Country: Papua New Guinea
Birth Date: June 23th 1984 (28)
Event: Women’s 53 kg
Athlete Background Story:
Athlete Dika Toua; Mother, wife, daughter, history maker and Olympic athlete. This Papua New Guinean woman does it all.
Toua competed in her 4th Olympic Games in London 2012 in the 53kg group for weightlifting. Her first Olympics was in 2000 in Sydney, Australia, at the age of 16.
Toua started her Olympic journey unknowingly at the age of 10, when she began visiting her local gym where the weightlifters used to train. “I became interested and started playing around with the weights after school,” says Toua.
Toua has had many successes on the weightlifting podium. In 2004, at her second Olympics which was in Athens, Toua came 6th and in the recent London Olympics Toua placed 14th in the 53kg class.
In 2000 Toua made history at the Sydney Olympics as the first women ever to lift weight on the Olympic podium. “Everything was very very exciting,” Toua reminisces.
Toua grew up in Papua New Guinea and comes from a village next to the city. However, she has been training overseas since 2002 and is now based at the Oceania Weightlifting Institute in New Caledonia.
“The training regime is very high compared to all the other sports in the Pacific and the training regime is very different,” says Toua. “I don’t think weightlifting compares to other sports. You wont believe the intensity we go through.”
The athletes at the institute train 3 times a day, everyday. “It’s hard but we manage somehow…that’s the whole reason for being at the institute,” she explains.
Toua has 2 children and a partner at home that she must leave when she travels to events. In fact, she was only able to train for a total of 5 months before the Olympics due to her latest pregnancy and child.
“Its hard but if you want to achieve something then that’s the possibility that you have to sacrifice and then gain something at the end.”
As an experienced athlete in the Institute, Toua has become a role model and mentor for up and coming weightlifters and other athletes. She aims to “always encourage them to reach the standard.”
“I think I still have a lot in me,” she said. Looking into the future, Toua is now focusing on Glasgow in 2014 and the next Olympics in Rio, which she has 4 years to prepare for.
Toua would like to acknowledge her family and coach who have supported her all the way through and committed their time towards her. Also to her sponsor Trukia Industries who made the Olympic possible for her.