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When the great Joe Weider started Mr. Olympia in 1965, Larry “the Legend” Scott won the inaugural event and the quest for glory began. Since then, 12 other men, including Sergio Oliva, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Ronnie Coleman and Phil Heath have won the competition and etched their names into the tome of bodybuilding immortality. To put the massive growth, popularity and importance of the competition into perspective, when Scott won in 1965, he also walked away with $1,000 in prize money. According to the CPI Inflation Calculator, $1,000 in 1965 has the equivalent purchasing power as $7,395.08 in 2013.
As we fast approach the 49th edition of the most important bodybuilding competition known to man, the competitor who wins the Sandow later this year will also walk away with a cool $250,000. Combined with runner-up prize money, th Mr. Olympia payout will total $675,000 from last year’s $650,000. Total prize money for this year’s fitness exhibition is $1,000,000, the highest in Mr. Olympia history. The 212 Showdown total cash prize has increased from last year’s total of $40,000 to $65,000 and the Bikini Olympia total cash prize has gone from the 2012 figure of $30,000 to $40,000.
The total breakdown of prize money per division is as follows:
Mr. Olympia: $675,000
212 Showdown: $65,000
Ms. Olympia: $60,000
Fitness Olympia: $60,000
Figure Olympia: $60,000
Bikini Olympia: $40,000
Men’s Physique Showdown: $20,000
Women’s Physique Showdown: $20,000
This year, the 2013 IFBB Joe Weider’s Olympia Fitness and Performance Weekend, brought to you by Bodybuilding.com, takes place from September 26-29 in Las Vegas, NV. To make sure you know who has qualified, how to get tickets, what the schedule comprises of and how to make the best of your Mr. Olympia experience, check out MrOlympia.com, or follow Mr. Olympia on Facebook and Twitter.