|Joe Weider - The Passing
Of A Bodybuilding Legend|
By Kostas Marangopoulos, M.Sc., CPT.
March 25th, 2013
I will never forget the first time I saw a bodybuilding magazine. I was only 14
years old in Greece and it was an original Joe Weider's Flex magazine,
with Dorian Yates on the cover. I had heard of bodybuilding before, having had a
few glimpses of pumping iron in a rare showing on national Greek tv. As soon as
I saw that magazine, something clicked and I started researching more about
bodybuilding, pumping iron and of course Arnold Schwarzenegger.
A few weeks later, dozens of phone calls and hours of
research (no internet back then) I had in my hands a very
rare VHS tape of Pumping Iron, which I had bought for the staggering amount of
30,000 drachmas (about $80 at the time). After watching it,
countless times, the bodybuilding bug was in me for good and I have not
stopped believing in the life changing power of our sport for one day for the
past 19 years.
So, it is with a heavy heart that I am writing this
as yesterday the bodybuilding world was shaken to it's core when it was
announced that Joe Weider had passed away at the age of 93.
Words cannot describe the sadness that I as a bodybuilder feel for the passing
of a man who was a true legend in all the sense of the word. In fact the word
legend is not even sufficient to describe who Mr. Weider was and what he
represented in the sport, which he alone
with his brother re-invented.
Joe Weider was an iconic figure, a pioneer of an industry that today
spans across all continents and hundreds of countries around the world. Him and
his brother Ben Weider had a vision, a core characteristic of any iconic man in
the history of the world. He also had passion for the sport that we now call
body building, trying to promote it's benefits from his very humble beginnings
as a small magazine publisher in 1940.
He was first and foremost a bodybuilder himself and he knew what it takes to
build one's body to it's full potential. That's where his true love for
bodybuilders & the sport of bodybuilding came
He was truly a very blessed man to be able to help so many people around
the world, changing people's lives through the weider magazines, supplements,
video series and equipment that are being sold all
around the world.
A mentor to countless people and athletes from all around the world, Joe
inspired many people to follow their dream of becoming competitive bodybuilders.
Names like Arnold schwarzenegger, Lou Ferrigno, Franco Columbu, Sergio Oliva,
Dorian Yates come to mind, people who Joe helped realize their full potential as
athletes by helping them in countless ways.
He became a father figure to many athletes, via his
mentorship and ability to give them new opportunities. He impacted so many lives
positively, that today there isn't one person who does bodybuilding or follows
our sport that doesn't know who Joe Weider was. His
name is equal to the most basic elements of weight training and muscle building.
With IFBB Pro League President Jim Manion & Jay Cutler At The
2009 Mr. Olympia
Most of all however I believe that Joe Weider, through his dream and vision,
changed the way that our sport is seen. Today bodybuilders, because of the
efforts of Joe and Ben Weider are respected athletes with recognition in more
than 180 countries around the world.
His 1950's "I Predict" article in Your Physique magazine says it all about the
ability this man had to envision the future and go after his goals.
All of them came true.
I PREDICT that civilization will speed up in every phase and that the stresses
and strains on mankind will continue to increase.
I PREDICT that the resulting increase in mental and physical illness will force
the world to recognize the importance of systematic exercise and physical
activities to prevent and combat the evils of civilization.
I PREDICT that bodybuilding will become the chief form of systematic exercise
and physical activity and that it will come to be looked upon as one of the
greatest forces in the field of preventive medicine.
I PREDICT that a full realization of the importance of muscular development will
sweep the world and that the sport of bodybuilding will grow by leaps and
I PREDICT that the principles of good bodybuilding, which include balanced
diets, adequate sleep, plenty of fresh air, ample sunshine, and regular
workouts, will become basic principles of living.
I PREDICT that bodybuilding will become the stepping-stone to every other sport
and physical activity.
I PREDICT that the art of relaxation, which is one of the fundamental principles
in bodybuilding, will become more and more important as the tensions increase
and that relaxation will be universally taught and advocated.
I PREDICT that bodybuilding will spread to every corner of the world and that it
will one day be recognized as the king of all sports and physical activities.
I PREDICT that those who practice bodybuilding will live healthier, happier and
more useful lives.
I PREDICT that bodybuilding will one day become one of the greatest forces in
existence and that it may be hailed as the activity which actually saved
civilization from itself.
Following are some quotes from notable people in the industry and what they said
about Joe's passing.
Rafael Santonja - IFBB President: "We are
all very sad. Joe Weider will always be remembered as the father of
bodybuilding, who gave his heart and soul to our sport. God Bless him and may he
rest in peace." (IFBB.com)
Jim Manion - NPC & IFBB Pro League President: "It’s
a sad day for the bodybuilding world and a sadder day for me personally. I’ve
known and worked with Joe for over 35 years. He was always there to guide and
support me. Joe was a true visionary, always looking forward, with ideas ranging
from training to how I could make the NPC stronger. His constant support of the
NPC was invaluable. Through his magazines he made stars out of the NPC
champions. Yes, I will miss Joe, the Godfather of Bodybuilding. But most of all
I will miss Joe the man, who was a true friend and my inspiration, not just in
bodybuilding, but life in general. He will forever be the man I loved and
Arnold Schwarzenegger: "He leaves behind a
fantastic legacy of a fitter world. Very few people can claim to have influenced
as many lives as Joe did through his magazines, his supplements, his training
equipment, and his big-hearted personality. Joe was known for urging everyone,
“Exceed yourself,” and there is no question that throughout his life, he did
just that." (Schwarzenegger.com)
Joe Weider's legacy will
go on forever, changing lives for the better. We are where we
are today because of his dreams & dedication to the power of physical
excellence. THANK YOU for everything.
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