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Cologne Calling: Buckwheat

Sun 11 Jul 2010 In: Hall of Fame View at Wayback View at NDHA

Around 50 New Zealand athletes and performers will represent our community at Gay Games Cologne, which open on 31 July. The Kiwi team will be led by a strong contingent of swimmers, but it also includes track and field athletes, hockey, tennis and billiards players, figure skaters, cyclists, bodybuilders and even singers. GayNZ.com is doing a series of profiles on our athletes, who are heading to Cologne to wave the Kiwi rainbow flag.   Buckwheat Athlete: Buckwheat (Edward Cowley) Event: Bodybuilding She's delicious drag diva Buckwheat by night and buff bodybuilder Edward Cowley by day – and New Zealand's supreme queen is now readying to flex her muscle in the ultimate test at the Gay Games in Cologne. GayNZ.com caught up with the athlete and performer as she was in full Buckwheat drag ahead of a show. Her excitement about her first Gay Games in just a few weeks was palpable. "I looked up the website last November for the Outgames and the events they have. And I always wanted to do a bodybuilding contest. In the last ten years I decided that would be something I would like to do," she says. The AsiaPacific Outgames, being held in Wellington in March, do not include bodybuilding. However Buckwheat realised that the Cologne Gay Games would. "And I thought well, I've got eight months to get myself together and I'm sure I can do it in that time. So I knuckled down. January came and I was at the gym training and now we're only weeks away." For the past six months Buckwheat has been spending four hours a day at the gym, six days a week. She concedes it's exhausting when mixed with the late nights. The strict diet is also a challenge. "There are lots of things that I can't eat, that I don't eat. I miss all that. But that'll change," she says. "I've lost 17 kilos since I started. I've still got another four to go. That's been crazy. Everything's far too big for me." The performer says competing is a 'personal triumph' and she is expecting to go to Germany and have a good time - meeting up with friends from across the Europe. "We're all doing different events. They're all Kiwi boys who are now overseas. They were all home at Christmas and we all decided that's what we'd do," she says. "I'm going with eyes wide open to soak up the new energy and just have a great old time." Buckwheat's only experience with the Gay Games so far is the opening of the Sydney event in 2002. "That was incredible. But I left the next day so I didn't actually get to see any events. Which was a shame, because it was so close." Straight after the games the determined performer will be training in the boxing ring for child cancer fundraiser Fight For Life, alongside Miss Ribena. "So that'll be a whole different sort of fitness training." "I'm not sure whether we'll do it in make-up, maybe we'll do the fight and then after our round come back out in drag."     Jacqui Stanford - 11th July 2010

Credit: Jacqui Stanford

First published: Sunday, 11th July 2010 - 1:49pm

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