Bodybuilding is extremely grueling. It's more of a lifestyle than it is a sport. It's a 24/7 commitment, and it's insanely difficult to build and maintain all that muscle. The best of the best are truly sights to behold. Inarguably, the best of the best in bodybuilding can be found each year in the Mr. Olympia competition. The inaugural Mr. O contest took place over 50 years ago on September 18th, 1965 at the Academy of Music Brooklyn.
Mr. Olympia was founded by Joe Weider who was a Canadian bodybuilder and entrepreneur who wanted to find a way to give Mr. Universe champions an opportunity to earn more money from competitions. The first competition in 1965 was won by Larry Scott who already held the titles of Mr. America which he won in1962 and then Mr. World which he won in 1964.
Let's take a look at what some of Larry Scott and some of the other winners and see what they looked like then and what they look like now.
Here we have the winner of the first and second Mr. Olympia, Larry Scott. He won the competition in 1965 and 1966. With that physique, you can understand why he was known as "The Legend" and "The Golden Boy."
Scott retired from competition after his second Mr. Olympia title. He continued to train for the rest of his life, as you can see by the size of those guns he was sporting in his senior years. He passed away in 2014 at the age of 75.
After retiring from bodybuilding, Oliva became a police officer in Chicago. Here he is, much smaller than when he was in his prime. He would serve there for over 25 years. He passed away in 2012 at the age of 71.
After retiring from the sport, Schwarzenegger pursued other interests. Movies, real estate, politics, movies again... this guy has done it all. He's accomplished everything he ever put his mind to and he is still going strong and currently has 5 movies in the works.
Though Arnie has many interests, bodybuilding was his first love. He's still involved in it, hosting the annual Arnold Sports Festival, a multi-sport event. He even still hits up the world famous Gold's Gym, sometimes in disguise.
Those who watched 1977's Pumping Iron are familiar with Franco Columbu, who took second place to his best friend Arnold in 1975. He is the shortest Mr. Olympia in history, standing at only five feet and five inches tall. He was Mr. Olympia in 1976 and 1981.
Here is Columbu today. He is still pals with his much taller buddy and they have been friends for more than 50 years. 52 years to be exact. What a cute bromance! He looks incredible for his age, with good reason.
Yes, 40 years later, Franco is still pumping iron. It's hard to find the motivation to go to the gym sometimes, but some folks are an inspiration to help motivate you to get off your butt. See, we really do have no excuse.
Here we have Frank Zane, Mr. Olympia from 1977-1979. He is one of the lightest Mr. Olympia winners, weighing in at only 190 pounds at the time. His body has often been voted as the most aesthetically pleasing of any bodybuilder in history.
That amazing body of his? He's been able to maintain it and he is now 75 years old. His signature move was the stomach vacuum. As you can see, he hasn't lost a step, or an ab. He is currently coaching, he has several books, DVDS and more! Zane gained the nickname "The Chemist" by possessing an incredible knowledge of using supplements and amino acids to enhance workouts. He spreads his knowledge at seminars and helps others train. Again, it's not just a sport, it's a way of life, and one that those who are the best at it will always love it and continue to do it until they can't.