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Former two-time Mr. Olympia Franco Columbu tragically and unexpectedly passed away on August 30 while swimming at a beach in San Teodoro in his native Sardinia, the Italian newspaper La Nuova reports. He was 78.
Columbu was a renowned bodybuilder known for his remarkable feats of strength—including a 750-pound deadlift and a 400-pound clean and jerk—and for being the best friend and training partner to Arnold Schwarzenegger. Together, the pair trained for numerous Mr. Olympia competitions, two of which Columbu won in 1976 and 1981. He also had a successful movie career with roles in The Terminator and Conan the Barbarian. Later in his life, Columbu became a licensed chiropractor and settled down with his wife, Deborah.
In honor of Columbu’s memory and the enduring legacy that he leaves behind, we’ve compiled posts from the bodybuilding and fitness community that highlight his impact.