It all started with …
Joe Weider – the creator of Mr. Olympia
Turning back the clock to 1936: Joe Weider, the “Master Blaster” and “Trainer of the Champions,” was the first person to make bodybuilding a popular sport. Back in 1940 he wrote about vitamins and bodybuilding back in his magazine “Your Physique”.
“Your Physique” later became the magazines “Muscle Builder,” “Flex,” “Muscle & Fitness,” and the English-language publication, “Shape.”
1965, Mr. Olympia was born
1965 was the year that Mr. Olympia was born, and the year that Joe launched the “Superbowl of Bodybuilding.” Only the very best take part in the Mr. Olympia contest. Although there were already competitions such as Mr. America, Mr. World and Mr. Universe, the rules of these competitions stated that any athlete who had already won one title was not allowed to take part again. In April 1965 in his “Muscle Builder” magazine, Joe compared this state of affairs with Alexander the Great, who said at the age of 33 that there was nothing left for him to conquer.
In Joe’s eyes, the same went for Larry Scott. At the time, Larry was just 24 and had already won everything there was to win. The rules prevented him from defending any of his titles. But Larry Scott still had enormous potential – he was desperate to be able to measure his performance against the greats. Joe was of the opinion that the world should see how much muscle a person could build. Other legends such as Harald Poole, Bill Pearl, Reg Park, Chuck Sipes and others were also at a huge disadvantage.
With the creation of Mr. Olympia, Joe created the framework for Larry Scott and co. to go on to great things, establishing the most important bodybuilding competition in the world. Only Mr. Olympia gave champions the chance to present their progress to a wide audience.
And so it began …
September 18, 1965: The crowd out in the sold-out Brooklyn Academy of Music can hardly wait.
After the two IFBB competitions of Mr. America and Mr. Universe, the new champions are to test themselves against the winners of previous years at the Mr. Olympia contest. The crowds are clapping, stamping with their feet and cheering as loudly as they can. They want the superstar: Larry Scott, the man from California, who has bigger arms than any man who’s ever lived – Mr. America 1962 and Mr. Universe 1964. Joe’s new contest finally gives Larry back the stage so that he can prove himself to the whole world once more. And Larry doesn’t disappoint the fans – he goes on to win “Mr. O” in 1965 and 1966. For over 40 years now, Mr. Olympia has been crowning the Champion of Champions.
Mr. Olympia, Ms. Olympia – the Superbowl of bodybuilding
Joe Weider doesn’t do things by halves: In 1980, the Mr. Olympia contest is joined by Ms. Olympia. In 1995, he oversaw the launch of Fitness Olympia, and in 2003 Figure Olympia.
Joe’s dream of creating a bodybuilding Superbowl became reality.
The prize money has also become more appealing over the years. While Larry Scott merely received an honorary crown back in 1965, the prize money had risen to $1,000 by 1966. Just under 30 years later, at the Olympia Weekend 2005, the winners of the Mr. Olympia, Ms. Olympia, Fitness Olympia and Figure Olympia titles will share a total of $771,000 in prize money. With $550,000, the Mr. Olympia champion receives by far the biggest proportion.
Weider means bodybuilding
Joe Weider is a pioneer in the field of fitness. For many years, this man from Montreal, Canada, used his knowledge to help people around the world to live a healthy and happy life.
The name WEIDER stands for an impressive success story: Since the company’s beginnings in 1936, athletes, trainers and sports scientists have drawn on Joe Weider’s findings with regard to training, nutrition and recovery. He has also successfully won over the world of medicine, which once viewed bodybuilding with skepticism: For many years now, working out in accordance with Weider principles has been an effective weapon in combating the aging process and stabilizing the psyche.
Joe Weider has always been a passionate proponent of bodybuilding. Bodybuilders and other athletes around the world use his nutritional supplements to support their training regime and for a healthy lifestyle.