There are Strongmen and then there are Entertainers, Nick Maloni, was a crowd favourite in the 2012 Australia’s Strongest Man competition, where this strongman took out the under 105kg division.
Phil Burgess: You recently won the 2012 Under 105kg Australia’s Strongest Man Title. What does it mean to you to win this? What other titles have you won?
Nick Maloni: Winning ASM u105kg was a cool thing, it was a nice way to close out the end of the competitive year. The only other title I have is a Highland Games win at the Amulet Games 2012 also.
Phil Burgess: What is your next goal after achieving the title of Australia’s Strongest Under 105kg athlete and winning a pro-card? And what do you need to do in order to achieve that?
Nick Maloni: Next goal is to just keep injury free, stay healthy and keep enjoying Strongman, I like to have a good time when I’m competing man.
Phil Burgess: In the keg toss event, you scored a faster time than the heavyweight competitors? What’s your secret with this event?
Nick Maloni: No secret in the Keg Toss man,be quick on your feet, stay low to the ground, be relaxed and let it flow, I’m not even putting much force behind it when I do it.
Phil Burgess: You come from near Griffith, several hours away from the major cities of Australia. Do you think this isolation away from others is an advantage as a strongman athlete or is a disadvantage? Why?
Nick Maloni: Being in Griffith has its pro’s and con’s.
Pro’s being I have heaps of room, large areas to train on…
Con’s are that the isolation can inhibit my chance to compete because of travel, expense etc. Each day I wake, I thank God I’m a country boy!!
Phil Burgess: What do you do as a job? And to relax?
Nick Maloni: As of July 2012 I’m a Labourer in a Road Crew, so I’m usually on a shovel or using a crowbar all day.
I kick back and listen to Carol King to relax…old school baby.
Phil Burgess: What do you love the most about the sport of strongman?<
Nick Maloni: The opportunity to compete in front of an audience is the coolest thing about doing Strongman.
Making people happy and entertaining is a really special privilege.
Phil Burgess: How long have you been training and competing for?
Nick Maloni: I’ve been training with free weights for roughly 13 years, but I’ve picked up the intensity the last 2 and half years I’ve been competing in Strongman.
Phil Burgess: What is a typical week of training in the weeks leading up to a comp?
Nick Maloni: In the weeks leading into it, I starting de-loading so I’m not completely spent for showtime, I want to be happy and have a clear head before showtime.
Phil Burgess: How do you pysche yourself up for a competition and specifically before each event? It was noticeable that inbetween events you would hang with your supporters in the stands, rather than with the other competitors, was this deliberate, or do you just love your fans (of who there were several 🙂
Nick Maloni: I stay relaxed up until about 5 mins before event time, then I’m all business, nothing else matters to me, my complete focus is on the event.
I stayed in the stands with my support crew because there was a nice breeze up there, it was cooler than the marshalling area. But yes I do love my fans, wherever the Brick goes they’re not far behind.
Phil Burgess: You definitely believe in entertaining the crowds, do you think strongman will have a greater chance of growing as entertainment or as a sport?
How would you grow Strongman in Australia?
Nick Maloni: The entertainment is a by-product of doing/being a SM. However,I think it has to be recognised as a sport still.
Hit the Mass Media market, televise big events the way its done in Europe etc is how I would let it ‘Blossom’ in Oz. Easier said than done though.
Phil Burgess: Finally which Strongman athlete past or present do you respect the most in the sport and why?
Nick Maloni: Geoff Capes; loved his intensity, raw power and competitiveness. A thorough gentleman as well.
And Jouko Ahola; small guy with a big engine.