far to travel.
It’s a big difference from the Phoenix Pro to the Orlando Pro, placing from 16th to 5th, right?
CD: Yeah. I was very lean in the Phoenix Pro. For some reason, I was watery. I just got the preparation wrong. I was thinking about retiring altogether, or at least taking a year off and trying to make some dramatic improvements. Then I bumped into Dennis James in the gym in Phoenix. I was actually training in the gym where he trains and he came up to me and asked me when my next show was and I said, “I think that’s enough for me.” And he said, “Why don’t you compete in Orlando?” I said, “I’m not ready.” He said, “No, you’re already ready. You just got to tighten things up.”
Yeah, dial it in.
CD: Yeah, dial in. I said, “Can you give me a hand?” He agreed!
So he helped you with your prep for Orlando, correct?
CD: He helped me, yes. When he said that, I was honored and I was so excited. I put 100% effort into it. But I moved to LA and he trained me via telephone and the internet. He just told me what to do. I did it and it worked.
Indeed it worked! You came in very dry in Orlando.
CD: It was the best condition I was ever in.
Yeah, and your proportions and symmetry really came out, too.
CD: Yeah, I lost that bloated look in the stomach, too. I was very happy with Dennis. If anyone wants to have a good coach, I highly recommend him. He’s very good and very sensible, too. I thought he’d make me do some crazy things but he didn’t. He was very, very sensible.
What do you think about Michael (Kefalianos)? He’s the first Greek to set foot on the Olympia stage. What’s your opinion?
CD: I’m very impressed with Michael, especially his conditioning. I’m proud he made it to the Olympia stage. That’s something I’d love to do. If I set foot on the Olympia stage, all my goals are achieved.
Is that your ultimate goal – to go to the Olympia?
CD: That’s my ultimate goal. I’d like to follow his footsteps as well and make the Greeks proud, too.
It’s very inspiring because bodybuilding in Greece went to another level after that.
CD: Yeah, really? What happened? He gave bodybuilders hope?
Yeah, exactly. And everybody’s seeking pro cards now..! It’s not that easy to get in Greece. I think only three people have it. At least, he gave new meaning to the sport, new hope Greek bodybuilders could achieve more than just on an amateur european/world level.
CD: He inspired me and he gave me hope, too. Mike achieved it and I feel that it’s achievable for me as well. It’s possible. He makes it seem possible! I believe you got to believe it in your mind first before you can achieve it. He’s given me that so I thank him for that.
Australia’s very big in bodybuilding, right? Lee Priest…!
CD: Lee Priest, Luke Wood, John Terilli.
Did you have a mentor or anybody else help you in your first steps?
CD: In the early years, John Terilli helped me and also another Greek, Terri Mitsos. I did work experience with him when I was 17 at his gym. He was always really good to me. Since then, I’ve pretty much been doing it on my own until Dennis James came along and really made a difference.
What do you think about 2010 Olympia? Who’s going to win?
CD: I’m not too sure but maybe Kai Greene. Every time I see that guy in the gym, my jaw just drops. He’s got an amazing body, just so much muscle. I think maybe Kai Greene.
What do you think about Ronnie Coleman making a comeback, (maybe)?
CD: I think he’s got a few injuries and I think his time’s over. I’m glad that he’s got the enthusiasm to get back into it.
Are you going to the Olympia this year?
CD: Hopefully, yeah. I’d like to see my friend Eugene Mishin compete in it. I was living with him in Long Island. I was training at the Bev Francis gym for one month. I’ll be there supporting him.
How is Bev Francis’ gym?
CD: It’s a great gym. It’s one of the few hard core gyms left in America. It’s got that feel to it, that hard core feel.
Publicity-wise, do you think it helps if you train there?
CD: Definitely. It’s good to get to know Bev and Steve. Ask them for some advice on what you should be doing. If you go there, you bump into people that are very knowledgeable as well. It’s good to mix in those circles.
Did you meet any other pros there while training?
CD: I had “all you can eat” sushi with Dennis Wolf. Had about five plates of sushi. That was interesting. We didn’t really talk about bodybuilding; we just had a bit of fun. Ben Pakulski was there. Hide Yamagishi as well doing a photo shoot.
Kevin English, the 202 champ, is there too, right?
CD: Kevin English. Yeah, he works there. He’s there each morning. He’s very friendly and you can ask him for any advice.
What’s your plan for the future now? What’s your next show?
CD: The Tampa Pro and then a week later, the Hartford Europa Show of Champions, Connecticut show.
So you’re definitely going for the qualifier.
CD: I’d love to. It’s going to be tough. The Orlando show wasn’t easy but the standard of competitors in the next two shows is a lot higher.
CD: I believe so.
More and more people want to qualify now because there are three or four shows left, right?
CD: Yeah absolutely.
Click here for the 2nd part of Con Demetriou's interview.
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