Sergio Oliva

Born July 4, 1941
Guanabacoa, Cuba


Sergio Oliva, “The Myth”, was a member of the Cuban weightlifting team. While the squad was in Jamaica for the Pan American Games in 1962, Sergio defected and made his way to the United States, eventually taking up residence in Chicago.

Once there, he became a police officer and briefly continued to compete in lifting events before concentrating on physique exclusively. After winning the IFBB Mr. World in 1966, Sergio entered the IFBB Mr. Olympia that same year but had to give ground to Larry Scott.

After that, however, with his huge full muscle bellies, tiny joints, fine proportions and sensational mass, Sergio began to be thought of as unbeatable. Sergio won the IFBB Mr. Universe in 1967 and went on to sweep the IFBB Mr. Olympia titles in 1967, 1968 and 1969, beating Arnold Schwarzenegger for his victory in ‘69. Arnold turned the tide in 1970 though, beating Oliva as he would again in 1972.

Following that defeat, Sergio did not compete under the IFBB banner again until 1984 when, at 43 years of age, he placed 8th at that year’s IFBB Mr. Olympia. He finished 8th again in 1985, and that marked the end of a career for a man who will always carry the enigmatic nickname of “The Myth”. Sergio still resides in Chicago.


Hall of Fame Inductees for 1999