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The History of Mr. Olympia



Posted in: Articles by ProSource, Superfeature Articles | Sep 19, 2007



Joe Weider, co-founder of the International Federation of BodyBuilders ( IFBB) created the Mr. Olympia Contest, first held on September 18, 1965 at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. Larry Scott, already holding the title for Mr. America, Mr. World and Mr. Universe, took the title for Mr. Olympia in 1965 and again in 1966. In 1966, at 28, Larry announced his retirement from competition. From 1967-1969 Sergio "The Myth" Oliva, held the undefeated title. In 1969, he was challenged by a new and upcoming bodybuilder from Austria named Arnold Schwarzenegger. It was a tough decision, but Sergio held his title. However, in 1970, Arnold took over the title, holding on to it for the next 5 years until announcing his retirement. With Arnold now out of the show Franco Columbo was crowned the new Mr. Olympia in 1976 then like Arnold announced his retirement from competition. From 1977-1979, Frank Zane held the spot finally losing his title in 1980 where Arnold made his history making comeback by winning the title for the seventh and last time before retiring for good. 1981 saw the comeback of former Mr. Olympia champion Franco Columbo who won for the second time then officially retired. With the new title up for grabs in 1982 Chris Dickerson became the oldest man to win the title. 1983 was the year of the "Lion of Lebanon" Samir Bannout who put it all together to be the 6th man to have the title. 1984 started the streaked of the "Totalee Awesome" Lee Haney who made his mark on history by winning the Mr. Olympia a record 8 consecutive times. In 1992 with Lee Haney officially retired Dorian Yates captured the title and held it for 6 years until hanging up his posing trunks. In 1998 the bodybuilding world was taken by storm with the arrival of Ronnie Coleman. Ronnie has since tied Lee Haney's record for consecutive wins holding the title for 8 years until 2006, when his winning streak was broken by Jay Cutler. In the 42 years since the first Mr. Olympia Contest there has been a total of 11 pro bodybuilders who have held the title of " Mr. Olympia."



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