Muscle Builder, Page 36, July 1957

The American Mr. Universe Pot Keeps Boiling

Read this letter of importance now...

EDITOR'S NOTE: As a public service and in the interest of fair play in bodybuilding, we reprint here a portion of a letter written by Mr. Delmar Pickles, a contestant in the Virginia Beach Mr. Universe Contest, which was sent by Mr. Pickles to Mr. Carl Hansen, President of the National AAU. mr. Pickles clearly presents his viewpoint in this letter and we feel that readers might appreciate reading the facts, as he sees them.

January 22, 1957

Delmar Pickles
P.O. No. xxxx
North Miami, Florida

Carl Hansen
National President, A.A.U.
United States
327 Clay Street
Oakland, Calif

Dear Mr. Hansen:

Several months ago, I had the pleasure and "Honor" of representing the State of Florida in the Virginia Beach, Champer of Commerce & A.A.U. sponsored "Mr. Universe Contest" of 1956. In preparing for such a contest the participating individual must devote years of his life to a concentrated physical conditioning program. Over a period of five years an athlete may invest perhaps serveral thousand dollars toward his physical conditioning schedule without any monetary return.

To participate in Mr. Universe Contest the individual must bear the following:

  1. travel expenses,
  2. leave of absence from his place of employment, etc.

In order for me to participate . . . the cost was around $200.00 and required 2,500 miles of travel. The only net gain results derived from participation in such a contest is honor, plus a self-satisfaction that at one time in your life you had the opportunity to participate in an event recognizing the world's most outstanding physique and that your chance of winning this honor and self-satisfaction was backed by the A.A.U. and the wonderful people of the State of Virginia. No reflection on the part of the Virginia Beach Chamber of Commerce . . . because they did everything in their power to stage a fair and honest contest . . . nevertheless, they were competing against terrific odds. The odds in question was nonoe other than the "United States Olympic Weight-Lifting Coach" . . . BOB HOFFMAN.

Mr. Hoffman donated th4e trophy -- his own personal protege -- his own personal judges and even had the audacity to instruct and advise them how and for hom to vote. he was also instrumental in changing the judges when he realized his personal protege placed only fourth during the preliminary voting. Mr. Hansen, I'm sure you are familiar with all the peculiars in this case i.e., photostatic copies of the judges' scorecards, etc., nevertheless I would be very happy to sign any form of notarial statement of affidavit

My occupation is that of small time school teacher and coach. I don't have the responsibility or honor of representing the United States of America as Coach of our Olympic Weight Lifting Team, but one this for sure . . . I do have the responsibility towards certain professional code of ethics:

  1. always be fair
  2. never use personal influence towards any judge or offiial, whether it be football, basketball, or physique contests,
  3. may the best man win.

Mr. Hansen, the A.A.U. Card and Membership should protect the millions of American Athletes and guarantee to them . . . Fairplay!!! As a member of the A.A.U. in good standing and representative of the State of Florida as a contestant in the A.A.U. Sponsored "Mr. Universe Contest" of 1956 your acknowledgement and disposition in this matter is anxiously anticipated by the A.A.U. members of the State of Florida.

Thank You.

Very truly yours,
(signed) Delmar H. Pickles


- In maneuvering to have Barton Horvath replaced as a judge in the controversial Mr. Unverse contest, Bob Hoffman stated that he did not consider Horvath to be a "qualified" official. We reproduce here, photostatic copies of Horvath's scorecard and Hoffman's. Hovath voted Shaefer 1st, Johnson 2nd, Bohaty 3rd, Hinds 4th and Klisanin 5th. Hoffman voted Klisanin 1st, Vinci 2nd and a tie between Harry Johnson, Schaefer and Bohaty for 3rd. Based on this documentary evidence and bearing in mind that Hoffman voted Vinci AHEAD of all contestants except Klisanin, whom would you say displayed incompetence? MUSCLEMEMORY NOTE: the scorecards show four columns for scoring: Muscular Development, Symmetry, General Appearance and Posing, and Total. Horvath's has scores in each column, with lots of marks and scribbles. Hoffman's only has numbers in the Totals column.

- Delmar Pickles on left is posed with Vinci here. Read his comments about the Mr. Universe contest.

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