Doug Robinson: From Tonga to the NFL: Vai Sikahema beating the odds

Ex-Cougar fights through life to honor grandfather’s legacy


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  • Mr. V san mateo, ca
    Oct. 25, 2010 11:04 p.m.

    Thank you Mr. Sikahema for the example you have shown to our young kids. You're a great roll model for our tongan kids, Maybe one day when you're visiting your Auntie's and family here in FriscoI you could do a fireside for all the young kids and young signal adult. A lot of our kids think that high school a good enough and going on a Mission isn't important........ Keep up the great work that you do. Ofa Atu!

  • Wes Eden, UT
    Oct. 11, 2010 1:13 a.m.


  • sixdays24 Provo, UT
    Oct. 10, 2010 7:04 p.m.

    Malo aupito Vai! Thanks for your example!

  • badlandscougar great plains, sd
    Oct. 9, 2010 8:38 p.m.

    it is great to read about "elder sikahema" and his life...i remember the holiday bowl vs smu as well. go vai and byu!!

  • treecaps22 Charlotte, North Carolina
    Oct. 9, 2010 8:05 p.m.

    I've never met Via but have been impacted by his example. He said something on a blog that I'll always remember. After being criticized for seeing life too narrowly through his mormon eyes by someone commenting on his blog post, he responded by saying something to the effect of: "Mormon eyes are the only eyes I have - and I will never apologize for that nor will I ever look at issues with other eyes than those." Tremendous faith - tremendous courage. thank you.

  • Johnson72 Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 9, 2010 5:23 p.m.

    I remember the " so called fight" with the Via, but what I don't remember is when he played for BYU, i just remember I was a little kid playing football with my friends and when I was givin the ball, I was pretending I was Via breaking thru the middle, can someone tell me when he played for the Y?

  • Elcapitan Ivins, UT
    Oct. 9, 2010 12:20 p.m.

    He followed his path in life holding to the iron rod. He chose to be educated by the world's greatest school, and he serves as an example and leader in God's Kingdom. What a life of love and service. He inspires mankind. He leaves a great legacy. He moves on to an even greater legacy in the next life.

  • gnrl39 South Jordan, UT
    Oct. 9, 2010 8:59 a.m.

    I've followed Vai's career since BYU days.

    What an example for all.

  • Reid Mortensen East Alton, IL
    Oct. 9, 2010 8:39 a.m.

    A very inspirational life. As a young Bishop I took a group of scouts to Eastern Illinois University where the football Cardinals held their training camp. I was able to talk with Vai before the practice began and hoped to introduce him to my scouts. He was so cordial and pleasant and asked us if we could stay a bit after practice to visit. We were granted full access to the practice and enjoyed a wonderful visit with a true role model. What a gentleman. I must also add that his coach at the time was Gene Stallings, who was equally a fine and decent man. I'm sure they enjoyed their relationship. Truly wonderful examples of the way to live a life. May God bless him and his family in all he does.

  • Orem Parent Orem, UT
    Oct. 9, 2010 8:10 a.m.

    Thanks for some positive articles about the good things in life.

    It isn't all doom and gloom.

    Thanks Vai for being an example kids can look up to no matter where they are from.

  • Timp South Jordan, UT
    Oct. 9, 2010 7:15 a.m.

    great article and seems like a great man.. keep up the great work.

  • AZJazzFan Gold Canyon, az
    Oct. 9, 2010 12:20 a.m.

    Way to go Vai! I work near his high school, the Mesa High Jackrabbits. I have followed his career since he was a freshman kickoff returner at BYU. He returned a punt for a TD vs SMU in the Miracle Bowl that helped spark the team to an eventual victory.

  • midwestfan Spanish Fork, UT
    Oct. 8, 2010 11:34 p.m.

    Great article about a great person. Thanks for sharing it, Give us more like this. -kk

  • yarrlydarb Ogden, UT
    Oct. 8, 2010 10:46 p.m.

    Great article! Someone said he did it by being himself, but it's more than just being himself; he chose who he would be and at the top of his list of things he would be was choosing to do good for others and love his fellow man. That's a too rare a quality among today's athletes.

  • Lon Nally Highland, UT
    Oct. 8, 2010 10:03 p.m.

    Good article, Doug. If there is more to be written on Vai, consider including a portion of his Rapid City Mission experiences. While in Rapid City, as a young missionary, he was tremendously well liked, big smiles, highly enthusiastic, energetic, great leader, and on many occasions borrowed my copy of a motivational training film featuring Vince Lombardi, all in an effort to inspire his fellow missionaries. His missionary success in Rapid was impressive.

  • Uncle Rico Sandy, UT
    Oct. 8, 2010 10:00 p.m.

    Nice. Vai is real and apparently still packs a punch.

  • MESOUTE Albany, NY
    Oct. 8, 2010 9:32 p.m.

    What a fantastic story about an incredible man. The world needs more like him. Some peopple don't even need to try to be great, they just are by being themselves. Look forward to the rest of this series.

  • Cosmo Springville, UT
    Oct. 8, 2010 8:59 p.m.

    Awesome article!


    Can't wait for the rest of the articles on this.

  • MiP Iowa City, IA
    Oct. 8, 2010 8:08 p.m.

    Strong work, Vai. You made a lot of people happy by knocking down Canseco...

    One more thing the DN didn't mention: Sikahema was a sweet kick returner on Super Techmo Bowl.