He’s 66, was born in Austria, emigrated overseas and is a member of the International Bodybuilding Hall of Fame. Guesses? Arnold Schwarzenegger fits the build, but we’re talking about Canberra’s Harry Haureliuk, who is moving into semi-retirement after 15 years of dominating international masters competition. It’s not the only thing Haureliuk has in common with Arnie. “Back in 1974 he was here in Australia at the Sydney Opera House and I entered my first competition as a novice. He was a guest poser. He actually shared an orange with me back-stage,” Haureliuk says. “There’s only a couple of months age difference. He did [bodybuilding] when he was young, I did it when I was old. He achieved seven Mr Olympia titles, I’ve managed six [in Masters]. I’ve only got one to go, so I’ll be back ... maybe.” Haureliuk cast a bit of a ‘Conan the Barbarian’ pose for Locker Room, brandishing the broadsword he was awarded last year for international lifetime achievement in bodybuilding. Haureliuk, who came to Queanbeyan with his Austrian parents at age three, after World War II, took up weights in his early teens. He just missed out on qualifying for Australia in weightlifting for the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, but turned to bodybuilding. Having given it up in the 80s, frustrated by the rampant use of steroids by other competitors, Haureliuk took it up again in the late-90s when natural bodybuilding competitions emerged. He’s won 12 world titles in the past 15 years and still trains five days a week, up to twice a day. “I’ve been in this game over 50 years, I’ve seen a lot of people come and go,” Haureliuk says. “Those sort of people [steroid-users] don’t last long in the game. Over time it creates an illness in later life. As you get older it’s hard to build muscle, but you can still maintain it and shape it. I’ll never retire from training, that’s part of my lifestyle.”
A true family man
Sceptics who think Ben Mowen is walking away from the ACT Brumbies and Australian Wallabies because of money, not his family, should talk to his teammate Matt Toomua. “I’d sit next to him on the bus for both the Brumbies and the Wallabies, without fail every day he’d show me a photo of [his daughter] Ellie. He had hundreds of photos of her, he’d show me videos. It was a bit annoying to be honest,” Toomua chuckled. “I can vouch for the family reasons and his situation is unique.” Mowen is in the final stages of negotiations in France and it’s believed he has signed a three-year deal with Montpellier. The Brumbies will name a six-man leadership group this week to support Mowen this season, but have rejected the idea of changing captains before Mowen leaves.
Wheelaroos and Weirwolf hit town
It’s a big period for wheelchair sport coming up in the capital, with the Australian wheelchair rugby league team – the Wheelaroos – to play an exhibition game at the AIS on January 18 and then Paralympic legend Kurt Fearnley to race for a Commonwealth Games qualifier at the AIS on January 21-22. Fearnley is likely to retire from Paralympic competition after the Rio Games in 2016 and is a massive league fan, but the nephew of former NSW and Australian rugby league coach Terry Fearnley said he’d stick to marathons rather than contemplating a switch to wheelchair rugby league as a flying winger. “There’s hasn’t been a Fearnley in history that’s played out of the front row, our heads are too square,” Fearnley said. “I’m a bit too much of a butterfly for that stuff. I think my chance of a sparkling rugby league career is well and truly behind me.” There will be a come and try session after the wheelchair rugby league exhibition game, with organisers hoping to attract players in Canberra and begin a competition. Fearnley faces a world-class field in Canberra, including six-time Paralympic gold medallist David Weir – the Weirwolf of London.
Mills goes back to school
Patrick Mills might live in the megabucks world of the NBA, but you’d struggle to find a sporting star who retains such a close connection to his upbringing? A graduate of Marist College, Mills gave some of the school’s budding basketball stars a courtside view into his life with the San Antonio Spurs when they played the Dallas Mavericks. The Marist College boys are nearing the end of a three-week tour of the United States. They finished third in the North Carolina junior varsity state cup and won two more games last week. James Toohey starred in the North Carolina tournament, winning the team’s most valuable player award and taking a place on the all tournament honour roll. Aidan Barnett joined Toohey on the list of all-tournament honours.
Cavalry wins war of words
A YouTube war between the Canberra Cavalry and Sydney Blue Sox broke out on Twitter on Wednesday in the lead-up to their deciding series of the Hume Highway Cup. They exchanged barbs using video clips with such famous lines as the Monty Python classic, “I fart in your general direction. Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries,” getting a run. Surprisingly, the Blue Sox then turned to tweeting about how many titles they’d won – an odd move given the Cavs are the reigning Australian Baseball League and Asian Series champs, while Sydney has been a disappointment in the three years of the ABL.
Breakfast with the stars
Just when England thought they’d seen the back of Brad Haddin and Nathan Lyon in the 5-0 Ashes drubbing, the pair are looking to pop in at Manuka Oval on Tuesday for the Prime Minister’s XI. But England can rest easy. Haddin and Lyon have been invited to a pre-match breakfast for Youth Care Canberra on Tuesday, which will also feature fast-bowling great Jeff Thomson and cricket commentator Jim Maxwell. Haddin scored 493 runs in the Ashes at an average of 61.63. Lyon claimed 19 wickets in the series.
It’s party time
From one ageless warrior to another, legendary local jockey Kevin Sweeney was able to let his hair down for his 60th birthday on Saturday after all. Sweeney enjoyed a cake from the Canberra Racing Club at Thoroughbred Park on Friday, but celebrations were tempered a little when he wasn’t able to ride in the race named in his honour. His mount, On Our Selection, was scratched. Sweeney wasn’t planning to have a party for his 60th, but a suspension from a previous meeting was enforced after Friday’s Canberra races. It meant the respected hoop was able to forget about the scales and enjoy a party with family.