Sunday, December 02, 2007

Olympic Dreams

We all have them, mine has just taken much longer then normal to obtain, and the road I used would kill the average person, motivation and drive, I'm still trying I guess thats what makes it all the worth while. Just recently the Telegraph had placed some information on the roads that i had taken , that led me to where I am today, Nick (reporter) did a great job. For those who did not see the news I have placed it below and the link to the tele.

MICK Cutajar has nothing to show me when quizzed about his greatest fight. Standing in the downstairs sanctuary of his Wollongong home, sunlight blasts from rows of judo trophies and jujitsu cups, medallions, plaques and swords .evena laptop runs YouTube video from his Extreme Fighting days.

But it's his other prizes we've come to discuss. Those "Cutta" will later spend a good 90 minutes explaining from a black leather lounge.

Like his worrying bouts of claustrophobia, for example. And wariness in the dark. A 100kg enforcer who still jumps sharply whenever doors slam.

"Those Long Bay prison fights, mate, they still haunt me," Cutajar concedes. "Like the one in the shower block, first year inside.

"At the time, there'd been a lot of s . . . going down between me and another fella. A paedophile Im told.
"And this particular afternoon there were six of us there. Then there were two. So you fight or die in the shower."

And so Cutajar fought; a chaotic couple of seconds that left his rival lying unconscious on the tiles. Smashed face, broken leg and three distinct chest wounds from a shiv hidden inside his towel.

"What became of the bloke? Dunno," Cutajar deadpans. "Hospitalised, obviously. Then moved.

"But I wasn't concerned about his welfare, his wife and kids. My only thought was 'f . . ., OK, I'm still alive'."

Michael "Cutta" Cutajar is the Australian judo champion who has spent his entire life fighting.

A Year 9 high school dropout - "I was sick of getting bullied and chased home" - who is now just 265 days from becoming THE story of our 2008 Beijing Olympic team.

Two tournaments are yet to be contested before March. A handful of Aussies still in contention.

But already this Wollongong Warrior is daring to dream. Of sponsorship deals and coaching gigs, movie roles and book deals. He even wants to publish a secret prison diary he kept buried in some Long Bay garden bed.

Only last week Mick's parents told him to contact 60 Minutes. Because an Aussie prisoner at the Olympics would be interesting, they said. Maybe mention you shared a cell with Ivan Milat too.

ndeed, Liz Hayes would love to read this eclectic resume of a convicted armed robber, Kings Cross bouncer, Guns N' Roses bodyguard and diamond courier - once moving $5.2 million interstate around his wrist.

Mad Mick has fought coppers, drunks, prisoners, world champions, even some junkie brandishing a bloody syringe.

"So for someone like me to finally make the Olympic qualifying, it's special," the 39-year-old understates. "And to own that Olympian tag, mate, it would change my life forever.

"Like, I've fought for everything I have. It's been almost 15 years since I left jail and still no one wants to employ me full time.

"At judo competitions people I've never even met approach me saying 'Oh, you're the armed robber'. Mate, yes, but I have done a few positive things with my life since then."

The best place to start Cutajar's incredible story is November 1995, when he received three years for a bungled robbery attempt.

The yarn itself is a convoluted web of lies, deception and betrayal. But, for the sake of brevity, Mick walked into a security company wearing a balaclava, overcoat and contact lenses.

He KO'ed the security guards. Bound them with a third staffer. Removed their guns - "in the process going from common thief to armed robber" - and made off with a cool $39,000.

below is the link:,22049,22771286-5001023,00.html