One of the modern day’s most inspiring stories was born in Austria into the Schwarzenegger family of Thal. From half a world away, in 1947, the cries that Arnold Schwarzenegger would bellow out into the air would find an echo 21 years later when he moved to the US in October 1968. By then, the young man had already become a legend in the professional bodybuilding circuit around the globe, winning the Mr. Universe title twice (in 1967 and ’68). And the passion which drove him to seek out the industry of fame and renown in Hollywood was also preceded by the Mr. Olympia title that was accorded to him seven times since the age of 23.
As such, the bodybuilder-turned-actor-turned-politician had much to show for himself by the time he was barely in his early 20s. And such accomplishments in life are not born out of luck but grit and perseverance.
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Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Life as a Bodybuilder
While still a young boy, Arnold Schwarzenegger found interest and enthusiasm in sports, especially football. But as the story goes, it was his visit to the gym, accompanied by his football coach in 1960, that soon found him choosing bodybuilding over football as a professional career at the age of 14. The years after that were a haze of hours-long training and endless lifting to gain the physique that he would later become so famous for.
In an interview that Schwarzenegger sat for much later in life, the Governator admitted how he manifested his vision from a childhood dream into a reality:
“This is why I always smiled when I was in the gym. People always came up to me and said, “Why are you smiling? You’re working out 5 hours a day. You’re doing the same as the other guys, but the other guys have a sour face, they’re pi**ed off that they have to do another rep.” I looked forward to another 500 pounds of squat. I looked forward to doing more and more curls until my arms [would] fall off. Why? Because I knew that every rep that I did and every set that I did and more weights that I lifted, I get one step closer to turning that vision into reality.”
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Schwarzenegger’s devotion was what ultimately paved his path to winning that Mr. Olympia title and becoming a legend in his own time, surpassing even his childhood idols who he once deified while growing up in Austria. The actor now has an esteemed bodybuilding contest named after him: the Arnold Sports Festival, which is considered second in importance only to the Mr. Olympia bodybuilding event.
Arnold Schwarzenegger: All Recorded Wins in Bodybuilding
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Arnold Schwarzenegger’s first publicly recognized win was the Junior Mr. Europe contest at age 18. The following year, he gained worldwide attention by nabbing the title of Mr. Europe in 1966. However, at the young age of 16, a mere couple of years after his enthusiasm for bodybuilding took hold over him, Schwarzenegger entered his first professional competition in ’63. In the span of a few years, he would not only go on to take part in weightlifting and powerlifting contests but win almost every time too.
In 1967, he became the youngest winner of the Mr. Universe title – a win he secured a total of four times. Schwarzenegger also went on to win the Mr. Olympia title a record 7 times, a rank he would hold for almost two decades until Lee Haney’s 8th consecutive win in 1991.
Source: OOFA Fitness