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Phil Heath on Joe Weider and Bodybuilding in the Olympics

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Phil Heath on Joe Weider and Bodybuilding in the Olympics

 QUESTION 

Would you like to see bodybuilding in the Olympics?

 ANSWER 

There are a lot of things that make the possibility appealing, and it’s a valuable discussion to have, but there are also a lot of logistical considerations that no one seems to be mentioning when discussing whether or not this could happen.

Problem 1 is the Olympics are two months before the Olympia. Then there would have to be a whole support system set up outside of the IFBB to take care of the athletes. That system would require sponsorships, big sponsorships—and not just from supplement companies—and the athletes would need salaries, supplements, facilities, and equipment. My point is that there’s much to be spelled out before it could happen, and there is a great effort that’s involved in supporting a country’s Olympic team in any sport. None of the framework for that currently exists in bodybuilding.

My biggest question, though, is whether it would propel the sport more than the Mr. Olympia currently does—the Olympia is already the ultimate showcase.

 QUESTION 

What was it like to meet Joe Weider for the first time?

 ANSWER 

Meeting Joe Weider was one of the best moments in my life because he so believed in bodybuilding as a sport, and in the athletes, that he created an empire. The industry would not exist without Joe and Ben Weider. I met Joe in 2005 in Woodland Hills, CA. He wanted to look at my arms. He asked, “Can you flex?” And he gave me some tips and then he turned to Peter McGough, FLEX’s editorial director at the time, and said, “You need to sign him right away.” Peter said, “Already done.” – FLEX

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