Mr Universe flexes muscles

Sandra Black from Dynamic Nutrition welcomes Australian body builder Lee Priest, the current holder of the NABBA Mr Universe title, to her shop in Portadown. In addition to body building, Mr Priest is also a champion race car driver and has worked on a number of movies and TV shows. Picture: Cliff Donaldson
Sandra Black from Dynamic Nutrition welcomes Australian body builder Lee Priest, the current holder of the NABBA Mr Universe title, to her shop in Portadown. In addition to body building, Mr Priest is also a champion race car driver and has worked on a number of movies and TV shows. Picture: Cliff Donaldson

Portadown muscled in on a visit from Mr Universe recently.

Lee Priest, the father of all body-builders at the grand old age of 41, called at the Dynamic Nutrition emporium at Edenderry to inspire a burgeoning generation of young muscle men and women how to develop every part of their bodies.

And the ‘woman’ angle is essential to the 5’5”man from Australia. He started his own development with none other than his mother back home in New South Wales when they posed together on-stage. “Mum was my inspiration,” he told his rapt audience at DN.

Julie Flaherty, who helps sister and brother-in-law Sandra Steven Black run the shop, said, “Lee was tremendous, but was surprisingly shy as he didn’t take off the top to show all his rippling muscles.

“He’s tattooed all over – face included – and he’s a genuinely nice guy. He called with us – Steven booked him – as part of his Northern Ireland tour, having won the Mr Universe title in Southport just last week.”

Lee told his fans who packed the premises that he’d returned to the sport after a seven-year lay-off, and that failing to win back the coveted title wasn’t an option. And he answered many questions on health, nutrition and training (he’s at the gym at 5.30 every morning) and that nothing is achieved without dedication.

He won his first Mr Australia title at the age of 17, leading up to the Mr Universe title, worldwide fame, and a nice living as an Iron Man.

And he took the opportunity to sign Julie’s ‘Heartbeat Ted’ Teddy Bear in aid of the Heartbeat Trust, with her two-year-old son Jake having died back in May.

“Lee was simply superb,” said Julie. “He made such an impact for just one day in Portadown – and he did our sales no harm at all!”