If there’s a something out there that screams “bodybuilder”, it’s the Mr. Olympia award. It first appeared back in the 1960s, and it is the reward given to the winner of the international bodybuilding contest held annualy at Joe Welder’s Olympia Fitness and Performance Weekend. There have been plenty of Mr. Olympia winners in the 52 years that the award has existed, and if you’re a big fan of bodybuilding and you perhaps want to win that award one day, then how about taking a look at the first 5 winners of the award, then and now.
1. Sergio Oliva
A Cuban native known as ‘The Myth’, was a 3-times consecutive Mr. Olympia winner in 1967, 1968 and 1969, managing to beat the famous Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Mr. Oliva died near the end of 2012 due to kidney failure, but his son and daughter carry his name, and his son Sergio Oliva Jr. is following in the footsteps of his dad taking part in bodybuilding competitions.
2. Arnold Schwarzenegger
When you talk about bodybuilding, you can’t go without mention the legend himself, Arnold Schwarzengger. Nicknamed the ‘Austrian Oak’, this now-legendary builder’s Mr. Olympia prize is actually what kickstarted his acting career and made him into the legendary macho badass being he is today.
With 7 Mr.Olympia titles under his belt, he currently hosts the second biggest bodybuilding competition in the world, the Arnold Classic.
Controversially, he lambasted a host of current professional bodybuilders who were seen on stage with big distended guts and bloated bellies. He called for a return to the Golden Era where men with flat stomachs, striated chests, and ripped abs were considered champions.
He is regularly seen with his longtime workout partner, Franco Columbu.
3. Larry Dee Scott
Larry was the first and second winner of the award, and he was nicknamed ‘The Legend’ and ‘The Golden Boy’ for his impressive physique. He retired at the young age of 28, attempting a brief comeback in 1979 before finally retiring.
After training with Gironda, he became well known for his unusually large and long biceps. Gironda’s exercise, the preacher curls were eventually named after Scott; the Scott curls.
Larry, unfortunately, passed away in 2014, due to complications with his Alzheimer’s.
4. Franco Columbu
Columbu is one of, if not the shortest bodybuilders out there, and certainly the shortest one on this list, standing at a tiny 5’4″ in height. He came fifth in the inaugural World’s Strongest Man Competition.
He was also a good friend of Arnold, even though sometimes they had to compete with each other. When Arnold won in 1980, Franco won the following year.
Franco was also Arnold’s best man at his wedding with Maria Shriver and their friendship is still going strong. Back in his hayday, Franco was nicknamed “The Giant Killer”. Their friendship truly is strong.
5. Frank Zane
He is a 3-time Mr.Olympia winner and he is commonly known as the ‘Father of Aesthetics.’
This builder was named ‘The Chemist’ due to a bachelor’s degree in science and an abundant use of supplements and amino acids. He won all three of his titles while still weighing under 190 lbs.
Frank Zane is truly a bodybuilding legend. He was one of the few people that beat Arnold in a competition while weighing under 190 lbs.