Farewell to a Legend

Larry Scott, the 1st Mr. Olympia, dies at age 75.


The bodybuilding world is mourning the loss of Larry Scott, the first-ever winner of the Mr. Olympia competition, who held the prestegious titles in 1965 and 1966.  Larry was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease in 2010 and passed away from complations at the age of 75 years old, on March 8, 2014.  

But let's remember this legend, born on October 12, 1938 in Idaho, for his incedible accomplishments and the bar of excellence that he set for the bodybuilding world.  What better way to honor his memory, than to begin his tale in the words of Joe Weider.

"I’m reminded of the one that started it all, way back in 1965. Until that time, it was difficult for any bodybuilder to make the claim that he was the best in his sport. We held the Mr. America, the Mr.World and the Mr. Universe contests, with the winner of each making an assertion for his own superiority, but it was never an open-and-shut case. 

Thus was the situation in 1964. Larry Scott was the reigning Mr. Universe and was proclaimed by many to be the top bodybuilder in the world. Harold Poole had won the Mr. America contest earlier that year, and he had his own sizable legion of supporters. Within the sport, debates raged as to which of these great champions was truly the king of the hill. 

Then one day Larry and I were eating at the Matador restaurant, and he was looking somewhat melancholy. When I asked him what was wrong, he replied that he felt like his bodybuilding career was already over. He had won the Mr. America and the Mr. Universe titles and, the way he saw it, there were no more competitive mountains left to climb.

Right then and there, I realized what I had to do. It was time not only to resolve an age-old dispute, but also to give champions like Larry Scott a chance to reach for a single ultimate honor in our sport. 

But what to call this new contest? I wanted it to have a name as majestic as the men who would compete in it. Many great names had already been taken. As luck would have it, inspiration came from the unlikeliest of places. In addition to our dinner, Larry and I were enjoying a beer. The name of the beer? Olympia. And so was born bodybuilding’s ultimate contest. (As Peter McGough once reminded me, if we had been drinking Pike Pale Ale, Larry would have been the first Mr. Pike Pale Ale.)" - Joe Weider 

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