- The IFBB made big strides to gain credibility with the top bodybuilders in the world.
- Larry Scott and Harold Poole faced off once again for the title of Mr. Olympia.
- This is the year Larry Scott retired from bodybuilding.
The second Mr. Olympia contest took place on September 17th, 1966 at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.
After the huge success of their initial Mr. Olympia contest the year before, Joe and Ben Weider were excited to produce another big event for their growing IFBB organization.
If you missed our recap of the very first Mr. Olympia contest? Be sure to check it out here!
At this point in bodybuilding history, the Weider brothers were pushing hard to establish the International Federation of Bodybuilders as the premier bodybuilding organization in the world.
While the majority of competitors were still pledging their loyalty to the NABBA organization in London and the AAU in the United States, the IFBB was slowly gaining more credibility with the top bodybuilders in the world.
The previous year, the inaugural Mr. Olympia contest was held in conjunction with the IFBB Mr. America and the Mr. Universe contests.
In 1966, it was decided that the IFBB Mr. World would also be included in the contest line-up. Muscle Builder Magazine promised their loyal readers that this would be the bodybuilding event of the year!
Mr. America – Class Division Winners
The night began with the IFBB Mr. America contest. The contest was held in three divisions:
- The short class
- The medium class
- The tall class
The short class was won by the great physique of Chicago born Rock Stonewall. Rock had one of the best V-tapers and back development onstage that night.
Second place went to the popular Hank Zarco and bodybuilding legend Eddie Giuliani rounded out the top three.
The medium class went to a young 24-year-old Frank Zane. Frank would later become a true bodybuilding legend and a future Mr. Olympia. In 1966, Zane displayed a very symmetrical and finished physique.
Second place went to Tommy Aybar followed by William Beach in third.
The tall class was awarded to the massive and rugged physique of Chet Yorton.
Chet was a controversial second to overall winner Dave Draper the year before and he returned better than ever to win both the tall class and the overall in 1966.
Second place went to the super-wide Don Howorth from Vince’s Gym in California with David Sheppard in third place.
Awards and Overall Title Winner
Rock Stonewall, Frank Zane, and Chet Yorton were compared by the judges for the overall title. It was decided that the ripped and muscular physique of Stonewall should be presented with the Most Muscular award.
Frank Zane was presented with the Best Poser trophy and Chet Yorton scored the Best Arms award.
For the overall title of 1966 IFBB Mr. America, Chet Yorton was the lucky winner.
Chet would continue his winning ways one week later by winning the overall title at the NABBA Mr. Universe in London, England.
Chet would defeat a rising newcomer to the sport at that event, a 19-year-old Austrian bodybuilder named Arnold Schwarzenegger.
The Mr. World Contest
The IFBB Mr. World was the next event on the agenda that night. The Mr. World contest was reserved for international competitors, although occasionally an American bodybuilder would enter the show.
However, the Mr. World event was designed to help the IFBB build up their international resume so it encouraged bodybuilders from other countries to compete.
Fifteen competitors stepped onstage to contend for the IFBB Mr. World title. Elliot Gilchrist from Grenada took first place with his very hard and dense muscularity.
Burnell Williams from Bermuda took second place followed by Germain Godbout from Canada in third.
The tall class was dominated by a promising new bodybuilder from Cuba who had recently relocated to the United States. His name was Sergio Oliva and the audience was visibly shocked when the future superstar stepped onstage.
The incredible mass and freaky proportions of the Cuban bodybuilder established him as an immediate superstar of the sport.
Although Sergio had tried his luck in the AAU organization over the previous two years, he had become increasingly frustrated when lesser physiques had consistently placed above him.
Sergio realized that the AAU was not the organization for him and he made the switch to the IFBB on this night.
It was a move that he would not regret as he easily won the overall title of Mr. World in his first IFBB event. Sergio was also presented with the Best Arms award and the Most Muscular trophy as well.
The Mr. Universe Contest
The night got more exciting when the IFBB Mr. Universe competitors took the stage. The Mr. Universe was an international event that featured the best competitors from both the United States and countries abroad.
Most of the American bodybuilders competing in the Mr. Universe had already established their reputation by placing high at the Mr. America competition. This contest featured the best amateur bodybuilders in the world.
The short class was won by the excellent physique of Gabe Boudreaux from California.
Gabe also won the AAU Mr. Los Angeles and the IFBB Mr. Western America earlier that year as well as the AAU Mr. International the year before.
Kazutosi Ozasa from Japan was in second place with Johnny Maldonado from New York City in third.
One of the most popular bodybuilders in the world dominated the tall class at the Mr. Universe. “The Blond Bomber” himself, Dave Draper, stepped onstage to raucous applause from the sold-out audience.
