Strength & Health, September 1948, page 3

EDITORIAL - This is Olympic Year

(excerpts from the editorial)

...In the beginning when we decided to work with the A.A.U. we did not let our personal pride stand in our way. Your editor was president of two of the National bodies previously mentioned, at present am only a member of the national weight lifting committee which has a member from each A.A.U. district. In union we are strong, divided we are not strong enough to compete against other leading nations. We need all the lifters we can develop for in this great nation we lose so many to other sports that we are lucky if we have enough left to successfully compete with countries such as Russia and Egypt where weight lifting is the leading sport. We cannot divide our efforts.

And right now we have such a condition seeking to divide us. A new organization known as the "International Federation of Body Builders," not affiliated with the A.A.U. or the International Weight Lifting Federation which has controlled International Weight Lifting for many years, not recognizing amateur rules of any sort, is tossing leading professionals and the rankest amateurs into the same competition so that the newcomer has no chance to win. This outfit has been branded an outlaw group by the governing bodies of sport and any athlete who takes part in one of their competitions loses his standing with the A.A.U. and cannot compete in A.A.U. activities, the world's weight lifting championships or the Olympic games. Literally he becomes a man without a country.

The organization we are discussing is backed by Weider, a young fellow who refused to follow the rules of the A.A.U. One of the A.A.U. rules is that no money shall be made from promoting amateur sport. All proceeds must be used for the benefit of the athletes and the promotion of that sport. Some of the big shows are very profitable, with thousands of dollars being made as profit, so Weider needed an organization of his own so that he could make personal profits from it. Instead of the 25 cents for membership in the A.A.U. he charges $3.00 much to his own profit. No one complains when a man has enterprise enough to make a profit from business but we do complain when an enterprise such as this divides our American athletes and prevents their participation in A.A.U. events and International Events such as the Olympic games.

A young man enters one of these unsanctioned shows, he no longer is considered to be an amateur and is not accepted for A.A.U. or Olympic competition. He loses the right to represent his country. And we tell you frankly we need weight lifters. Not only the Olympics this year to win, but the world's championships next year where we will go against a full and powerful Russian team behind the Iron Curtain in Czechoslovakia, Prague being the host city. Each year there are world's championships and each four years Olympic championships.

Many organizations who are sincerely and honestly promoting amateur sport, non-profit organizations interested only in advancing their sport and playing a part in building the youth of our nation have affiliated themselves with the A.A.U. [...long list of organizations...]

No organization can be affiliated with the A.A.U. or promote sports sanctioned by it unless it follows the rules of amateur sport. Amateurs and professionals cannot compete together and no amateur sport can be used as a means of making money for the promoter. The proceeds of all sports must be used to advance sport in general and that sport in particular. Weider objected to the rules, he refused to follow them, he was more concerned about advancing Weider than advancing sport, more interested in making money for himself than in promoting the sport welfare of his own country, Canada, or of the U.S. As he would not follow the rules he had to have his own organization. Many others have done this in the past, but all are gone; the A.A.U. goes on and grows with each passing year.

This is a free country, it's every man's privilege to do as he likes, but we hope that ambitious athletes will not permit themselves to be misled. Actually we were asked the other day by a visitor from Toronto what would happen if the A.A.U. would collapse. This organization is as powerful in its field as General Motors, General Electric, United States Steel in theirs. While Weider has made himself wealthy in a few short years and no doubt will continue to enrich himself from this physical activity to which we have dedicated our lives, he is one man with a few associates connected with his magazine against a powerful organization nearly 60 years old, and firmly entrenched and backed by thousands of the nations's leaders in every profession. One thing sure the A.A.U. will endure. The future of the other organization which is just making its beginning is uncertain. If you have no desire, hope or expectation to represent your country in future competition join this alien organization instead of your own American A.A.U. But if you want to be a real American, want to help America lead the world, your place is with the A.A.U.

[...list of A.A.U. districts and events...]

In plain and simple language that anyone can understand, when you join the other organization your are turning your backs upon your friends who are associated with American lifting and physique contests, you are repudiating your country, for you can never represent them when once you have disqualified yourself. We have spent long years, the best years of our lives building up American weight lifting and physique contests, let's all work together to make America stronger and to lead the way to all the world.

NOTE: The AAU washed its hands of bodybuilding in 1999.