Quintin van Jaarsveld
Christine Muller’s unlikely journey from a small suburb on the Southern KwaZulu-Natal coast to one of the biggest stages in international bodybuilding culminated in a magical moment at the weekend.
The Leisure Bay athlete travelled halfway across the world, to Seoul, Korea, where she realised her dream of competing in the WFF Pro Am Universe Championships. Dream is, indeed, the most fitting word to describe her fitness journey, which reached its zenith in fairy-tale fashion in Seoul.
One of just 11 South African athletes to compete at the 2019 global showcase, an opportunity she earned with a strong showing in the NABBA/WFF Pretoria Classic earlier this year, Muller shone, the bright lights beaming off her sculpted physique. Rising to the occasion, Muller made her country proud by bagging a bronze medal in the over-30 sports model category on Saturday.
“I’m on cloud nine,” Muller told eHowzit upon returning to her hometown on Tuesday.
“I was so excited and thankful for the opportunity and I was absolutely overjoyed when it was announced that I had won the bronze medal. Standing on stage with my medal and the South African flag was a super proud moment for me.
“Having mostly competed in the bikini category, I wasn’t sure how I would do, but it’s safe to say that sports model is where I perform best. The result means the world to me and proves that I can not only get myself but also help others get onto the Universe stage.”
Muller has enjoyed a meteoric rise since entering the fitness fray in 2017, most notably, winning gold at the NABBA/WFF South African Championships and finishing fourth at the NABBA World Championships in Cyprus in her rookie year.
Her success is driven by unwavering dedication, which sees her train twice a day, up to 90 minutes per session, six days a week whilst sticking to a strict diet, made all the more impressive by the fact that she’s the mother of a seven-year-old boy, a teacher at Port Edward Primary School and a fitness trainer who runs a ladies training group every afternoon. Ironman’s got nothing on the South Coast’s Ironmom.
It’s this drive and passion that propelled the 34-year-old to her career highlight in Korea.
“It was a dream come true to compete on the Universe stage,” she said. “It’s the biggest and best event by far. There is no other stage like it…It really is the best of the best.
“Korea pulled out all the stops and put on a very well organised event. [Fellow South African athlete] Oliver Anthias, who competed in his 182 show, said that it was the best event he has attended.
“What stood out to me was the thought the organisers put into everything and the level of attention to detail, from the amazing human-like trophies to the backstage area being wrapped in plastic from ceiling to floor. It was something to see.
“It was great to represent South Africa and spend time with the others athletes. We kept each other motivated and cheerful. It was an unforgettable experience overall.”