Larry Scott: Stars of the Olympia

Larry Scott: As the inaugural Mr. Olympia, Larry Scott (b. 1938 d. 2014) stands as the dawn of a new era in bodybuilding- a move away from the hard-line, true blue, All-American squeaky clean image of American bodybuilding into bigger, more diverse, and more brash.  Larry Scott was in essence the best of both- the freakishness of a 5’7” 208 pound bodybuilder bearing the first 20” arms in an IFBB show mashed up with a look so intensely 1950s America that he could have stepped out of a Norman Rockwell painting.

Though small by modern standards, Larry Scott was thick with muscle and seriously dense.  Where other competitors had great peaks to their arms, Scott’s arms were almost as thick across and they were high, giving his arms an almost surreal three-dimensionality.  In that way, he was very much like Jose Raymond- with narrow shoulders it’s difficult to like like anything other than a waddling mailbox.  Scott managed to pose with his hips twisted slightly to give himself the illusion of a taper, beginning a trend that would become popular with blockier bodybuilders.

Scott’s competitive career was truly meteoric. Larry Scott competed for the first time at the age of 21.  After winning the AAU Mr. California Overall and Most Muscular in 1960, Larry Scott handily defeated all comers in the 1963 IFBB Mr. Universe and again in ‘64, then followed those victories with back-to-back Olympias.  And with that, Scott had had enough and hung up his trunks at the age of 28.  He stayed active in the lifting community by writing articles and selling gym equipment and coaching until he died of complications from Alzheimer’s in 2014.

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