Ok the Olympia has been and gone, Phil Heath is the new champ and hopefully will lead the way for a more aesthetic bodybuilder. With that in mind lets look back at some of the greatest Olympians never to win a Sandow but who brought a touch of class to the competition.
Similar in size and symmetry to Bob Paris, Benfatto had what can only described as a beautiful physique. Compared to todays standards he had a relatively small frame but had fantastic genetics. The combination of a Classic V taper, tiny waistline, huge triceps and great posing made Benfatto look like a work of art. In body building its all well and good having a great physique but without a solid posing routine many bodybuilders fall short. Luckily Benfatto moves like a performance artist. Every step and transition shows off a muscle group and leads the audience in to the next pose. He holds each pose just for the right amount of time. You see his great lines and before you eyes move away he gracefully sweeps in to the next pose. Artistic and powerful, one of the master posers in body building, hiding his weak points and drawing your eyes to his strengths. Legend has it that during this Olympia Benfatto was drug tested and reported clean. Still body building to this day below is a video of him guest posing earlier this year at the British Finals.
The Dragon Slayer! Rich Gaspari earned his name by being a relatively small bodybuilder who could take down bigger champs. This was due to extreme conditioning and mass on a small frame. He was one of the first to bring anew level of extreme vascularity and bone dry conditioning to the Olympia stage. A scientific body builder, at any one point Gaspari knew his exact calorie and nutrition intake this in turn helped him achieve his great condition. Gaspari never won an Olympia but came very close second to the mighty Lee Haney in 1986, 1987 and 1988. He was also the very first Arnold Classic winner in 1989. After his retirement from bodybuilding he went on to found Gaspari nutrition, one of the most succesful supplement companies around today. Gaspari nutrition sponsor the likes of Welsh hero Flex Lewis. This year Gaspari decided to take up the challenge of getting back in to shape for the cover of Ironman magazine at age 48, 23 years after he originally appeared as an Olympia hopeful.
The greatest poser in the history of bodybuilding, his transitions where pioneering and set him apart from his competitors. In pumping Iron Arnold famously comments, ‘now thats what I call posing” Corney was late to bodybuilding competing for the first time at age 30. His acolades include the 1970 Iron Man, the 1972 Mr Universe. Not forgetting 2 Masters Olympia titles in 1994 and 1995. Corneys influence is huge, the first to bring an artistic edge to posing he was a pionner from the golden era of bodybuilding. Despite suffering a stroke in recent years he has recovered and is back in the gym doing what he knows best in his late 70s!
Stay tuned Olympia fans, next month we will be looking at the careers of quadzilla Tom Platz and the tragic story of Bertil Fox.