Did the "1980 Mr. Olympia" kill Mike Mentzer?

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    Question Did the "1980 Mr. Olympia" kill Mike Mentzer?






    Shawn Ray, while interviewing Branch Warren, referenced Mike Mentzer and the 1980 Mr. Olympia competition.

    Ray asked Branch about his drive to improve. Branch stated that a loss only spurs him, motivates him, drives him to come back even better.

    Ray mentioned that the '80 O seemed to destroy Mentzer. It was just a brief comment, but I've often thought that Mentzer was demoralized by his being awarded fifth place rather than the ultimate prize in bodybuilding, especially against Arnold "Mr. Volume Training" Schwarzenegger.

    If Mentzer had only viewed the loss as incentive to leave absolutely no doubts, wouldn't he have had a chance - a very good chance - at beating Franco at the 1981 Mr. Olympia?

    Instead Mentzer's life apparently spun out of control and he failed to ever set foot on an Olympian stage again.

    Dead too young, Mentzer had another five Olympias in him, imo.

    How do you view defeat? What's your mental game like? Do you believe that something like a win or a loss can set the tone for the rest of your life? Or even shorten your life?

    Mentzer's family had a history of health issues, so he may have died exactly as could be expected or predicted, however I'd like to believe that a positive attitude and uplifting determination can serve a healthful benefit to all people.

    Any opinions? Any anecdotes?

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    no way, it had nothing to do with the 1980 Olympia IMO, I think he (and his brother) would have traveled the same path regardless.





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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert View Post
    no way, it had nothing to do with the 1980 Olympia IMO, I think he (and his brother) would have traveled the same path regardless.
    Care to expnad on that?
    My initial thought was the same as yours, but I think there was some Phycological issues to it also.




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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert View Post
    no way, it had nothing to do with the 1980 Olympia IMO, I think he (and his brother) would have traveled the same path regardless.

    Quote Originally Posted by dg806 View Post
    Care to expnad on that?
    My initial thought was the same as yours, but I think there was some Phycological issues to it also.
    I just have this idea that had Mentzer won that he would have been in a better place and perhaps not relied so heavily on amphetamines. He also would have been making more money via sponsorships, guest posings, seminars, etc. which may have led him to a healthier and more positive existence.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert View Post
    no way, it had nothing to do with the 1980 Olympia IMO, I think he (and his brother) would have traveled the same path regardless.
    So are you saying his breakdown after the loss had nothing to do with the Olympia?

    The stories I've read suggested he wigged out to the point of having to be institutionalized. Then there was the drug abuse...

    I know his brother died of another ailment (complications of Berger's disease) that had nothing to do with the Olympia at all.

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    Ray, 1979 AAU Mr. America, died two days after findng his older brother Mike dead in their apartment. Ray had been ill for some time and was a kidney dialysis patient.

    "Originally, Mike's body was sent to a funeral home in nearby Torrance. However, given the suspicious circumstances of the deaths of two brothers dying within two days of each other, the remains of both Mike and Ray have been sent to the coroner's office in order to determine cause of death. The initial reports of Ray's death circulating through the bodybuilding community were that he had committed suicide," according to photographer Bill Dobbins.

    More @ Mentzer Dead

    I suspect that much like married couples who die only days apart, Ray was so distressed by Mike's death that his body just gave up.

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    The 1980 Mr. Olympia finally proved to me the bias and politics in bodybuilding.

    Arnold should have NEVER taken the prize. Mentzer sure was ticked about the whole thing, I do know that much. If I'm not mistaken the 1980 event was the last Mr. Olympia to be televised on a national station...I remember watching it on ABC's "Wide World of Sports"...the thrill of victory, and the agony of defeat!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by boobuddy12345 View Post
    The 1980 Mr. Olympia finally proved to me the bias and politics in bodybuilding.

    Arnold should have NEVER taken the prize.
    I go back and forth on that decision. Arnold was nowhere near his peak, but even a reduced Arnold was very impressive against the other competitors on that stage, imo.

