Just received news that Ben Weider died suddenly on Friday, October 17th in Montreal. Just having seen Ben at the Olympia, I was shocked to hear the news about 20 minutes ago. I never personally met Ben; I only knew who he was and what my dad said about him. My dad supported Ben and the Olympia by helping set up the lighting at the Orleans Arena for the evening shows on Friday and Saturday nights. At the 2007 Olympia during Ben’s opening statement, he acknowleged my dad for his support of the Olympia and bodybuilding. I was proud to hear that, especially coming from Ben.
One lasting impression about Ben was the support he gave to the military during the Olympia. During the last two Olympia’s I attended, his opening remarks at the Saturday night finale showed me that as a person, he was much more than bodybuilding and the IFBB. At this year’s Olympia, he stated that 400 tickets were offered to the military for free. As a retired United States Air Force Master Sergeant (E-7) with 23 years of active duty service, I really appreciate his support of the miltary. It’s nice to see support for the miltary during these troubling times. Being a First Sergeant the last three years of my military career, I would have been honored to serve under Ben, who stated he was a Colonel. Having the Nellis Air Force Base Honor Guard perform at the opening ceremony each year is always a special moment for me and I feel it was for Ben, too.
One other thing; Ben and I share the same birth date, February 1. Ben was just a few years older than me. Next year’s Olympia will be different for obvious reasons. My sincere condolences go out to all of Ben’s family and friends.
Ben Weider, I salute you. Hooah! May you rest in peace.
Here are a couple of links where you can read about Ben’s passing: