Muscular Development, Vol 6, No 1, Page 6, January 1969

Mail From Muscledom


Dear Mr. Grimek:

A group of friends and I went to Miami to see the professional IFBB Mr. Universe contest. In this contest, the famous Arnold Schwarzenegger of Austria was to enter.

This main, a week before, won the NABBA Mr. Universe title. The NABBA is considered the "authentic Mr. Universe", which was won by John Grimek, Steve Reeves, Reg Park and Bill Pearl and many other greats.

The show was to start at 8:00 PM but somehow started late, possible due to the small crowd. Just before the show started, and because of the small crowd, they asked the people in back and sides to move forward to the front. We paid $10.00 a seat and soon found we had people sitting next to us who had paid $3.00 a seat.

The show got under way with the Miss contest and only six girls appeared. The MC said that these were the six finalists. (Imaging paying $10.00 to see only six girls.)

Later the Mr. Universe contestants came out on stage. They all wore specially made draped T-shirts and each man was wearing a ribbon around his neck on which hung a 2½-inch diameter medal. To us it looked like a religious ceremony and we couldn't help but keep from laughing.

At one time during the show the MC announced that they were choosing Mr. America?? Another time, while the MC was talking, the Miss contestants started walking on stage. We didn't know what was going on.

The whole stage was continually lit up with lights -- even when the contestants posed. Many of the contestants seemed puzzled as where to stand. They used only the stage floor for posing - no poing platform. Even a guest star had to ask the MC where to pose.

Finally the big moment came and Arnold Schwarzenegger stepped out to pose to a thunder of applause that didn't stop until he had to return to pose again. Schwarzenegger looked fantastic! He was out of the reach of everyone and you couldn't believe a man could have so much muscle, size, shape and definition. This man is incredible and you have to see him to believe it!

Don Peters of California was well liked by the crowd. These two men were well-liked but Schwarzenegger was the favorite and beyond the reach of anyone.

Finally, after the sub-divisions trophies were awarded, the MC said, "The Mr. Universe is Frank Zane!" As he went to receive his trophy, boos and boos came from the crowd. I ask you, how could this man beat the best in the world - Arnold Schwarzenegger?

The winner wrote in another magazine about going to see a local physique contest at Riviera Beach. He said the contest was won by a man with a 50-inch chest but wears a 14½ tapered shirt. In a fair contest "chesty" wouldn't have a chance. he then said, "Come on, guys, get with the IFBB for a fair shake. I ask you, does Zane winning over Schwarzenegger sound like a fair shake?

In another issue of this magazine I mention, they talked of the amateur Mr. America contest which was won by Jim Haislop. They said this contest was strictly "amateur York, Pennsylvania . . ."

Does it sound to you that the contest we paid $10.00 to see sound like it was worth over 10¢? Contests run by the AAU seldom cost over $2.00 to see and often they charge only $1.00 for a full day and evening show! The only way to get a fair shake is to enter AAU contests. I've been entering AAU contests for 25 years and I hop I'm good for 25 more years of physique competitions.

One more thing I would like to say. One of the greatest AAU Mr Americas in many years is Jim Haislop. This man is the ideal Mr. America with that "Reeve's type" of physique we all admire.

Frank Szymanski
West Palm Beach, Fla.

We are also puzzled, Frank, as to how anyone could beat Arnold Schwarzenegger. We'll let the decision as to who is the better man rest with our readers. - Editor

If you find these articles interesting and useful, please