    Quote Originally Posted by boobuddy12345 View Post
    Mentzer sure was ticked about the whole thing, I do know that much. If I'm not mistaken the 1980 event was the last Mr. Olympia to be televised on a national station...I remember watching it on ABC's "Wide World of Sports"...the thrill of victory, and the agony of defeat!!!
    I believe you're right. They were booing Arnold from what I've read. Incredible.

    Really wish Mentzer had competed in '81. I wonder if they would have still awarded the title to Franco.

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    any sport where there are judges, you're at their mercy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by boobuddy12345 View Post
    The 1980 Mr. Olympia finally proved to me the bias and politics in bodybuilding.
    Since you're asking for opinions, I'm of the opinion that the powers that be in pro bb at that time felt that even though he wasn't at his best, that Arnold was the best ambassador for promoting and advancing the sport. I believe it had just as much to do about his charisma as his physique.

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    Mike was a quitter, no matter what hapend in 1980 Mike would eventually found a reason to quit.

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    Quote Originally Posted by stepaukas View Post
    any sport where there are judges, you're at their mercy.
    True enough.

    Quote Originally Posted by chesty4 View Post
    Since you're asking for opinions, I'm of the opinion that the powers that be in pro bb at that time felt that even though he wasn't at his best, that Arnold was the best ambassador for promoting and advancing the sport. I believe it had just as much to do about his charisma as his physique.
    His charisma certainly didn't hurt.

    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeForemanRules View Post
    Mike was a quitter, no matter what hapend in 1980 Mike would eventually found a reason to quit.
    Perhaps, but I'd certainly love to read a "What if?" tale of Mentzer's 1980 Olympia win.

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    Quote Originally Posted by chesty4 View Post
    Since you're asking for opinions, I'm of the opinion that the powers that be in pro bb at that time felt that even though he wasn't at his best, that Arnold was the best ambassador for promoting and advancing the sport. I believe it had just as much to do about his charisma as his physique.
    ...well, I'd hate to bust my balls in the gym for years, and do everything else necessary to win this title, to have someone with "charisma" win the title.
    Arnold was a Weider ass-kisser...with placings based on physique and condition Arnold should not have even taken second place.
    Arnold may get the award for the "world's most self-absorbed man". I cannot tolerate to even look at him.

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    Charisma counts, but even from the physique Arnold brought to the stage there may be merit to his winning the prize that year. Arnold at 75% was impressive if not better than the other competitors, imo.

    They're all shorter than Schwarzenegger and so lose a point there, imo. No, I'm no IFBB judge, but all things being otherwise equal I'm impressed by the taller competitor with the bigger guns. That's Arnold.

    Frank Zane was one of the few to beat Arnold, but 1980 was not 1968.

    I always thought Roger Walker (center, below) was the one who was robbed at that show.


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    Also, remember seeing Arnold in Pumping Iron? He was/is a master at head games and intimidation in the gym and on the stage.

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    arnolds calves look like mine in that pic, small and high. haha
    Sometimes the truth can rape your entire belief system.

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    ^heh

    I'll never criticize anyone's calves.

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    I was very much into bodybuilding at the time everyone was shocked that Arnold won he was small and not nearly as hard as some of the other competitors, Menzter was amazing looking in the pics I saw and should have won easily this contest was definitely fixed to the hilt.

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    No way,thats bad news..

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    :-(

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    Last edited by Curt James; 04-12-2013 at 07:41 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Curt James View Post
    I just have this idea that had Mentzer won that he would have been in a better place and perhaps not relied so heavily on amphetamines. He also would have been making more money via sponsorships, guest posings, seminars, etc. which may have led him to a healthier and more positive existence.
    Yep, amphetamines did kill him! He still has the prettiest shape of all guys wearing a mustache!
    The more harder and difficult is the road that lead to success,the greater is the gift and reward at the end of that path...

