When Arnold Schwarzenegger was 15, he saw a picture of his hero, Reg Park, and decided to embark on a journey of becoming a world-famous bodybuilder. The path was not easy as the actor had to go on mandatory military service and had a demotivating family, however, he worked hard and eventually became the youngest bodybuilder to win the competition in history at the age of 20.
That was just the beginning, the actor used that opportunity to reach the United States and pursue his dreams of becoming a famous star. Schwarzenegger rose to fame in the late 1970s thanks to his impressive physique and charismatic personality.
Arnold Schwarzenegger left his military service to compete in a bodybuilding competition
While growing up in Austria, actor Arnold Schwarzenegger only had one goal: To become a famous bodybuilder. The actor worked hard and even left his compulsory army service to compete in the Junior Mr. Europe contest. As a result, he had to spend some time in the military prison. He eventually got the Mr. Universe title at the age of 20 and that was the turning point in his life. He once said,
“The Mr. Universe title was my ticket to America — the land of opportunity where I could become a star and get rich.”
He then went to America and by the age of 23, Schwarzenegger got his first major role in a low-budget movie titled Hercules in New York, a great coincidence as his idol, Reg Park, played Hercules in several movies.
The actor idolized Reg Park
At the age of 15, Arnold Schwarzenegger came across a body-building magazine that had a picture of bodybuilder Reg Park. After Park’s death in 2007, Schwarzenegger explained how Park inspired him,
“I was a 15-year-old farm kid growing up in Austria when I was first inspired by a bodybuilding magazine with a picture of him on the cover from one of his Hercules movies. My life was never the same. He was so powerful and rugged-looking that I decided right then and there I wanted to be a bodybuilder, another Reg Park.”
Reg Park passed away on 22 November 2007 in his home in South Africa, after an eight-month battle with metastatic melanoma (a form of skin cancer).
Arnold Schwarzenegger’s family didn’t support his dreams
It’s actually inspiring to see Arnold Schwarzenegger’s dedication. Despite having a non-supportive family, the actor managed to become successful. He once revealed that his father, Gustav Schwarzenegger, used to yell at him for looking into mirrors too much. However, that didn’t stop Schwarzenegger. He was determined that he will not become an army officer like his father.
Today, he is a well-established celebrity and politician thanks to his versatility and determination. His impact on popular culture and his iconic roles have solidified his status as a legendary figure in the entertainment industry.
Source: Arnold Schwarzenegger’s website