In the last instalment, we discussed how Larry and Joe Weider conceived the idea of the Mr. Olympia competition way back in September 1964. Larry had just won Mr. Universe and felt like Alexander The Great with no new worlds to conquer.
We also discussed how Larry trained for that first Mr. Olympia and a lot about his mental mindset. Let Larry tell you how it went:
“It was July, 1965. Joe Weider had just visited California checking on his then new California Weider office in Santa Monica. Big Dave Draper was working there and Joe would come in periodically to check on things.”
“Joe had just laid a major bomb on me by saying that Ortiz was working his legs hard and would be in top shape for the September shows. He also said he saw Poole earlier in the week at the Mid City Gym in NYC and Poole was in the best shape of his life and it was only July! 6 weeks to go.”
“Everybody imitates Joe Weider. Here is my version. ‘LAWRY.’ Joe said in a somewhat mixture of a New York-Canadian accent blended in with some nasality like he had a cold, ‘You better be at the top of your game. Poole and Ortiz are looking great. And I was in London last month. Earl Maynard is looking absolutely awesome too. Even better than last year when he won the NABBA Pro Mr. Universe.”
I asked Joe, “Hey, how do I look, like chicken little?”
“You look great LAWRY. It is going to be a great contest. I can hardly wait. History is in the making. One of you guys will be the first Mr. Olympia and no doubt the greatest bodybuilder ever.”
“I respected Maynard. He got a win over Serge Nubret to win the NABBA PRO Mr. Universe. That is nothing to sneeze at. Nubret was fantastic even then. Then Joe hit me with another bombshell.”
“While I was in London, I heard from Nubret. He sent a mailgram. He may be competing in the IFBB Mr. Universe this year and if he wins, he will be eligible to compete in the Mr. Olympia too. You know Lawry, Nubret and Maynard both competed in the IFBB several years ago before competing in NABBA.”
Serge Nubret, winner of the most muscular man and his height class in the 1960 IFBB Mr. Universe and runnerup 2 years in a row for the NABBA Pro Mr. Universe was seriously considering entering the 1965 IFBB Mr. Universe and Mr. Olympia.
“What? I may have to deal with Nubret too??” Larry exclaimed.
“Lawry, you won’t believe the interest in this years contests. We are getting many American bodybuilders from the AAU who are going to compete in the IFBB Mr. America this year. Bodybuilders from all over the world want to compete in the Universe and win a chance to compete in the Mr. Olympia. It is going to be great.”
“Who will actually be competing in the Mr. Olympia Joe?”
“Well we have you, Harold and Maynard for sure. Chuck Sipes says he’ll be there. So that makes four. Maybe Eiferman, the 1962 IFBB Mr. Universe.”
“How about Reg Park, Bill Pearl, Joe Abbenda and Tom Sansone?”
“No word from Park or the others. My office in New Jersey has been reaching out to Sansone and Abbenda. As former AAU Mr. America’s and NABBA Mr. Universe winners, they would be tough to beat and they live right in New York. We have also been in touch with someone I believe you know, Ray Routledge, another former AAU Mr. America and NABBA Mr. Universe who lives right here in southern California. He has indicated that he is ready for action. Also Ray Schaeffer, another former AAU Mr. America and NABBA Mr. Universe. John DeCola from Massachusetts is interested in coming over to the IFBB after what happened to him last year in the AAU Mr. America. If he can beat Draper and win the America, he would then be eligible to compete against you and the others in the Mr. Olympia. Better train hard Larry”
“What I didn’t realize was that Joe was playing mind games with me and showing his excitement at the same time. Those who don’t know Joe Weider don’t realize that he is bodybuilding’s biggest fan. He genuinely loves this and is like a big kid about it. Yes he has made a lot of money from bodybuilding and he has also done a lot for bodybuilding. I don’t know where I would be if it were not for Joe Weider.”
“After listening to Joe, I trained harder than ever. It was my goal that no matter who showed up, I wanted to be better than I ever had been before and wanted to set a new peak of physical achievement like no one had ever seen before. I was already in incredible shape. Now I stepped my training even more. I was actually coming in on Sundays, which was usually my day off. So now training 7 days a week”
“I went to see Rheo H. Blair for some nutritional help. He told me that for as hard as I was training, I better increase my protein. So he had me take amino acid capsules and dessicated liver every couple of hours to keep my body in a positive nitrogen balance. He also suggested that I eat more eggs while cutting down on carbs.”
