Born this way
While it’s true that all men are created equal, some men are just more equal than others. Sergio “The Myth” Oliva was one of the few people to realize their genetic potential, and fortunately for us, it was a sight to behold.
Sergio’s physical training started long before he knew it, in the cane fields of Guanabacoa, Cuba. After enlisting in the war against communism Sergio found the true potential of his physical prowess through lifting weights. At a body weight of 195 lbs he was totaling 1000 lbs on three Olympic lifts. In 1962 he went on to represent Cuba in the Central America and Caribbean Games hosted in Kingston, Jamaica. Sergio gained political asylum during that time by sneaking out in the middle of the night and making his way into the US Embassy along with the rest of the Cuba National weightlifting team.
Once in America it wasn’t long before Sergio was at it again, winning the Mr. Chicagoland contest in 1963. He then went on to Join the IFBB and win the Mr. World, Mr. Universe, and the coveted Mr. Olympia title in 1967. At 5’8 and 225 lbs, he then went on to win the Olympia 3x in a row, beating out then Mr. Europe and Mr. International Arnold Schwarzenegger in 1969. It was said that Sergio got his name because when you saw his physique you still couldn’t believe it was real, Arnold confirmed that “Myth” in a 1977 autobiography.
“Then for the first time, I saw Sergio Oliva in person. I understood why they called him the Myth. It was as jarring, as if I’d walked into a wall. He destroyed me. He was so huge, he was so fantastic, there was no way I could even think of beating him. I admitted my defeat and felt some of my pump go away. I tried. But I’d been so taken back by my first sight of Sergio Oliva that I think I settled for 2nd place before we walked out on the stage… I never like to admit defeat, but I thought Sergio was better. There were no two ways about it.”[
– Arnold Schwarzenegger (The Education Of A Bodybuilder)
Arnold went on to beat Sergio in the 1970 Olympia and Sergio never did regain the title despite an impressive showing in 1972. Sergio is considered one of the best bodybuilders of all time, with the muscular genetics of a God.
Do you think of “The Myth” could have been a 6x champion if it wasn’t for bodybuilding politics?