IronMan, Vol 17, No 4, Page 18, January 1958

Mr. Universe 1957

by Lou Ravelle, Director,
Ravelle's Gym, London England

THIS year's Mr. Universe show took place at the London Coliseum on October 19th.

John Lees of England won the amateur Mr. Universe title. He is the first Englishman to win a "Universe" title for a long time, the only other two being Reg Park and Arnold Dyson.

Lees stands 6'1" and weighs 210 lbs., has a 54" chest and 18½" arms, 27" thighs and 18" calves. He is a big man. His victory, however was received by the fans with only tepid enthusiasm.

Doug Strohl of Santa Monica got the biggest ovation in the show and many thought he would win. He was only given 4th place in his height class!

Gene Bohaty of Chicago was placed third in the tall men's class and Jacobus Jacobs of South Africa second.

Bohaty has a very pleasing physique. He posed well, and his great personality won him many friends over here.

Jacobs of South Africa is a giant of a man; standing 6' 1½" and scaling 220 lbs. His 18¾ inch arms are fantastic.

Class 2 - 5'6" to' 5'9", was won by massive Ron Lacy of Kentucky. He was a popular winner in this class (At the dance after the show he proved to be quite a wonderful Rock'N'Roll dancer and gave us quite an exhibition). Second, third, and fourth places in Class 2 went to three coloured boys, Paul Winter, Harry Henry and Louis Martin, in that order. These boys were very well built and all posed with natural grace.

Class 3-under 5'6", was won by Paul An of Vietnam. Second was Len Sell of England, and third, Nic Sou of Mauritius. Fourth place went to Khurshio Ahmed of Pakistan.

In the professional contest there were only two height classes - class 1, over 5'8" and class 2, 5'8" and under. Reg Lewis of U.S.A. won Class 1. Arthur Robin, coloured athlete from France, won Class 2 and also the supreme title of "Pro Mr. Universe of 1957". Robin is 5' 6½" tall, weighs 185 lbs., has a 50½" chest and a 17¼" upper arm. He really looked magnificent, and was a popular winner.

Reg Lewis, who, as mentioned, won his height class, has superb shoulders and upper body but his calves seemed under par by comparison.

Second to Lewis in Class 1 was Giles Porrier, Mr. Canada. Giles had been unable to train properly as he had undergone. a minor operation on a boil under his arm some ten days previously. Still he looked pretty good on stage.

Third was Britain's own Reub Martin, who has entered every "Universe Show" held in London since 1948. I think that is 9 times in all. Reub runs a gym in North London and is well known for his hand balancing. His shoulders were the broadest in the whole show.

Fourth in this class was Pierre Vandervondelen, a Belgian, with a pleasing physique.

In the professional contest, taking second place to Robin, in Class 2, was Jim Saunders of England. Third was Andre Coel of Belgium. Wally Wright, a former Mr. Britain, was fourth.

High spot of the show was Reg Park's posing act. He brought the house down. His physique is fantastic, as American fans know. The definition he possesses at 235 lbs. bodyweight is amazing.

During the show, old timer Thomas Inch produced his famous unliftable dumbell. This thick-handled bell weighs only 153 Ibs. but it is very difficult to grip. It has not been lifted overhead for 52 years.

J. Jacobs of South Africa, 2nd place winner in Class 1, amateur, lifted it knee high. J. Gallagher of Scotland also lifted the bell knee high. Others tried but could not get it off the floor. A prize was given to Gallagher for the best attempt.

Looking back on the show I would say that though the entries were fewer this year than last, the standard was pretty high. The standard of the English boys, particularly, has improved.

It certainly came as a surprise to many that the Americans did not carry off the top honours.


- In the photo on the left we have John Lees of England, who won the Amateur Mr. Universe title, and by his side is Arthur Robin of France, who won the Professional Mr. Universe. The photo at right shows the remarkable physique of Ron Lacy who won his height class and who is our present Mr. America. Photos by Health and Strength.

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