House of Representatives, 16 February 2023
Radovan Leovic was born in Yugoslavia in 1927. He yearned to escape and as a teenager decided that if only he could be selected to represent Yugoslavia in the European Games he'd be able to get out. But he wasn't quite good enough, so he did something else. He got hold of a national team uniform, travelled to the north of the country, where the games were held and, wearing a national uniform, cycled with the peloton over the border, where he escaped and ultimately made his way as a refugee to Australia.
He became a regular in the Canberra triathlon scene, receiving the Legend of the Sport Award from Triathlon ACT just last year, at the age of 95. As recently as 2018 he was running, cycling or swimming every day and said he was 'all the time warm and all the time ready to race'. My friend Alex Gosman said of Rad: 'I can remember Rad always being one of the last to leave after a race as he stayed around to help pack up. Rad always gave 100 per cent, never complained, and had a smile and a hello for everyone.' Triathlon is an extraordinarily competitive sport, but triathletes are generous to one another, and Rad was the epitome of a sport that combines endurance and generosity to fellow competitors.