Joe Weider as something that would give Larry Scott another shot at competing has evolved into a nonstop weekend immersion in everything related to bodybuilding. From the original men’s contest it has added women’s bodybuilding, fitness, figure and bikini plus the men’s 212-and-under event and men’s and women’s physique. In addition, a hugely successful expo has grown up around it.
The show has brought many memorable moments over the years. I saw my first Mr. Olympia at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in 1966, when Larry Scott won and retired, and also the 1969 event, when Sergio beat Arnold. Fast-forward to 2014, and I witnessed the fourth triumph of Phil Heath.
The weekend is like a reunion for me, and the people make it special. I saw many whom I’ve known for 40-plus years, like Arnold and Franco, and for 30-plus years, like Lee Labrada, Samir Bannout, Lee Haney and Mike Katz, to name but a few. Other familiar industry people I enjoyed seeing ranged from Betty Weider, whom I’ve also known for many years, to the producer of the event, Robin Chang, who did his usual seamless job in creating and coordinating the weekend.
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