A three-time Commonwealth Games track athlete, renowned hip-hop dancer and fashion designer has departed for the US to represent Australia at one of the world's largest natural body building competitions in San Diego.
Billie Paea, who represented the pacific island of Niue as a 100m sprinter at the Manchester, Melbourne and New Delhi Commonwealth Games, set his sights on body building glory after sustaining a career-ending injury.
"I had to retire from sprinting after I tore my Achilles tendon and I'm getting a little older now and I didn't think I could really pursue it, so I got into body building to work on my fitness," he said.
Mr Paea, who has run 100m in 10.49 seconds, qualified for the Natural Olympia championship in San Diego and the Musclemania competition in Las Vegas after winning consecutive ACT titles and a national title earlier this year.
"I won the first show I entered and ever since then I've just progressed," he said.
"This is one of the biggest competitions you can do as a natural body builder and is recognised by all the professionals in the industry.
"I've got a good chance at winning but you never really know who you are going to be competing against on the day and it depends on how well you're conditioned."
Mr Paea said he wanted to set a new standard for natural bodybuilding and would rely on his experience as a hip-hop dancer to rise above the competition.
"My hip hop background really helps me with my posing routines and I feel it has allowed me to stand out," he said.
"I've got my own dance academy back in New Zealand that's still running and I still teach some classes in Canberra as a bit of a fun."
Mr Paea said bodybuilding was an expensive sport and he has had to rely on support from local businesses to fund his overseas competitions while working as a security guard and personal trainer.
"This is a way of life for me now, a lifestyle that has changed not only what I look like but how I feel."