Spartan Boot Camp for Rio's Carnival King


King Momo, the Rio Carnival's symbol of overweight excess, has employed a personal trainer and a nutritionist as he goes to drastic lengths to whip himself into shape for the festivities.

Milton Junior, who weighs in at 160 kilograms (352 pounds) and stands 1.84 meters (six feet three inches) tall, knows what he is in for as this will be his fourth year playing the Brazilian city's carnival king.

"I began training in July. Already I lost 10 kilograms (22 pounds). I will be at my thinnest," Junior, who is a bank manager in real life, told the O Globo daily, revealing his crash diet and tough exercise regimen.

"In 2009, when I became King Momo for the first time, I got tired a lot. I didn't realize all the running around the job entails. After the Carnival, I was ill. I therefore decided to prepare for the Samba marathon."

King Momo will receive a giant key to the city on Friday, symbolically kicking off five days of wild partying and frantic samba dancing.

Hundreds of thousands of revelers will take to the streets for what is dubbed the "greatest show on earth."

The climax will be two night parades next week at the Sambadrome, where Brazil's top 13 samba schools will compete on floats packed with dancers wearing huge headgear, feathers, sequins and little else.

King Momo's job, leading the crowds in five days of wild partying and frantic samba dancing, is a demanding one and Junior has vowed this year to be prepared.

As well as having a nutritionist telling him what to eat, he has Marco Santos, director of the prestigious Beija-Flor samba school, as his personal trainer.

"The fatty is the classic figure of King Momo. But now he is also healthy," said Santos, who is using spin classes to strengthen Junior's legs and knees to endure days of almost non-stop samba.

King Momo doesn't just have to move well, he also has to look good, and again Junior is taking no chances.

In addition to strenuous physical exercise and a Spartan diet, he has indulged himself with a reflexotherapy massage, some deep skin cleaning and, for his feet, a spot of podology.

"I take great care of my feet. An ingrowing toenail could ruin my Carnival," explained Junior.

Comments 0