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Ben Weider, the President and founder of the International Federation of Bodybuilders (IFBB), received the 2004 Perry and Mabel Rader Lifetime Achievement Award at the 15th annual Ironman competition in Pasadena, California on February 21, 2004.
"Ben Weider is the seminal force in the creation of worldwide bodybuilding as it exists today," said John Balik, promoter of the Ironman competition. "His almost 60 years of focused and tireless effort to realize his dream has made our collective dream possible."
Ironman magazine presents this award annually to honor and recognize individuals who have made a significant contribution to the sport of bodybuilding. The award is named in honor of Perry and Mabel Rader, who founded the magazine over 50 years ago. It is one of the industry's most prestigious honors; past recipients include Jack LaLanne, Joe Gold, and Ben's brother, Joe Weider.
"It's an honor and privilege for me to receive the Perry and Mabel Rader Lifetime Achievement Award," Weider said. "John's passion and love for the sport of bodybuilding led him to purchase Ironman magazine in August 1986 from the Rader's. Through hard work and dedication, John has turned it into a premier bodybuilding publication. Thanks to motivated people like John, bodybuilding is not only a top sport, but also a lifestyle practiced by millions worldwide. I sincerely appreciate John for having selected me as the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award and thank him for his contributions to our sport."
Weider has received of dozens of awards over the years, including the Order of Quebec, the Legion of Honor, and the Order of Canada (the highest award bestowed by the Canadian government to a citizen). He was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize in 1984 and has been recognized by Sport Intern as one of the Top 100 Most Influential Sport Personalities for the past five years.
Attending this special ceremony was Ben's son, Eric Weider. "I was very proud to accompany my father to the Ironman competition as he received the Lifetime Achievement Award," he said. "I've witnessed my father's diligent commitment to bodybuilding firsthand as he has spent his life toiling on behalf of bodybuilders from the tiny Norfolk Islands to Russia. In doing so, he has shown me the way that a person with passion goes about pursuing their dream. Most people say, 'I've done enough.' Not my dad — he just keeps on going! My father is my ultimate role model and inspiration."
The IFBB has members in 173 countries and is the fifth largest sports federation in the world. Recognized by over 90 National Olympic Committees (NOCs), the IFBB is a member of the General Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF) and by the Olympic Council of Asia and the Supreme Council for Sport in Africa too. The IFBB participates in the following Games: the Pan American Games, the Southeast Asia Games, the Asian Games, the South American Games, the Central American Games, the Caribbean Games, the Arab Games, the South Pacific Games, the African Games and the World Games.