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Zena Iese — athlete, film maker and teacher

Local wrestler Zena Noah Iese. [SN photo]

At 36, local wrestler Zena Noah Iese of Amanave and Afao is the oldest of the 6-member delegation of local athletes currently in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan representing the territory - for the first time ever - in the 5th Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games.

Samoa News coverage of the Games is sponsored by Carl's Jr.

A youth coordinator for the academic division of the ASG Department of Youth and Women's Affairs (DYWA), Iese is a 1999 graduate of Leone High School who started off his career in the motion picture/television industry.

He moved to the territory and - under his company Navigator Island Pictures - became the driving force behind the first ever locally produced short film - "Fatu O Le Alofa - Heart to Heart" which was followed by another short film - "Seki A Oe".

 He uses his tech savvy to teach computer classes for local youngsters at the Pago Pago Youth Community Center and most recently, he was selected as general secretary for the gymnastics federation.

A graduate of the Academy of Arts University in San Francisco, CA, Iese is now prepping himself to face wrestlers from others countries around the globe, and he is scheduled to hit the mat next week on perhaps the biggest stage he's ever had to perform on.

Other local wrestlers who will be competing under the American Samoa flag include Daniel Heleta Misaalefua, Iafeta Jeff Vou, Nolan Puletasi, Pita Fanolua, and Sealiitu Mauga.

They are all set to compete in their own respective weight categories on Sept. 25-26.

The Games officially close on Sept. 27

The only track & field athlete representing American Samoa at the Games is Isaac Silafau, who was scheduled to compete in the 60m and long jump yesterday, and again tomorrow.

Samoa News will provide coverage of the Games, sponsored by Carl's Jr.

This past Sunday, Sept. 17, during the official opening ceremony for the Games, the local delegation was able to see and experience first hand what it's like to be at the Olympic level.

More than 6,000 athletes from 65 delegations representing Asia and Oceania, as well as a refugee team from Africa competing under the OCA flag, have been welcomed to what has been touted as the biggest event ever in the history of the Asian Indoor Games.

This is the first time the Oceania National Olympic Committees have been invited to participate and we wish our local athletes the best.