The 1980 Mr.Olympia


The 1980 Mr.Olympia
Considered one of the most controversial, if not the most controversial Mr.Olympia contest of all-time, the 1980 Olympia saw Arnold Schwarzenegger dethroning Frank Zane and receiving his 7th and Mr. O title, entrenching himself deeper as the unattainable champ until the arrival of Haney, Coleman, and Heath.

Coming out of a 5 year retirement, the unexpected arrival of Schwarzenegger onto the bodybuilding scene caused minor uproars (booing at his victory) and questioned the legitimacy of the IFBB’s judging system, arising the issue of muscle and politics. Training for his first major role as Conan the Barbarian, Arnold decided to give himself 8 weeks to attain a physique worthy of the Olympia. Schwarzenegger himself seemed unprepared, explaining that he did not like to expose himself in such a way. However this feeling seemed to quickly dissipate when the confident Austrian Oak hit the stage. In the end, Arnold was victorious and the rest is history. With regards to his physique, some argue that his triceps were not up to par, or his posing was not as tight as it was in the 70s. It was also argued that, following his first retirement in 1976, Schwarzenegger became a promoter for the IFBB contests and quit that position before entering the 1980 Mr.O contest, insinuating that Arnold’s close ties with the judges and promoters, who were his co-workers months prior, would have favored the latter’s victory.

Interesting facts about this: apparently Frank Zane, who had won three years in a row prior, threw his THIRD place trophy at the wall backstage. While Mike Mentzer, who was favored as runner-up, simply left the bodybuilding scene after placing SIXTH.

For our part, we cannot comment on the details of his physique due to our inexperience in the field of judging. There is no doubt however that Arnold looked great on stage and that he remains one of the smartest bodybuilders in the game. For more information watch ‘Total Rebuild: the Way to Mr. Olympia 1980.’


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