“It seemed to work. Normally this kind of training would lead to serious overtraining. I was doing a variety of exercises to hit the muscle from various angles. I didn’t just want size. I wanted quality. Aesthetics. Balance. I was also working my waist hard creating that washboard look as we called it with defined intercostals and obliques. I wanted the whole package. I wanted to create a physique like no one had ever seen in me or anyone before. And Vince was right there with his training expertise.”
“Vince also had his nutritional expertise. He advised me on how he created an incredibly muscular condition for the 1957 Pro Mr. USA and 1962 NABBA Pro Mr. Universe by eating a lot of beef.”
“Vince said he would workout until he was exhausted and then go to the broiler across the street. Protein up with beef. Have some black coffee, perhaps some water and then come back and workout some more now that his energy was replenished. I tried it. I honestly believe this created the incredible transformation I had made form the summer of 1965 to September 1965 on Mr. Olympia night. I owe so much to Vince and Rheo.”
“I also continued to use the Rheo H. Blair Protein & Cream diet consuming the powder mixed with half and half milk/cream and eating all day long. I estimated that I was getting easily over 300 grams of protein just with this alone not counting the amino acid capsules and dessicated liver. Also used Betaine Hydrochloride and Pepsin to digest this huge protein intake.”
“I could actually feel my muscles growing daily. And I could see that I was getting more muscular at the same time. The diet regimen was working extremely well. But I felt like a gym rat. I was in the gym 7 days a week.”
“Finally the big day came. September 18th, 1965. I arrived in New York early to unwind and relax in my hotel room getting ready for the “show of shows” as Joe Weider always called it. And this year, in 1965, it was especially “the show of shows”
“On September 18th., I arrived in the auditorium early. While the Mr. Olympia would not be prejudged, the Mr. America and Mr. Universe contests would be. And while the pre-judging was closed to the general public back in those days, Joe Weider allowed myself, Harold Poole, Vince and perhaps a few others to see this event. Other than that, the only people in there were the contestants, judges and camera people along with stage hands, Joe & Ben Weider and Bud Parker, the promoter of this gala event.”
“I sat there spellbound as I saw the various contestants come out to compete for Mr. America. I thought darn, glad I’m not competing. These guys are incredible Far better that what I saw at the AAU Mr. America a few months earlier and even better than last years IFBB Mr. America which was fantastic.”
“I immediately picked Dave Draper to win. He looked absolutely awesome. So massive. And muscular. He really slimmed down. Chet Yorton would be his only competition and was visably dissappointed when he was announced in 2nd place.”
Chet Yorton, 2nd place tall class and overall in the 1965 IFBB Mr. America contest. Scott said that he considered Yorton a serious threat in the Olympia if he competed. He had great size, muscularity, symmetry and proportion. Yorton also claimed to be drug free. Amazing is that Yortons legs were once crushed in a car accident and in a attempt to rebuild them he discovered bodybuilding and actually developed one of the greatest legs in bodybuilding history and could do repetition squats with over 500 lbs. in 1966, Yorton would beat Frank Zane and Don Howorth to win the IFBB Mr. America and one week later beat Arnold Schwarzenegger to win the NABBA Mr. Universe. Yorton was a noted competitor who retired way too soon.
No Freddy Ortiz!
Ortiz did not show up. And I was more than just a little surprised and disappointed. Especially after what Joe told me just months earlier. Freddy had been entering these shows for as long as I have. The audience sure missed him too. He was always a crowd pleaser.
Maynard enters the IFBB Mr. Universe!!!!
I was surprised to see that EARL MAYNARD had decided to compete in the IFBB Mr. Universe in that the UK-IFBB had sent him to compete in the Mr. Olympia and he had already qualified by virtue of winning the 1964 NABBA Pro Mr. Universe.
Joe Weider told me that Earl felt to compete against Poole and myself he had to win the IFBB Mr. Universe and the the IFBB had the highest standard of competition. No argument from me there. And this would give me a chance to scout Maynard at the pre-judging of the Mr. Universe.
