Octogenarian Aussie body builder goes for gold

SYDNEY (Reuters Life!) - Aged almost 80, Ray Moon has overcome polio, open-heart surgery, prostate problems and financial ruin to become an Australian body building champion.

Bodybuilder Ray Moon, who is turning 80 this year, competes in the Victorian Bodybuilding Championships in Melbourne September 14, 2008. REUTERS/Mick Tsikas

With rippling, head-turning muscles and the stamina of a much younger man, Moon was crowned champion in the “over 60s” category of a national amateur body building competition on Sunday.

“I usually go in the “over 70s” but they cut it out, so I was up against younger men,” Moon told Reuters by phone.

The former millionaire restauranteur started training some five years ago to “sort out his troubled mind” after his business collapsed.

“I was unfortunate enough to hit a financial hurdle and it left me with no money so I needed something to get my head together,” he said. “So I started working out with the owner of the gym who was a former Mr. Universe.”

Moon, who turns 80 this year, follows a strict diet and training regime. “I train five days a week, two hours on exercises and cardio and I also walk three or four kilometres a day on the treadmill,” he said.

“I’m on a high protein diet,” he added.

Moon said he hopes he has inspired elderly people to become more active. And his advice is simple:

“I’ve always had a positive attitude well before I went broke, but it certainly helps when you’ve got no money and you’ve got to start again -- it makes a big difference,” he said.

“Give-up never won a race!”