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Started By CanadaMan (Saskatoon, SK, Canada)

Started on: 4/10/2004 4:35:47 PM, viewed 819 times
1980 Mr. Olympia: My Thoughts

Hi Guys,

Have many of you seen the 1980 Mr. O? I recently bought the DVD, and it′s amazing. I love watching the bodybuilders from that era. Back then, they actually had to work around their weaknesses. Nowadays, with all the drugs the guys are taking, everyone looks the same. Also, I think the posing routines were more majestic in the seventies and early eighties. It′s a shame what the IFBB has turned into.

Anyway, here′s my thoughts on the placings:

1. Though most guys on this site say Mentzer blew everyone away, I wouldn′t go that far, though I do think he deserved to win.

2. Arnold definitely wasn′t in as good shape as several of the other competitors, but with his amazing arms and upper body, I think he was definitely top 5. As anyone who has seen the contest will tell you though, his legs were atrociously skinny for someone at the Olympia level. Plus, he seemed to lose definition as the show went on, and his posing routine was very choppy and, for lack of a better word, juvenile. There is absolutely NO WAY he deserved better than fourth or fifth place.

3. Frank Zane was the most ripped guy, and, in my opinion, the most symmetrical, but he was way too small to win against the other competitors.

4. Boyer Coe looked amazing. The only thing holding him back was his thick midsection, which was completely lacking in detail. In his defense, I think this flaw was more genetically-determined than anything, and he did the best he could with what he had. Furthermore, his massive development everywhere else more than compensated for his abdominal weakness. I thought he was better than Arnold, and he had the best posing routine in the contest.

6. Chris Dickerson deserved his second place trophy. His muscle separation, definition, and proportions were amazing. Also a very skilled poser. His only weakness was in his biceps. If he had the biceps development of Mentzer, I think he would have walked it(provided, of course, that the contest hadn′t been fixed in Arnold′s favour).

7. Mike Mentzer: He was huge, perfectly proportioned, and ripped. His only weakness was that his posing was a little shaky, and (to me) he didn′t appear really confident. I think his slightly weak presentation had more to do with experience than anything, and it may have hurt his placing. Most of the other competitors had been competing at the international level for a decade or more, and this was only Mike′s second Olympia. That said, Mike was the only competitor in the top 5 with no visible physical weaknesses, and his muscularity was second to none. Frank Zane, like Mike, was perfectly proportioned, but his lack of size was a serious detriment. In cases where all else is relatively equal, the bigger man should always win.

Here′s how I would have rated the contest:

1. Mike Mentzer

2. Chris Dickerson

3. Boyer Coe

4. Frank Zane(tie)

5. Arnold Schwarzenegger(tie)

I know all you Arnold-haters are cursing me, but his upper body was still world-class in 1980, enough so to make up for his disproportionate lower body.

Let me know your thoughts.


This Topic has 6 Replies: Displaying out of Replies:

mofo (san ramon, CA, U.S.A.) on 4/10/2004 8:47:20 PM


i posted some info on the 1980 mr. o on this site before the website got a facelift, so it may be lost, and of course it sounds so unreal that many people may not believe it, but as i get older, and realise what i was privy to in the bodybuilding world from 1978-1984 was pretty juicy gossip for bb fans, of course in the real world, it means squat.

anyway, growing up in southern california, i was lucky or unlucky enough to train first at gold′s on second street in santa monica, and then later, from 1979-1984 at world gym in santa monica. i was a starry eyed scrawny kid wannabe at the time, but i was pretty lucky to see photo shoots in both gyms supervised by joe weider with craig deitz or russ warner or bill reynolds as the photographers of top stars like frank zane, robby robinson, danny padilla, mike of course, and later his brother ray, and casey viator, bertil fox, lance dreher et al……….

anyway, one of the managers at world was a man named eddie guliani.

he is a big arnold fan. in the summer of 1980, arnold was seen in world gym more than his customary 6am 30 minute workout, and it was quite noticeable that he was getting larger. it should be noted that at 6′2" arnold in his retirement days weighed about 210, so he was pretty lean.

it was thought he was getting ready for a movie role, and that is what he told everybody. fans were always coming into world gym to catch a glimpse of the stars. one day while my training partner and i are doing leg presses, eddie was doing calves when some tourists come in. they had seen arnold the other day and they were asking eddie how does arnold look compared to when he was king in 1975. eddie said, and to this day i still remember his new york accent tell the tourists, "he is about 65-70 percent of his best all time, not really in contest shape". well, we all know what happened, and a few months after the 1980 "o" a few more tourists pop in to world, and again ask eddie (who was a manager there) did arnold look good enough to win it. eddie′s response

was "oh, you should have seen him, he looked fantastic, best evah!". to this day, i still remember the sheepish look on his face when he turned to my partner and i cuz, one, he knew that he lied, and two, he knew we were on to his bullsh*t. i think the feeling in the gym at the time was they couldn′t beleive arnold would have the guts to fix that contest, nor could anyone believe he would crap all over the "sport" that gave him the springboard to bigger and better things. funny, but anyone in the bb world that wasm looking to make their living kept their mouth shut, hoping that arnold would throw them a crumb. i am sure, most are still waiting.