Maynard looked incredible . Even better than pictures I saw of him in the mags. He was big, broad and very muscular. About as muscular as Poole and that is saying something. His one weak point perhaps was his legs, but they weren’t that bad compared to the others. Compared to Poole and myself…???????? He would be no match in the legs department”
“There was a new sensation who emerged this year. He is famous now, but then he was unheard of. His name? Rick Wayne. Joe Weider said he was developed very much like me. Very thick upper body. Incredible arms and delts. He looked amazing. Very muscular too. But he lacked continuity. His legs, calves especially were underpar. He also needed better forearms. But I figured in time this new “kid” would be great and that has turned out to be true. Ricky would win his height class this night in a upset of sorts over veteran Rock Stonewall and would push Maynard somewhat. ”
“New Sensation in 1965 Ricky Wayne wins the shorts man class Mr. Universe!”
“I was pleasantly surprised to see Frank Zane win his height class in the 1965 IFBB Mr. Universe and win best legs. In 1964 Frank did not even place in the IFBB Mr. America. I picked him as the man to watch. And indeed he was. Such great natural symmetry, shape and aesthetics. The qualities that Vince had us train for. Frank was blessed with them naturally”
“I mentioned how the quality of the IFBB Mr. America had improved over previous years. The same was true in the IFBB Mr. Universe. Whereas the top champs in the IFBB were always above the rest of the flock in the bodybuilding universe, this year, the overall depth in the IFBB Mr. Universe was also much better than ever before. The IFBB had expanded to many new countries and Weiders Muscle Builder/Power was now being read in 50 countries. The quality and quantity of world class champions showed it.”
On to the evening show.
With the prejudging over, I went out, ate light, didn’t want my definition to wash out and came back for the “show of shows” Backstage, I watched all the contestants pump up for the Mr. America and Mr Universe. I would go out to the wings and watch some of the contestants.
Dave Draper and Chet Yorton got incredible applause. So did AAU defector Mike Ferraro. The guy who stole the show was 15 year old David Mastorakis. I heard them say he was 15 but couldn’t believe it. He looked incredible.
As expected Dave Draper won the IFBB Mr. America title. As great as Yorton was, he was no match for big Dave.
MAYNARD makes history. First man ever to win both the NABBA & IFBB Mr. Universe titles. No small feat.
“While the magazines said it was close, it really wasn’t. Earl Maynard dominated the IFBB Mr. Universe over Ricky Wayne. He had better balance. His legs could have been better too, but they were much better than Wayne’s. I picked Maynard to win and wasn’t surprised to see this result. I said then that Ricky Wayne’s time would come especially if he came to California and let Vince train him.”
“And even though Nubret didn’t show up, I feel that Maynard would have beaten him again. My only question now was would Draper enter the Olympia??”
The trophies and awards were all passed out. Draper was the new Mr. America. Maynard was the new Mr. Universe. Normally this is where the “show of shows” end. But this night there was one more event and I was getting ready pumping up back stage.
“Emcee Bud Parker announced to the audience that while Joe Weider had ferociously been promoting the Mr. Olympia for an entire year and invited every great champion going back to John Grimek, Clancy Ross, Steve Reeves, Jack Delinger, Bill Pearl, Reg Park to the most recent champions across all federations, the Mr. Olympia would have only three contestants; Earl Maynard, Harold Poole and Larry Scott.”
“He said that Chuck Sipes had called and could not make it but would be competing in 1966. As for the others, I guess they are conceding to the greatness of the current champions.”
“Harold Poole was pumping up. He had a tank top on with a pair of sweat pants. His delts, traps and pecs looked bigger than ever. He came over to me trying to psyche me out and flexed his arms. He looked at least 20 lbs heavier than when he competed against and beat me two years earlier for the IFBB Mr. Universe in 1963. He looked incredible I was undaunted. I was ready.”
“Earl Maynard, fresh from winning the IFBB Mr. Universe and smiling from ear to ear, put his 7 ft trophy down, picked up a barbell and started barbell curls with a 225 lb olympic barbell. This guy was powerful. The psyching out continued.”
