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History of the Mr. Olympia

 


In 1963, Joe Weider surveyed the available bodybuilding titles, and felt that none of them quite matched the vision he harbored of where the sport was headed. The Master Blaster instinctively realized that the current generation of bodybuilders was taking the sport to uncharted heights, and that they required a contest worthy of their talents. Joe came up with the ultimate contest, the ultimate prize for the ultimate physique, the Mr. Olympia, which materialized in 1965. Needless to say, the posing platform was forever transformed*. 

1965 It all started on September 18, 1965. The crowd at the Brooklyn Academy of Music waited at the edge of their seats, screaming in anticipation. They clapped their hands, stomped their feet and yelled as loud as their lungs would allow for the blond superstar from California with arms too big to believe. The man they were waiting for was the legendary Larry Scott, and the reason why they were waiting was because this was the night of Joe Weider's greatest creation. This was the night of the first ever Mr. Olympia contest. 

Larry Scott was the bodybuilding superstar of his day, but by 1963 there were no more world to conquer. Scott had already won the Mr. America and Mr. Universe titles; there was little left for him to prove. Besides proving anything, Scott already had a houseful of trophies and plaques and felt it was time to move on from bodybuilding and make some money. 

Joe Weider recognized the need to keep Larry Scott in bodybuilding and the necessity to force the sport to grow. He created the Mr. Olympia contest to keep all the great Mr. Universe champions active in the sport and to give them the opportunity to earn money from competing. Joe could see that for the sport to succeed in the future, the champions would have to be able to make a living from competing in the sport just like other professional athletes. 

1966 Larry Scott indeed won the first Mr. Olympia contest that hot September night in 1965 and repeated as Mr. Olympia again in 1966. He then announced his retirement and the 1967 crown was up for grabs. 

1967, 1968 In 1967, Sergio Oliva (commonly known as "The Myth") won the third Mr. Olympia contest in overpowering fashion. People wondered how much better Sergio could get. But better he was! In fact, he was so much better that he won the 1968 Mr. Olympia unopposed. You know true greatness when no one dares to challenge. 

1969 Nevertheless, the greatest challenge to Sergio was waiting in the wings and 1969 commenced the greatest rivalry in the history of bodybuilding. Oliva was challenged by a young Austrian named Arnold Schwarzenegger. In a close battle, Sergio came out on top in 1969. He was now Mr. Olympia three years in a row, but Arnold promised that Sergio would never defeat him again. 

1970 Both men trained hard for the following year and in September of 1970, Arnold edged out Sergio to become the third man to hold the Mr. Olympia title. He'd said he would hold the title until he retired and that he would never be beaten again. 

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