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The Headline: ANDREW OYE'S IFBB PRO LEGENDS REPORT: MUSCLE BEACH HALL OF FAME INDUCTS IFBB PRO DANNY PADILLA, LIFTS MR. USA AND MR. AMERICA BODYBUILDING CHAMPION OF 'GIANT' PROPORTIONS TO NEW HEIGHTS

The Item: IFBB Pro League Legends Update, Special Appearances, Special Honors, Andrew Oye's IFBB Pro Athletes Roundup, WBF Pro Athletes Roundup

The Scoop: Just Reported: Over the Independence Day weekend, the 13th Annual Muscle Beach Hall of Fame (announced in association with the Mr. & Ms. Muscle Beach Bodybuilding Championships contest) inducted its latest honoree in Venice Beach, California — former Mr. Olympia contender and retired professional bodybuilder IFBB Pro Danny Padilla.

The "So What?": Danny Padilla began competing as an amateur in 1972, and he won the Overall title of Mr. USA in 1975. He won his class at the 1976 Mr. America contest (Mike Mentzer won Overall) then returned the following year to win his class and the Overall title of Mr. America. As reported in "Andrew Oye's Pro-Muscle Report," Padilla earned his IFBB Pro card in by winning 1st place in the Lightweight Class at the 1977 IFBB Mr. Universe Bodybuilding Championships.

At his pro debut, Padilla placed 2nd to IFBB Pro Robby Robinson at the 1978 Pro Word Cup and then won the Lightweight Class at the 1978 USA vs. The World contest (IFBB Pro Mike Mentzer won the Heavyweight Class). Padilla battled in many lineups at the Night of Champions (a top-tier contest now known as the New York Pro Championships), claiming 2nd in 1979 (won by Robinson), 5th in 1982 (won by IFBB Pro Albert Beckles), 9th in 1983 (won by IFBB Pro Lee Haney), and 3rd in 1990 (won by IFBB Pro Mohammed "Momo" Benaziza). He racked up strong placings, finishing in the Top 5 at several Grand Prix and general circuit contests.

Padilla joined WWE CEO Vince McMahon's short-lived World Bodybuilding Federation of "BodyStars" and finished 10th against winner (IFBB Pro) Gary Strydom at the 1991 WBF Grand Prix Championships. Upon his return to the International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness, he placed 7th at the 1994 Masters Olympia (behind winner Robinson) and ended his competitive career with a 10th place finish at the 2000 Masters Olympia (won by IFBB Pro Vince Taylor).

Andrew Oye's Verdict: The impressive part about the career of the determined bodybuilder from Rochester, New Yorker, is that he fought hard at 5'2" and 175 pounds to hold his own against competitors that stood taller and/or weighed more (sometimes up to 50 pounds more), earning him the nickname "The Giant Killer" and a rep as one of the sport's best short IFBB Pro League athletes. He participated in the filming of the "Pumping Iron" documentary (which featured IFBB Pro Arnold Schwarzenegger and "Incredible Hulk" IFBB Pro Lou Ferrigno). He was inducted in IFBB Hall of Fame in 2009.

While his showings at the Mr. Olympia Championships (a.k.a. the "Super Bowl of bodybuilding," which is now steered by the IFBB Pro Olympia Qualification Series) never yielded a touchdown -- 3rd in the Lightweight Class won by Overall winner IFBB Pro Frank Zane in 1978; 5th in the Lightweight Class won by Zane in 1979; 10th at the 1980 Olympia won by Schwarzenegger; 16th at the 1985 Olympia won by Lee Haney -- his 5th place finish at the 1981 Joe Weider's Olympia Weekend won by IFBB Pro Franco Columbu yielded a controversial moment in bodybuilding lore. Padilla recounts preparing for a full year, arriving at a ripped 150 lbs., and experiencing tremendous crowd support on the day that eventually rattled his perception of his path in the sport. "I was in the best shape of my life for the 1981 Olympia, even though the IFBB [judges] said I looked too depleted because they had to save face for choosing the wrong winner. If [IFBB Pro] Tom Platz or [IFBB Pro] Roy Callender won, I could have accepted it. Although I would have liked it better if I had won."

At 64, Danny Padilla joins the list of previous MBHOF inductees: first-ever Mr. Olympia IFBB Pro Larry Scott; 3-time Mr. Olympia IFBB Pro Frank Zane; 3-time Mr. Olympia IFBB Pro Franco Columbu; first-ever winner of the Arnold Sports Festival's Arnold Schwarzenegger Classic Bodybuilding Championships, IFBB Pro Rich Gaspari; 8-time Ms. Olympia IFBB Pro Lenda Murray; 6-time Ms. Olympia IFBB Pro Cory Everson; 2-time Ms. Olympia IFBB Pro Rachel McLish; 1983 Mr. Olympia IFBB Pro Samir Bannout; "Incredible Hulk" TV actor, IFBB Pro Lou Ferrigno; Hall of Fame IFBB Pro Lee Labrada, among others.

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