Tributes flow in for Canberra bodybuilding great Harry Haureliuk
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Tributes flow in for Canberra bodybuilding great Harry Haureliuk

Tributes are flowing in for Harry Haureliuk after the Canberra-based bodybuilding great died on Sunday morning.

Haureliuk died at 6:30am on Sunday and left behind a remarkable legacy boasting 12 world titles, having won six Mr Olympia's, four Mr Universe's and two Mr World's.

Harry Haureliuk in 2000.

Harry Haureliuk in 2000.Credit:Peter Wells

The 70-year-old's death has come as a shock to the Canberra community given he won two gold medals in a powerlifting competition in Melbourne just over a week ago.

Canberra's answer to Arnold Schwarzenegger, Haureliuk was the first Australian to be inducted into the International Natural Bodybuilding Association Hall of Fame.

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Family and friends are remembering Harry Haureliuk.

Family and friends are remembering Harry Haureliuk.Credit:Lannon Harley

Haureliuk is being remembered as an "inspiration" and "a true legend" of the industry, having helped generations of Canberrans achieve their goals.

"Harry inspired daily within our health club, in his role as a Physical Culture Consultant, mentoring members and staff and supporting those suffering in tough times," the Southern Cross Health Club said in a statement.

"Harry approached everyone within the club as equal regardless of age or skill, he did not discriminate. In Harry's eyes, everyone was an old friend when they were on the floor.

"Your strength has lifted us all up Harry, and your legend will live long in the heart of our club, its members and staff.

Harry Haureliuk at the Mr Olympia competition in San Francisco in 2011.

Harry Haureliuk at the Mr Olympia competition in San Francisco in 2011.Credit:Lannon Harley

"We cannot thank you enough for everything you have done and will truly miss you. We know we will be lifting weights with you forever."

Austraian-born Haureliuk moved to Queanbeyan with his parents aged three in the wake of World War II, and took up weightlifting in his early teens.

Harry Haureliuk in 2009.

Harry Haureliuk in 2009.Credit:Holly Treadaway

He turned to bodybuilding after he just missed out on qualifying for Australia in weightlifting for the 1964 Tokyo Olympics.

Haureliuk was driven to leave the sport during the 1980s, fed up with the rampant use of steroids by other competitors.

He returned in the late 1990s when natural bodybuilding competitions emerged and continued his storied career.

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Haureliuk set a masters national record at the City Strength HQ Open II in Sydney when he registered a squat of 155kgs in the over 66-under 70 division.

The Southern Cross Health Club planned to pay respects to Haureliuk with a moment of silence on Monday afternoon.