CanadaMan (Saskatoon, SK, Canada) on 4/11/2004 12:11:41 AM


Cool post. That must have been really exciting to have trained at Gold′s and World Gym back in that era. Wow.

Interesting how people will change their tune after the fact. This Eddie guy probably just wanted to jump on the Arnie bandwagon after Arnie′s victory.

It′s funny how Schwarzenegger operates. He entered the 1980 Mr. O at the last moment, either to wait until he knew who the judges were(presumably so he would know if they could be swayed), or just so he could piss off the other competitors(and throw them off, psychologically). He did the exact same thing at the 2003 recall election in California. Old habits die hard, I guess.

I think it′s disgusting what he did. That contest was set to go down as the best in history. A world-famous venue and a full, major-network film crew to document the entire show. If CBS sports even thought it was a fix, then it had to be. Arnold probably thought it would be a good media event to lead into his first major film role(not counting Pumping Iron). He ruined what could have been a watershed moment in bodybuilding, and turned it into a black eye on the sport′s history. I don′t think Mentzer, Coe, or Zane ever really recovered from that show. Zane had a few more high placings, and Dickerson took his rightful crown in 1982(after Franco copied Arnold in 1981 and came back for another token Sandow gift from Joe Weider), but Coe never placed in the top 10 again, and we all know what happened to Mike′s competitive aspirations after the show.

What a shame. Had Arnold not stepped in, Mike likely would have won, and he would have blown away the competition for the next three years at least, maybe even given Haney a run for his money once or twice.

Thanks for the reply mofo. By the way, what are your thoughts on the placings? Have you watched the video?


mofo (san ramon, CA, U.S.A.) on 4/13/2004 6:57:20 PM


funny but i never have. i do want to buy it though. i just remember the magazine articles, in fact you might be able to find one through the mike mentzer website by jack neary who was editor of weider′s magazine at the time, and mike mentzer′s roommate for a while as well. the title of the article was "arnold′s olympia victory causes anger and resentment". i just remember everyone knowing it was a fix, but stopping short of saying it, aside from people with backbones like mentzer, and coe. if you notice zane and platz played nice, and continued to have a nice career in the ifbb. although platz got royally hosed in the 1981 fix at the hands of franco. i remember the magazine articles following that one saying chairs were actually hurled on stage, and that once platz was announced second, that weider left and ran for cover knowing full well what the reaction would be when franco was announced the "winner". i wonder if anyone out there has pictures of franco from the 1981 olympia, not his 1976 win. he had gynocamastia really bad in one pec. i remember he was a guest on a morning t.v. show in l.a. (local breakfast t.v. type show), and they showed a short film clip of his posing routine, and that is where i saw the gyno. ironman mag and bob kennedy′s magazine mentioned it, as did rick wayne in weider′s magazine. i always felt that arnold′s arrogance showed in having the 1980 "o" fixed, and then his final f-you to the sport was 1981

to prove he could do anything he wanted, and that he was bigger than the sport. if there were more people like mentzer and coe, it never would have happened, and like i said in my previous post, if anyone had any dreams of continuing to make a living from bodybuilding, then they kept their motuh shut and took it. i personnaly thought that that was the

death knell for bodybuilding having any chance to gain a wider acceptance, and you know what, it got what it deserved.



CanadaMan (Saskatoon, SK, Canada) on 4/13/2004 10:00:15 PM


Good points all around. Arnold and Franco were Joe′s poster boys: friends and rivals; David and Goliath; whatever image Joe was trying to create.

Pretty pathetic, really. Arnold probably would have gotten smoked by Sergio in 1971, but Sergio wasn′s allowed to compete that year(only Arnold and Franco–some contest!). In 1972, Arnold won over Sergio by(supposedly) one point. I heard that Sergio totally blew Arnold away at that show, and that it wasn′t even close. Of course, Arnold got the nod because he was Joe′s favorite son.

As for Franco, I′ve never thought he was Mr. O material. He got the ′76 title for being patient and waiting for Arnold to retire. As for ′81, I′m sure you′re right about Arnold having something to do with the result of that contest.

Anyone else out there have any thoughts on the ′80 Mr. O? Darrell, I know you′ve seen the video.



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