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Interview with Kiana Tom
The Star of ESPN's Kiana's Flex Appeal
Fit and Pretty Example of Success!


So tell me a little about your background. You call yourself a 5th generation "Chinese hapa," a mix of Chinese, Hawaiian and Irish - who is the Chinese, Hawaiian and Irish side of your family?

My mom is Chinese/Irish and my Dad is Chinese/Irish/Hawaiian. My grandfather (who lived in Kailua before he died) on my dad's side named me Kiana - that means Calm Water and Island Princess in Hawaiian.

What happened to your tennis aspirations after you started doing weight training to strengthen your tennis game? Could you have been competitive in tennis?

Weight training improved my tennis game a great deal; I developed stronger legs, more muscular arms and more quickness on the court. I was very good and know I could have been competitive, but other priorities became important to me. I had been playing tennis since 7 years old and once in college, I discovered the social life and weight training. I had burned out on tennis. I still love going to the tennis matches and recently emceed the Balance Bar Mercedes Benz Tournament with Andre Agassi and Pete Sampras at UCLA.

What about weight lifting did you find rewarding and satisfying? What myths did you find the hardest to overcome and what aspect did you find the most beneficial.

The best things about weight training is being able to feel each and every muscle, seeing the muscles get shaped and harder every day, improving posture, looking and feeling better, having more energy and better sense of well being. As you can imagine, I could go on and on about the benefits of lifting weights.

Tell me how your weight-lifting regiment and "lean physique" got you into modeling? It has been mentioned that you used modeling to help you through school?

I modeled to help pay for school expenses, and found my niche with only modeling for sports and healthy companies: no alcohol, cigarette ads. By lifting weights and being athletic, I was unique. Combine that with being a Hapa and I would get most jobs that required athletic ability. Most models looked beautiful standing next to a racing bike, but I could ride it and jump.

Describe the "bit of luck" and hard work that has shaped your present success?

Luck; timing is everything. I was once told that I have "Angels" watching over me. I have been lucky with timing. The best story is when I was wondering whom to speak to pitch Kiana's Flex Appeal to at ESPN. I was working as a host/reporter for the Extreme Games at an inline skating event in Venice Beach, CA. I turned around to see a man with an ESPN badge and introduced myself and humbly asked him whom at ESPN I should speak to regarding my great idea for a new fitness show! His response was, "that would be me, I am in charge of programming for ESPN, tell me about it........" (Major luck/angels/timing, you name it!)

Kiana's  Website  
Discover her clothing, fitness tips, etc.

Visit her website at www.Kiana.Com.

At her site, discover

  • more b/g info
  • her clothing line
  • food supplements
  • fitness tips
  • latest news

    They were developed to meet the needs and requests of her many viewers.

  • One, in light of your confidence and looks, would never imagine you being an insecure girl growing up in Southern California. Could you share a little about that time of your life?

    I was raised in SoCal by the beach, where everyone was blonde and blue eyed - I was teased relentlessly for being slant eyed, a "Jap" (wrong nationality even), etc., I would go home crying from school, praying I would wake up blonde and blue eyed. Kids can be cruel, especially at an age where you want to blend in. As an adult, I am so very happy that I look unique. I would never, in a million years, want to be blonde and blue eyed. However, I do have a platinum blonde wig that I wear for fun for photo shoots.

    What is the funniest thing about you that people generally don't know?

    That I dance around naked in my house singing - as if I were on stage.

    Do your friends/family have a nickname for you? If so, why do they call you that name? If not, what nickname would you call yourself?

    I have so many nicknames: Ki, Ki Ki, Keeks, Keekster, B (Baby in Chinese, I am the youngest child), Curl Girl, Squat Queen, Biceps Babe, Spanky.

    When were you a Raiderette cheerleader? Was it when it was in Oakland or in Los Angeles?

    I was a LA Raiderette. It was so fun; I did it for 2 years. Out of 48 girls (12 in each corner of the football field) I was one of the 10 chosen to accompany the Team to Tokyo and to London to cheer for American Football game at Yokohama Stadium and Wembley Stadium. It was a real honor, we were treated like royalty, went to the US Ambassador's home for dinner, parties every night, seeing the sites. FUN!

    Did you just go to a tryout and made the cut?

    I tried out like everyone else and made the team. Pretty good for an athletic girl with little dance experience and no cheerleading experience!

    What were the best and the worst of being a Raiderette cheerleader?

    Best: the above-mentioned travel and making friends with the girls. Worst: wearing those cheap high heel plastic boots on the field at 105 degrees for 8 hours while dancing on the hard floor. That, plus the 7AM practice on weekends in L.A.

    What are your personal interests, hobbies and favorite things that you like to do for pleasure?

    I love to hang out with friends who give me energy. I surround myself with energy-givers. I love to laugh. I like to read, watch TV: Sex and the City, Friends, Everybody Loves Raymond, and reruns of Seinfeld. I love going to the movies and bringing my low fat popcorn. If I have time, I love to travel. I want to go to Greece.

    What degree did you get from UCLA?

    Bachelor of Arts

    Tell us about which one of your features (physical, spiritual, intellectual, etc.) that you feel are the most useful to the greatest amount of people that want to look like you (if they are ladies) or to have a lady like you (the guys).

    I have been told that one of my greatest, most unique qualities is that I make people feel good about themselves and radiate a good energy.

    What is your favorite hideaway location - whether it is in the United States or anywhere else in the world?

    My home. I call it the "Kiana Castle." I have everything I need here and it's home.

    Who are your personal favorite music groups, plays, movies, workout personalities and TV programs?

    I have an extensive music taste: Frank Sinatra, 3 Doors Down, Ricky Martin, Prince, AC/DC, Motley Crue, Chris Issak, Van Halen, Janet Jackson, Destiny's Child, the Gap, Bobby Caldwell and my very favorite, Aerosmith. My favorite movies are It's a Wonderful Life, all Mafia Movies and "Arnold" flicks. My favorite plays are Cats, Stomp, Cabaret and Lion King.

    Discover what Kiana's thoughs are on the following subjects:

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