The 10th Mr. Olympia contest was somewhat of a milestone in the history of bodybuilding’s biggest competition due to the emerging media attention it began to attract. In 1974, President Nixon was forced to resign in the wake of the Watergate scandal, Hank Aaron beat the beloved Babe Ruth’s home run record, frustrated motorists waited hours in line to fill up their cars, and streaking was in. The idea of muscles on a man’s body seemed as ridiculous a notion as not being allowed to smoke in a restaurant.
Despite the rampant prejudices imparted toward the strange and misunderstood community of bodybuilders on the part of the general public, Sports Illustrated was intrigued enough about this weird sub-culture to send out one of their ace writers to cover the subject for a substantial ten-page article in their October 14th, 1974 issue.
“The wolf on the hill is not as hungry as the wolf climbing the hill.”
“That’s true, but when he wants the food, it’s there.”
– Quote from the movie “Pumping Iron”
Since its inception in 1965, there have only been 13 Mr. Olympia winners. It is a very elite company and once you are declared the King of Bodybuilding, it is not easy to be dethroned. In less than three months, Phil Heath will attempt to win his fourth Mr. Olympia title. Vegas money is on him doing it again. What would it take for someone to enter the contest and knock Phil off his throne? Let’s take a look at the history of the Mr. Olympia contest to see some of the more memorable examples of when the reigning champ was defeated by the hungry wolf climbing the hill.
In 1989, after promoting eight international and professional bodybuilding competitions between them, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jim Lorimer decided to create their own unique competition called the Arnold Classic. When they first began promoting the Mr. Olympia contest in 1976, the Schwarzenegger-Lorimer team totally recreated the contest experience by bringing in top professionals to design the onstage sets and light the stage in a way that had never been done before. The result was an exciting and innovative experience for the audience, one never seen before at a bodybuilding competition.
In light of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s disappointing box office performance since his return to the big screen last year, I started to think about what defines a movie action hero in the year 2014. Arnold, of course, is no longer in his prime. He is 66 years old now and, despite his return to roles in which he plays an action hero, he doesn’t possess the hulking, muscular physique that catapulted him to superstardom in the 1980’s.
A Light Goes Out Over Bodybuilding
At the Arnold Classic this year, a feeling of melancholy came over me and never left all weekend. A sense of dread permeated the air, leaving me to feel depressed and sad as the weekend wore on.
The Promise of Something Big!
One of the BIG storylines to come out of the 2014 Arnold Classic was the advancement of Cedric McMillan to the top level of the bodybuilding hierarchy. After last year’s impressive debut at the Arnold (which was sabotaged by lack of color and oil) and a very disappointing 12th place finish at the New York Pro, McMillan has now gotten a handle on his condition and is at last receiving the respect from the judges that his physique clearly deserves.
2014 marks the 26th year for the Arnold Classic in Columbus, Ohio. However, the bodybuilding production team of Schwarzenegger-Lorimer goes back much farther than that. Arnold and Jim produced their first bodybuilding event with the 1976 Mr. Olympia at the Veterans Memorial Auditorium. They went on produce eight more international bodybuilding competitions before finally starting the Arnold Classic in 1989.
This year also sadly marks the final year that the bodybuilding competitions will take place at the Veterans Memorial Auditorium. Although the Arnold Classic will remain in Columbus, Ohio (the hometown of Jim Lorimer), the Veterans Memorial will no longer be the site for the Arnold Classic. As this was the venue in which Arnold Schwarzenegger first defeated the incredible Sergio Oliva at the 1970 AAU Mr. World contest, there are obviously a lot of great memories associated with this classic auditorium.