It was 2008. IRON MAN Publisher John Balik glanced at me in the lobby of the Orleans Hotel in Las Vegas moments after the latest edition of the Mr. Olympia competition ended. Balik’s eyes pointed to his left. "Why didn’t he win the show?"
"He" was Toney Freeman, who had topped the field at Balik’s IRON MAN Pro a year earlier and had earned Balik’s admiration long before that for the elegance of his 6’2", 275-pound physique.
Freeman, who finished fifth at the Olympia that year and seventh in 2012, may have not earned the coveted Sandow, but the amazing 46-year-old has racked up seven wins during an illustrious 10-year pro career that includes some 45 shows, and he gives no indication of slowing down anytime soon.
Twice in his pro tenure, in fact, he competed an unheard of nine times in a year—in 2008 and 2011. And by the time he gets onstage at the ’12 Masters Olympia in Miami Beach in December, it will mark the eighth time that he has done battle this season, including a third-place finish at the Sheru Classic a week after the O.
I caught up with the X-Man a few days after he returned from—what else?—competing, this time at the Arnold Europe in Madrid in early October, and he was headed back to Europe for the British Grand Prix and the Prague (Czech Republic) Pro. Gotta make this quick—Freeman has a plane to catch.
L.T.: A 26-year-old couldn’t keep up with your competition schedule. What’s your secret?
T.F.: There is no secret! It’s like the Nike slogan, "Just do it." I set a goal and just keep moving forward.
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