WE LOOK BACK AT THE MOST UNFORGETTABLE MOMENTS IN THE EVENT’S HISTORY over the last 50 years
AND THE SANDOW GOES TO…He’s only 16 inches tall and weighs 17 pounds, but the Sandow trophy is the biggest bodybuilder prize of them all. Modeled after the father of modern bodybuilding, Eugen Sandow, the original Sandow statue was made in 1891, but the rendition for the Olympia was modeled after a golden statue made in 1894. The first Mr. Olympia to receive it onstage was Frank Zane in 1977. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Joe Weider are credited with making it the Olympia trophy. Ironically, seven-time winner Schwarzenegger has only one Sandow, via his 1980 victory. Lee Haney and Ronnie Coleman have eight apiece.
TALE OF THE TAPE
Age 122 years
Weight 17 lbs
Age 2 years
Weight 45 lbs
Material Solid bronze
SHOW ME THE MONEY! From 1965–74, prize money for the sport’s ultimate title remained a paltry $1,000. The five-figure barrier wasn’t broken until 1978. The numbers kept inflating through the 1980s, 1990s, and early 2000s, with the half-million mark reached in 2004.
BIKINI MODEL SEARCH Since 2007, the recipe for success has been simple: Take one large serving of beautiful women in bikinis and high heels. Mix together. Place onstage. Then stand back and wait for swarms of gawking, screaming fans. Every year since, it has grown in both the number of contestants and the number of devotees. The top three present awards at the Olympia finals at Orleans Arena, with the winner receiving $2,000 and two VIP tickets to next year’s Olympia Weekend.
GIVE HIM PROPS Ronnie Coleman is the only Mr. Olympia to wear a costume and and use props for his individual posing routine.
BEST OF THE BEST
Which Mr. Olympia winners had the most impressive set of pipes? Here’s how the editors at the FLEX publication, ranked them:
1 Phil Heath
2 Ronnie Coleman
3 Arnold Schwarzenegger
4 Sergio Oliva
5 Larry Scott
6 Dexter Jackson
FAN DAY The numbers don’t lie: The Olympia Expo is the hottest ticket in Sin City.
Total attendance 55,000 in 2015. The total in 2004 was 12,710