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Ben Weider, OC, CStJ, CQ, PhD
IFBB Founder and Honorary Life President

"Remembering the Past" chronicles important events in the 60-year history of the International Federation of Bodybuilding & Fitness (the "IFBB") and the IFBB Professional League, while under the stewardship of IFBB Founder and Honorary Life President, Ben Weider.

We hope that you will accompany us on our journey through the past and, in so doing, discover together why the IFBB and the IFBB Pro League are today among the strongest sport organizations in the world and why the sport of bodybuilding and fitness continues to flourish.



At the Opening Ceremony of the 1975 "IFBB Mr. Universe" and "Joe Weider’s
Mr. Olympia" in Pretoria, South Africa, Ben Weider’s opening remarks were, "They said it could not be done", referring to the two-year struggle (against prejudice and political and government interference) to ensure that these Championships were hosted in accordance with the IFBB creed that "in sport, there are no limitations; no barriers of race, religion, politics or culture."  More …



When the history of bodybuildiing is written, 1971 will go down as a landmark year.  Bodybuilders around the world rejoiced when the IFBB became affiliated to the General Association of International Sports Federations. More …



Guest Editorial by IFBB President Ben Weider, an open letter to the A.A.U. regarding the IFBB's recognition by the General Association of International Sports Federations.  Reprinted from the December 1971 issue of MUSCLE BUILDER/POWER. More …


1977 IFBB International Congress

President Weider prefaced his 1977 report by reading from the many letters which emphasized the growing prestige and importance of the IFBB in world sport. More …


1988 USSR joins the IFBB
Ben Weider, OC, CStJ, CQ, PhD
IFBB Founder and Honorary Life President

In the aftermath of World War Two, conflict, tension and competition between the United States and the Soviet Union lasted for over 50 years and became known as the "Cold War". A large part of the world lived under Communist rule; most notably, the USSR, China, More …


1985 China Revisited
Ben Weider, OC, CStJ, CQ, PhD
IFBB Founder and Honorary Life President

Ben Weider's first trip to the People's Republic of China was in 1954. Throughout the late '60s and '70s, the "Cultural Revolution" under Chairman Mao Tse-tung brought about wide-scale social, political and economic chaos… More …


1976 IFBB International Congress

Sport to me, has always been something more than just participating in a sports activity. Due to my numerous trips all over the world, I have come to the conclusion that sport is also a very vital social activity. It is meaningful and through sports, we can build a better world. However, sport is rapidly becoming an endangered species because of the influence of politics. More …


1975 IFBB International Congress

President Ben Weider said that he was astounded that 1975 brought even more progress to bodybuilding than in 1974. He credited this progress to the increased exposure throughout the world that bodybuilding received. This was due mainly to contacts with the International Sports Press Writers Association, ABC Wide World of Sport of the USA, and Visnews, a television news agency in London, England. He estimated that more than 50 million people will see the results of the championships in Pretoria, South Africa. He reported that bodybuilding was now part of the World Games. This organization comprises of federations that are not on the olympic programme, but whose sport represents widespread interest and popularity. More …


1974 IFBB International Congress

President Ben Weider replied, "I wish to thank Mr. Fassi for his welcome and all the officials of his federation for their work in ensuring the success of this congress and the championships. This is an historic congress because it is now four years since our first constitution was approved in Belgrade. This year our constitution will be changed by means of the propositions from the various countries. It is also historic because of our elections. Some of the candidates who are not elected will naturally be disappointed but with the election of new members to our Executive we shall renew our strength. We shall continue working towards our goal which remains Olympic recognition. More …


1973 IFBB International Congress

President Ben Weider stressed the great significance in getting the General Assembly of International Sports Federations to support the I.F.B.B.'s request for International Olympic Committee recognition. He was most optimistic for such eventual recognition and acceptance. Present Weider stressed the importance of keeping world politics out of the activities of the I.F.B.B. The United Nations was formed to help solve international political problems, consequently, Sports Federations are not to be expected to solve political matters. He pointed out it is his great desire that the national I.F.B.B. Federations will not bring up any problems relating to subjects of politics, religion or race. More …


1972 IFBB International Congress

The contestants swarmed into Iraq's capital city by boat, by bus, by train and by plane. Surging throughout this entire gathering was a unique spirit of warm friendship and genuine brotherhood through sports, efficiently organized by the IFBB. Men of good will from many different religious faiths, political leanings, and racial backgrounds met in the spirit of harmony and true amity. More …


1971 IFBB International Congress

Gleeful pandemonium broke out when President Weider detailed how close the IFBB is to recognition by the Olympics administration.  As a preliminary step, the IFBB was invited to join the General Assembly of International Sports Federations (GAISF), the leading world body of its type. Application was subsequently made to the International Olympic Committee for recognition and a response from IOC leader Avery Brundage said the matter was under consideration.  This was held to be favorable news since issues of unimportance to the IOC are usually rejected summarily. More …


1970 Historic 1st IFBB International Congress

The International Federation of Bodybuilders made bodybuilding history when it staged its first International Congress in Belgrade, Yugoslavia, on Friday, September 4th, 1970. The full minutes of that Congress, the Constitution and Rules that were passed, and a report of the IFBB "Mr. Universe" contest that was held the day after the Congress follow. More …


History of the IFBB

A history of the International Federation of Bodybuilding & Fitness as told through its IFBB International Congress Reports; the annual gathering of elite athletes, delegates, officials and supporters for the celebration of the IFBB Men's World Amateur Bodybuilding Championships and IFBB International Congress. More …


Ben Weider: Canadian Casts Doubt on French History

A French historian once confided to Ben Weider, businessman and author of numerous historical works on Napoleon, “Ben, French Napoleonic historians think guys like you are great. But watch out, if you make too much fuss and rock the boat, we’ll squash you like a bug …

This threat, uttered by the French historian while he mimed crushing an insect underfoot, would have daunted many – but not Ben Weider. He answered tit for tat: “OK, my friend, but Canadian bugs don’t squash easily!More …


IFBB Hall of Famer Oscar State, OBE (1911-1984)

Oscar State was one of the most experienced administrators and officials in the history of sport. By instructions and example, he influenced thousands of people, both in and out of the world of bodybuilding. More …


The History of Doping Control within the IFBB

Dateline – Tokyo, Japan, Sunday, October 26th, 1986 … history is in the making! Ben Weider, Founder and President of the International Federation of BodyBuilders (IFBB), sits poised before the delegates from the 47 countries attending the annual IFBB International Congress. He is on the brink of announcing the results of the first-ever drug tested Men's World Amateur Bodybuilding Championships. Needless to say, you could hear the proverbial pin drop in the Congress Hall of the Tokyo Hilton International, as the more than 150 delegates, special guests, VIPs and supporters quietly listened with rapt attention. More …


The Voyage of a Lifetime: My 1947 Visit to Cairo, Egypt

I remember it like it was yesterday. The voyage to the land of enchantment, Cairo , Egypt . The year was 1947. The Second World War was over and I had just been honorably discharged from the Canadian Army. I had finished serving my country and life was full of only promise and possibilities. More …


The 1975 "IFBB Mr. Universe" – Pretoria, South Africa

At the Opening Ceremony of the 1975 "IFBB Mr. Universe", Ben Weider's opening remarks were, "They said it could not be done", referring to the two-year struggle (against prejudice, political and government interference) to ensure that these Championships were hosted in accordance with the IFBB creed that "in sport, there are no limitations; no barriers of race, religion, politics or culture." More …


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