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    yes possibly

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    why do they have a 20 post limit to send PM? thats so stupid.. just making more spam

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    mentzer . the dogmatic

    Quote Originally Posted by dolcevita230 View Post
    why do they have a 20 post limit to send PM? thats so stupid.. just making more spam
    mike wanted to be a loose cannon . trying to follow arthur jones theories about high intesity traning. he wanted to let us know that we sshould train scientifically . he was big booster of nautilus training too . he made arnold a bit mad telling everyone that his was the only way t train . . many people injured themselves trying heavy duty traing . not warming up . negative work has is places but . again . being careful is the way . mentzer was a bit of an original . in a way . arthur jones and ayn ryan . foolwer with a personal touch . that said arnold has his name and background to made him win in 1980 . his physique was not that great .

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    not at his best but great calves chest and arms .

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    Quote Originally Posted by Prince View Post
    no way, it had nothing to do with the 1980 Olympia IMO, I think he (and his brother) would have traveled the same path regardless.
    Could easily be true. His mother wasn't 90 when she died. My aunt was a nurse at the Ephrata Community Hospital where his mother was admitted and I believe died.

    Mike could have just as easily won the '80 O and then started his drug addiction related to fame and fortune rather than bitterness and disillusion. Still, I'd like to see that alternate universe where Mentzer won and Arnold took 5th.

    Arnold would have bounced back from 5th. No doubt.

    Quote Originally Posted by WINSTON View Post
    (snip) arnold has his name and background to made him win in 1980 . his physique was not that great .
    What I like to call legend status. Being 2nd to Arnold all those years definitely helped Franco win the '76 O. And having that Olympia title under his belt, that legend status, helped Franco win again in '81. No other way to explain Columbu topping Dickerson and Platz that year.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Curt James View Post
    Shawn Ray, while interviewing Branch Warren, referenced Mike Mentzer and the 1980 Mr. Olympia competition.

    Ray asked Branch about his drive to improve. Branch stated that a loss only spurs him, motivates him, drives him to come back even better.

    Ray mentioned that the '80 O seemed to destroy Mentzer. It was just a brief comment, but I've often thought that Mentzer was demoralized by his being awarded fifth place rather than the ultimate prize in bodybuilding, especially against Arnold "Mr. Volume Training" Schwarzenegger.

    If Mentzer had only viewed the loss as incentive to leave absolutely no doubts, wouldn't he have had a chance - a very good chance - at beating Franco at the 1981 Mr. Olympia?

    Instead Mentzer's life apparently spun out of control and he failed to ever set foot on an Olympian stage again.

    Dead too young, Mentzer had another five Olympias in him, imo.

    How do you view defeat? What's your mental game like? Do you believe that something like a win or a loss can set the tone for the rest of your life? Or even shorten your life?

    Mentzer's family had a history of health issues, so he may have died exactly as could be expected or predicted, however I'd like to believe that a positive attitude and uplifting determination can serve a healthful benefit to all people.

    Any opinions? Any anecdotes?
    his lifestyle def ruined his quality of life towards the end...amphetamines
    ...PASSION IS MY FUCKING PASSION

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    Did the "1980 Mr. Olympia" kill Mike Mentzer?

    I saw both brothers around Gold's Venice in the early 80's. thought wow, they live in their car? Those guys trained their BALLS OFF every rep! Truly unreal to watch as a teen

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    ^^^^ Saw them when I was a teen as well. Ray appeared at the Ephrata Rec Center to sign autographs. He was a member of the 30-pin club while a wrestler for Ephrata H.S.

    Saw Mike training at a place called the Lancaster Health Spa, great gym that had boxing, martial arts, free weights back when they had chalk buckets... Mike was doing triceps pushdowns in the corner, backed turned to me, and I thought it was just some really fat guy -- there was NO way that those arms were solid muscle.

    Then he turned around and I recognized him from the magazines. His arms were seriously ridiculous. The first Olympia-level guns I'd ever seen and my teenaged brain could barely rap reality around the sight. Absolutely absurd to see in person.

    Didn't have the nerve to even say hello much less get an autograph.

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