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Blasts from the Past

Spent a lot of time over the Olympia Weekend, as figured, doing video interviews for this website. But, this season, there was a special added touch.

In honor of the 45th Anniversary of the event, a “studio” atmosphere was created in John Balik’s Orleans Hotel suite. And, over the course of four days I conducted hour-long dialogues, taped by recent newlywed Brad Sang, with five former Mr. Olympia’s, and one ex-head IFBB judge.

It was a blast going down memory lane with Larry Scott, the first-ever Mr. Olympia in 1965; Frank Zane, who captured the Sandow three times (1977-79); Chris Dickerson (1982); Samir Bannout (1983) and Lee Haney, (1984-91), who shares the all-time record with Ronnie Coleman at eight victories apiece.

We talked about a variety of topics: where it all began, and what first motivated them to pump iron. The highlights, and disappointments, along their journey to the top. Past and current training techniques, what they would change if they could “do it all over again”, etc.

Scott, in fact, is such a nice fella that he offered to snap the enclosed photo of me doing my best Zane imitation at the Expo. With clothes on, of course. Think it’s close?

I was hoping to get the Big Nasty in front of camera, but Ronnie was buried at the BSN booth for most of the weekend. Was unable to connect with Sergio Oliva, either. Too bad on both of them, had a slew of query’s I couldn’t wait to ask. But, I still hope to capture the history, and thoughts, of at least two-time winner Franco Columbu (1976 and 1981) here in Los Angeles sometime soon. Invite me over for some homemade pasta, Franco, and I’ll be there in a flash. Oh, maybe I can even add a fella named Schwarzenegger to the list, time permitting. His time, of course, not mine.

Also was pleasantly surprised by the content of the interview I did with Balik’s long-time buddy, Roger Schwab, a former head judge with the IFBB, ex-strength and conditioning coach at Penn State, and currently the owner of Main Line Health and Fitness in Bryn Mawr, PA.  Roger is really a sharp guy, and his history in the industry, and opinions (especially on overtraining), he shared during our version of “60 Minutes” resulted in a classic interview.

Hopefully, the edited versions of these historical tapings will be up on the site not-too-far down the road. Give ‘em a look, think you’ll enjoy them as much as I did.

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