|Naidan Tuvshinbayar and Roger Trevino, the champion and the
promoter. But what are these two guys up to?
What's Roger Trevino, the Niagara Falls Redevelopment exec., up to this time?
The last time he squired a celebrity this intensely in Niagara Falls it was preparatory to him bringing the city the Wallenda Walk.
Nik Wallenda was his guest everywhere.
Last week Trevino was spotted around town escorting super athlete, Naidan "Tuvshin" Tuvshinbayar, the 2008 Olympian heavyweight gold medal Judo champion and 2012 silver medal champion.
"The National Hero of Mongolia," Tuvshin won the first Olympic medal in his country’s history.
Admittedly, Tuvshin and Trevino have been friends for years, but then again Trevino knows lots of celebrities, ever since his early days of managing NFL Hall of Famer Jim Kelly.
Trevino and Tuvshin, naturally enough, were seen at the Como Restaurant and Leon's Italian Bistro, the two premier Italian eateries in Niagara Falls, and they were also spied at the Bakery and the Fuji Grill. It was noted that the champion has a decided preference for beef.
But the two were together for more than fine dining.
They went to see Steve Richards, the supervisor of the town of Niagara. They were spotted at the Outlet Mall and again at Daemen College in Amherst.
So, the Reporter inquired of Trevino, what's going on?
Trevino said of arguably the greatest judo expert in the world, “I have a deep bond with Tuvshin."
"The champion is here in part to tend to a knee injury which occurred during the gold medal round in the 2012 Olympic games in London where, despite his injury, he won his second Olympic medal, a silver medal. By the way, he was recently named the head coach for the National Judo team in the democratic county of Mongolia," Trevino said.
Ok, I asked, so he's your friend and he's getting medical attention, but what's your business angle?
What promotion, event or business are you planning with Tuvshin and Niagara Falls, or is it the town of Niagara?
"I will give you my pat answer: 'Commerce, culture and trade,' that is all I can say at this time," Trevino said, then added that his Judo friend, and some other friends from Mongolia who are also here, have been to the Falls repeatedly.
“Their interest (in this city) has never wavered since their first foray here in 2006.”
Interest? Official interest?
The Reporter has interviewed Trevino's longtime friend, an Honorary Consul of Mongolia in the USA, Carmen B. Cabell, a man of rare talent and near encyclopedic knowledge, and he told the Reporter that whatever Roger does, rest assured, it will be big.
It is also well known that Trevino is a close friend of the Mongolian Minister for Industry and Agriculture, Khaltmaa Battulga.
So are these men involved? I asked.
Trevino answered, "These men and I share a mutual interest in the well being of Mongolian’s national treasure, their champion, Tuvshin, and, through common bonds and mutual friendship, the nation of Mongolia has shown a continuing and growing interest in the Falls."
Trevino admitted he had been to Mongolia recently.
"The forward thinking leadership of NFR owner Howard Milstein and NFR CEO Anthony Bergamo, men who seek a global market for Niagara Falls, encouraged me several years ago to make trips to Asia for that purpose. Among the countries I visited, the one that I loved the most was the beautiful country of Mongolia."
State Senator George Maziarz recently made a trip to China and possibly Mongolia. Was his trip related to your plans?
"Now you know I can't answer that. As you know, I did not announce the Wallenda walk until I had certain pieces in place," said Trevino.
In place for what?
“Why commerce, culture and trade, of course”.