Big Dave had dominated the IFBB Mr. America the year before and now he was back to win the Mr. Universe title. It was an easy victory.
No one on stage that night could match the tall and massive upper body of Draper and the blond giant with the California tan was the most popular bodybuilder onstage so far that night.
Dave looked like a movie star and the audience treated him like one. The Most Muscular award and Best Arms trophy were also presented to Dave Draper along with the overall title of 1966 IFBB Mr. Universe.
The Second Annual Mr. Olympia Contest
The Contestants are Announced
The big night finished off with the second annual Mr. Olympia contest. After the incredible debut the year before, anticipation was high for the 1966 version.
The reigning champion Larry Scott was back to defend his title. The runner-up in the 1965 Olympia, Harold Poole, was also in attendance to try to wrest the title away from Scott.
Chuck Sipes, a former Mr. America and Mr. Universe champion, was competing in his first Mr. Olympia.
Last but not least, the newly crowned Mr. World Sergio Oliva, also decided to try his luck at the more prestigious Mr. Olympia contest.
The rugged physique of Chuck Sipes was the first to pose. Earlier in the evening, Chuck had performed a strong man act to get the show started.
Sipes is obviously as strong as he looks and he proved it by blowing up a hot water balloon, snapping a heavy link chain with his hands and bending an iron bar.
Chuck was equally as impressive while posing onstage in the Mr. Olympia contest. Sipes displayed a physique that was hard as nails combined with massive muscularity.
Although his posing was not as polished as previous competitors like Frank Zane, Chuck made a good showing in his first Mr. Olympia contest.
Sergio Oliva was the next competitor onstage for Mr. Olympia.
Sergio was massive and his breathtaking physique showed so much promise and potential. In any other event, Sergio would have easily taken the title but this was Mr. Olympia.
Although only in its second year, this contest was the best of the best and the next two bodybuilders who would take the stage would eclipse even the great Sergio Oliva.
A massive and ripped Harold Poole stepped onstage to the roar of the crowd at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.
Looking much improved from the year before, the 22-year-old Poole defied the senses as he showed off the most massive physique on display that evening.
How could someone so young look so big and freaky? When Poole slowly crunched his upper body into the patented crab most muscular, the hard core audience lost its mind!
Could Harold upset the Great Scott this year at the Mr. Olympia? It sure looked like it!
The Reigning Champ Comes to the Stage
However, it’s not over until it’s over. As promoter and emcee Bud Parker began to introduce the reigning champion, the audience was on their feet screaming for the Muscle God that is Larry Scott!
Scott, the ultimate showman, kept the audience waiting just as he did the year before. For over five minutes, Larry stayed in the shadows as the audience screamed for the appearance of the King of Bodybuilding.
When Scott finally took the stage, the audience erupted into chaos! Every muscle fan in the packed auditorium was now on their feet screaming and chanting the name of Larry Scott.
The reigning champ slowly stepped into the overhead spotlight, his platinum blond hair contrasting with his golden California tan to complete the Hollywood Look.
Larry acknowledged his adoring audience with a radiating smile as he extended his massive right arm away from his body and flexed the most admired bicep in the bodybuilding world. The muscle fans roared their approval!
For over 10 minutes, Larry Scott held the audience in his hand as he deliberately and casually showed the greatest physique in bodybuilding.
Scott repeated the insane reaction he received the year before by showing off his incredible arms and deltoids to a knowledgeable audience that recognized the greatness that they were seeing before their very eyes.
The King is Crowned
As all four Mr. Olympia competitors were brought back onstage so the judges could get a final look at the contestants, the audience was split between Larry Scott and Harold Poole.
Although Poole had the edge in mass and muscularity, he could not overcome the charisma and star power of the Great Scott.
After Parker announced Sergio in fourth and Sipes in third, Harold Poole showed obvious disappointment when his name was called out in the runner-up spot for the second year in a row.
Larry Scott flashed that great Colgate smile as Joe Weider handed him a check for $1000. Larry looked happy and satisfied as he took posed with the Master Blaster and the impressive Harold Poole.
Scott surprised everyone when he came to the microphone onstage and announced that he was retiring from bodybuilding after his second Mr. Olympia win.
The audience was shocked that their bodybuilding idol was leaving them so soon but Larry said it was time for him to move on and bodybuilding was no longer part of his future.
With the great Larry Scott no longer competing, who would take up the Mr. Olympia title the following year? 1967 would bring a new champion to the bodybuilding world.
Stay tuned for our next recap, the 1967 Mr. Olympia contest. Who was able to take the title since Larry Scott chose to retire from bodybuilding?