What makes something great? You can’t plan it. You can’t predict it. It just happens. It’s the real-life drama unfolding right then and there, unscripted and unexpected, that brings us to our feet and makes us say, “Yeah, I was there. I saw it. I remember.”

A moment of such magnitude requires everything coming together at just the right time. You need an occasion big enough and important enough that people will talk about it long after it’s over. You also need the right people. The kind who perform their best when nothing less will do; that special breed with the courage and resolve to do something great that people will never forget.

In bodybuilding, there is the Mr. Olympia. Created by Joe Weider, it is the ultimate proving ground. The journey to this stage for each man is measured in the years committed to perfecting the human form. Only a select few have won, and their names are celebrated across generations. With the 54th Mr. Olympia done and dusted, we take a look at these 14 men who seized the opportunity of a lifetime, immortalized their names, and, in the process, helped us remember that greatness endures.