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.
Bodybuilding in the Olympics!
As I watch the 2014 Winter Olympic Games from Sochi, Russia, I can’t help but think how great it would be if bodybuilding was finally accepted in the Olympics. This was a lifetime ambition of the late IFBB President Ben Weider and it still seems a distant pipe dream.
The Tijuana Incident
The Arnold Schwarzenegger-Sergio Oliva rivalry came to a dramatic close in 1973. Although the two did not officially meet onstage in competition that year, they did face off against each other in two very wild and strange confrontations. It was a fitting conclusion to a heated conflict that had pitted two of the greatest bodybuilders of their generation head to head against each other