“The promoter came out and flipped a coin to see who would be the first to pose. As it turned out, Maynard would go first. He wasn’t happy with this. He had just competed for Mr. Universe and was tired. Nonetheless, he went out first and as before was sensational. He looked incredible as he flowed from pose to pose.”
“Maynard hit a most muscular man shot and looked even more muscular than POOLE! Incredible muscularity. The crowd went crazy!
“Maynard walked off to thunderous applause. The audience had to wonder who would be next, Poole or me.”
“MC Bud Parker settles that by announcing, “Next contestant….HAROLD POOLE!”
“The audience goes wild as Poole hits a abdominal shot, then his own patented version of the most muscular and then pose after pose after pose. The audience is calling for it. Poole knows it. “C’mon Harold. Most Muscular pose” Poole slowly bulls his neck, bends forward sweeps his arms around and then hits it—The Most Muscular Pose!! Audience screams bloody murder. Incredible.”
“It now appeared as though the contest had turned to Poole. He had the audience eating out of his hand and he looked out of this world. As I watched from the wings, I felt butterflies in my stomach. This was it. I would be next. Could I beat Poole this time? It would be a tough act to follow and Poole looked just so darn incredible.”
“I heard someone yell. “Don’t come out Scott. It’s over. Poole won.” Then I heard a familiar chant:
“WE WANT SCOTT!”
“WE WANT SCOTT!”
“WE WANT SCOTT!”
“I thought to myself, I didn’t train this hard all year not to come out and with that audience calling my name, now it was my turn.”
“Emcee Bud Parker started to introduce me. “Ladies and gentleman. There is only one contestant left. From California L-A-A-R-Y and that was as much as he got out when the audience stepped it up, screaming my name, stomping their feet and cheering madly.”
“I have to admit, that I was uncomfortable with this. I am a mere man, not a super hero.”
“So I walked slowly out to the stage, circled around. Then walked out to the stage itself and stood on top of the posing dias. And just stood there looking over the crowd. I heard people gasp. Then they started to cheer madly.”
Then I swung my arms up in my version of the double biceps, knuckles forward. Flashbulbs popped all over. I was on fire! So excited and thrilled. I went through pose after pose. And with each one, the audience got crazier and crazier. I waved and attempted to walk off stage, but the audience would have nothing of it.”
“More! More! More! They cheered.”
“So I came back for an encore. Hit 3-4 more poses and tried to walk off again and once again the audience cheered”
“More! More! More!”
“So I CAME back one more time, Hit 4-5 poses this time figuring that would satisfy them, started to walk off and then once again chanted..”
“More! More! More!”
“I stood on stage and heard one guy scream. “Larry, you are a God.” I pointed at him and said, “No I am not.” The audience continued with More! More ! More!”
“I reach for my waist and said, “What do you want from me?” I already posed and gave four encores. Fans don’t realize how grueling and competing in bodybuilding really is.”
I went back stage and waited for the decision. Much to our surprise, the expediter came back right away and told us the judges had made their decision and wanted all three of us onstage.”
“I walked out with Harold and thought Maynard was right behind us. Turns out it was just Harold and I. Emcee Bud Parker announces:
“The judges decision is unanimous. All judges have decided. Mr. Olympia……….
I felt 10 feet tall and bullet proof. It was the happiest day of my life up to that point in my life.
“I was especially pleased to see what a good sport Harold Poole was. He had been known to have a bad temper and carry on when he lost a contest. Not this night. Harold told me that he was disappointed that he did not win and at the same time felt that I had deserved to win the Olympia. So now we had each beaten each other one time. Harold was a tough competitor and also a great sport.
“I have to admit, I didn’t like the idea of the crown for being Mr. Olympia. First the fans were treating me like a rock star. Then another guy was calling me a “God” and now I was being crowned and treated like a King. While I love my fans and appreciate their support and respect Joe & Ben Weider, I really resented the crown. Was going to toss it until Joe told me it was worth $1,000. That plus the recognition of being Mr. Olympia, precious memories made it worthwhile and at least I didn’t have to haul another 7 ft trophy back to California. Was so glad when the Weiders decided to offer the $1,000 cash prize in 1966.”