Costa's memorable year

HARARE - Some people spend a lifetime searching for the meaning of beauty, but for Helen Costa the answer has always been in her mettle in a male-dominated sport — bodybuilding.

The reigning Ms Universe Figure Costa was on Wednesday night crowned Zimbabwe’s Sportsperson of the Year at the Annual Nationals Sports Awards dinner gala that was not without controversy.

The two-time Zimbabwe Fitness Figure champion was one of the few uncontested winners on a night of surprises as she rightfully walked away with the biggest prize.

She rightfully savoured the moment after a breakthrough year that saw her rise to become the undisputed queen of a sporting code that has suffered apathy from women.

Dressed for the occasion in a stunning sky blue high-low cocktail dress, silver high heels and a sparkling silver necklace, Costa was all smiles when she took to the podium to pick up her award.

“In my wildest dreams but today is actually happening,” she said of her triumph.

Costa has had an unforgettable year that was capped by a scintillating show at the World Mr and Miss Universe in Italy where she scooped the IBFF Ms International Fitness Figure and Ms Universe Figure.

She claimed Zimbabwe’s most prized individual accolade after shrugging off stiff competition from swimming sensation Kirsty Coventry, rowing’s Micheen Thornycroft and boxing’s Charles Manyuchi.

“It’s all down to dedication and determination,” she said. “I love to look beautiful and for me my beauty is in the mettle.”

The affable Costa said women should open up to taking bodybuilding and fitness as a sport not only for beauty but also for the health reasons. “The fountain of youth is in fitness and maintaining as much muscle as you can achieve,” she said.

Her diet is made up of mainly vegetables, carbohydrates and proteins.

“It’s hard for women to gain muscle so I generally rely on my diet to keep me toned, a generally clean diet six days of the week and on the seventh day get to eat whatever I feel like having,” she said.

Costa said her road to success has been bumpy, sometimes even frustrating but she has had the love of family, friends and the bodybuilding fraternity to carry her through. “Enough respect to all the sports people. I grew up with the best,” she said, adding that this was just the beginning of greater things to come.This is just the beginning, next year is a year I take my strength to another level because now the game has started. It’s game on.”

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