I do not condone steroid use by teenagers. At the same time, I think it has been wildly exaggerated as to how many high-school students are into steroids. I have seen statistics as low as 3% and as high as 20%. That’s a pretty big range, which makes it tough to believe we even have anything like an accurate idea of what the percentage really is. But that’s not really important. If I was a parent, and I do happen to have a son and a daughter myself, I would be far more concerned with Junior drinking alcohol, smoking marijuana, taking Ecstasy, or snorting cocaine. I watch the news and read the papers, and I never seem to read about fatal car accidents or drug overdoses involving teenagers and steroids. Nobody is slipping a couple tablets of Winstrol into a 16-year-old girl’s drink and committing a date rape. Teens have no business using steroids, but as far as being a threat, there are about a hundred other drugs far worse to worry about. Any time you hear differently you can be sure it’s a slow news day down at Channel Five.
The Mr. Olympia contest has served as a gold standard, determining who in the bodybuilding universe can rightly call themselves the best in the world, for the next 364 days, at least.
Since Joe Weider endeavored to stage the inaugural event at the Brooklyn Academy of Music 47 years ago, 13 men have won the title of Mr. Olympia, starting with Larry “the Legend” Scott and most recently, Phil “the Gift” Heath. Each of these men has represented the pinnacle of his sport, and a number have gone up against one another in classic showdowns that are the stuff of legend. However, due to the span of time between the first and most recent editions, we’ll never get to witness all 13 champs duking it out onstage together.
Instead we are bringing you this gallery of champions, starting with Larry “the Legend” Scott and finishing with the 2015 Sandow winner, Phil “the Gift” Heath.