Muscle Builder, Vol 9, No 10, Page 26, June 1968
THE audience ws sitting and talking about what they had just seen. Already they had witnessed one of the best Mr. America contests ever staged. They had been entertained by Rick Wayne who sang with a rock and roll group. They had drooled over the lovelies in the Miss Americana contest, they had been astounded by the muscle control artistry of Ed Jubinville and thrilled by the posing of one of bodybuilding's immortals, Jack Delinger. As incredible as it may seem that was only half of the show with the best yet to come.
Once again the house lights dimmed and the spectators strained forward in anticipation. As the stage lights brightened the handbalancing act of "David and Goliath" began to perform. I never get tired of watching good balancing acts. This one is one of the best. They've performed all over the country and have appeared on nationwide TV. As a result they have the most polished balancing act I have ever seen. All their moves are slow with deliberate testimoney to strength and control. No sooner had they finished than the great Chuck Sipes appeared to do his strongman act. I have now seen this act three times and it seems to get better with age. The audience went wild as he threw the links of chain he broke with his bare hands to the clamoring spectators. A Few minutes after his performance a young man came to the entrance that leads backstage and requested the bar that Chuck had bent as part of his performance. Sipes is the perfect combination of physical excellence combined with brute power. It makes me proud to know him and prouder still to know that he inhabits the realm of bodybuilding.
The next event on the program was the Mr. World contest. We have already pre-judged this event in the afternoon and unlike the Mr. America contest there seemed no doubt in anyone's minde just who Mr. World should be. No sooner had Rick Wayne stepped onto the posing dais than the audience knew who the new Mr. World was to be. It has always amazed me how someone with the spectacular set of bumps like these of Wayne has never copped the biggest of titles. Now, at last it was his turn and long overdue. One of the only flaws Wayne has ever seemed to have is his legs. While they are good for the average bodybiulder, Rick doesn't have the aveage bodybuilder's upper body. This time he seemed to have really worked over this section of his body and he looked like a world-beater. Rick's closest competition was furnished by Vic Downs of Canada. Vic improves with every contest and could take all the marbles if he keeps trying.
The IFAW Arm Wrestling Champonships were next. My job was to MC this section of the program. In spite of my droning voice I think this competition was one of the most exciting of the evening. There isn't any room in this report to give you all the details, that will be done in a separate article. The former champion Lloyd Lampton was not present so a new title holder was crowned. Marc Korman is his name and you'll hear a lot more of him soon.
Let's admit it. You could have taken all the show that had been seen so far and tossed it away. The majoirty had come to see just one thing. The world series and the pro bowl all rolled into one. This is the only way to describe the Mr. Olympia contest. It is the premeiere event in the bodybuilding world. All else had been done. Evveryone had gotten their trophies and now it was time to decide the greatest of the greats. There was no pre-judging on this event so as one of the judges I had to go out front to try to contain my excitement with all the others.
I must tell you the truth. I wanted Dave Draper to win. Not only is he a good friend but he has one of the greatest physiuqes in the world. If not Dave, I would have liked to see Chuck Sipes win. Harold Poole would have been my next choice with Sergio Oliva on the bottom of the list. I still remember the last Olympia contest. There was a controversy in some minds as to whether Larry Scott really deserved his win over Oliva that year. Although I wasn't a judge that time I saw Scott as the clear winner with Poole second and Oliva third and Sipes fourth. I had always thought of Sergio as being overrated. I honestly felt that the public was the victim of publicity rather than common sense. This feeling persisted as the house lights once again dimmed and the hush of expectation fell upon the audience. The posing light was turned on illuminating the empty dais that waited like a dish to be served. Bud Parker stepped to the microphone and said simply, "Dave Draper". For the Olympia contest special recorded music was allowed for the first time. I had brought along the music from the soundtrack of the "Ten Commandments" for Dave's routine. His name had hardly been mentioned, the roar began. I started to wonder why I had brought along any music because no one could hear it anyway. "He's immortal!" shouted one of the fans who was now standing in the aisle. While Dave looked like the colossus that he is, I felth that I had seen him a shade beeter on ocassion. As he stepped off the stage the yelling was almost deafening. They wanted more but the modest Draper wouldn't come back. "Chuck SIpes!" yelled parker over the noise. Chuck stepped upon the stage to the musci from the moview "Ben Hur". He had never looked better in his life. On top of this his posing had improved and now he looked for all the world like the best physique of the evening -- so far that is.
"Sergio Oliva!" yelled Bud. In all the time I have ever witnessed and written about these events I have always been able to pull some appropriate words from the gray matter to fit the occasion. Well, I give up. The words to describe Oliva haven't been invented yet. I may never again see such a display of muscle as long as I live. His muscularture was an assault upon believability. At one time he had size and shape but not much actual separation. now things were different. In a year's time he had become the most phenomenal physical specimen I had ever seen. As he swung from pose to pose the excitement became almost violent. Hardly anyone could believe what they were seeing.
"Harold Poole-" shouted Parker but I doubt if anyone could hear as they shouted for more poses from Sergio. Poole walked slowly to the dais while the music from the "King of Kings" played dramatically in the background. I have always regarded Harold as one of the two or three greatest bodybuilders ever to stand under the posing light. He didn't let anyone down this evening. If he had ever had any weak point it was his biceps. Now when he flexed them they seemed to be one of his strongest assets. The audience went wild and when he went inot his famous "most muscular" pose I thought everyone would come unglued.
This ended the Olympia contest - for the audience, but the job of the judges was just beginning. We went through the archestra pit to the level under the stage for our balloting. I voted for Oliva but to my surprise Poole pulled most of the votes. We argued and balloted and argued and bolloted while the audience waited. Jon Twichell came down to see what we had decided. he was told that Poole was the winner. He nodded and started upstairs when someone suggest that we have just one more look at them all together. Twichell was literally a step away from parker with the decision when he was caught. Except for a step and a voice, Poole would have been Mr. Olympia.
The curtains were closed and the contestants mounted the platform backstage while the judges once again went about the task of trying to decide who was Mr. Olympia for 1967. We went into a side room and reballoted with the promise that this was the final vote. This time Oliva emerged the winner in one of the closest contests I've ever seen.
Please remember that this report is only one man's opinon of the events. There will be those who will quite sincerely dispute the outcome of the contests. This is the way it should be. One vote that night, however, was unanimous. Everyone agreed that Joe Weider had just presented the greatest physique extravaganza in history!
- IFBB Chief Joe Weider congratulates the winner - Sergio Oliva, our newest MR. OLYMPIA - and presents the $1,000 cash prize and commemorative silver tray.
- Overjoyed, Sergio acknowledges the deafening applause and cheers, clenching the booty overhead as IFBB Chief Joe Weider (left) and IFBB President Ben Weider look on.
- One of Sergio's many fantastic poses. His rare combination of great size, definition and symmetry is not to be believed.
- Even Chuck Sipes, considered on of the world's best-built and most poerful bodybuilers, was overshadowed by Sergio.
- Dave Draper looked great - but failed to register as a threat due to his lighter weight, caused by strenous movie work and traveling.
- Sergio's closest rival - Harold Poole. He just didn't have that something extra so difficult to describe. Sergio did.
- Earlier in the evening Chuck Sipes entertained by performingn various strongman stunts - like bening solid steel bars chlenched between his teeth. Chuck is a mountain of strength - now attempting a 600-pound prone. We know he'll make it.
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