Secrets of the oldest ever Mr Olympia champ Chris Dickerson who broke three records with historic win #Secrets #oldest #Olympia #champ #Chris #Dickerson #broke #records #historic #win #englishheadline


THE oldest-ever Mr. Olympia champion wasn’t just known for breaking records – he had broken barriers as well.

Chris Dickerson was the youngest of triplets born in Montgomery, Alabama in 1939 during the Jim Crow-era South.

Chris Dickerson broke barriers, becoming the first Black Mr. America and openly gay Mr. Olympia


Chris Dickerson broke barriers, becoming the first Black Mr. America and openly gay Mr. OlympiaCredit: ASSOCIATED PRESS
His career spanned three decades and 50 titles


His career spanned three decades and 50 titlesCredit: Legacy

He rose to become of the world’s greatest bodybuilders during a career that spanned more than three decades and 50 titles.

“He was masterful,” said Dickerson’s friend and rival, Samir Bannout to The Washington Post. “He had more confidence than anyone out there.”

Standing only 5-foot-6, Dickerson said he felt overshadowed by some of his peers including Lou Ferrigno and Arnold Schwarzenegger.

“I’m somewhat used to being overlooked,” he said in a 2007 interview with Flex magazine. “At least it’s happened enough in my career that I’m not shocked by it anymore.”

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Despite this, Dickerson did what others before him couldn’t, becoming the first Black Mr. America and the first openly gay Mr. Olympia.

While he rarely ever spoke about it in interviews, Dickerson’s sexuality was widely known in the bodybuilding work by the late 70s.

Dickerson liked to use his time to squash stereotypes about bodybuilding.

“Some people like flashy cars, some like flashy hairdos; we like healthy bodies,” he said once.

“Everybody’s got their own thing, and ours is no funnier than anybody else’s.”

His physique wasn’t just to win competitions. Dickerson was trained in opera and dance and had begun lifting weights to build up his chest to expand his vocal range.

In 1970, he won the Amateur Athletic Union’s Mr. America title, becoming one of the shortest champions in the competition and its first Black winner.

However, unlike other Mr. America champions, Dickerson said he didn’t receive as many movie offers or endorsements.

“I’m ready if anybody calls,” he said.

Dickerson did have a monthly column for Strength & Health magazine and made appearances on What’s My Line and The Tonight Show, while also having speaking engagements to talk to students about maintaining a healthy body.

“I would like for people to feel that if man is made in the image of God, then the human body is a thing of power and beauty,” he told the Associated Press.

By the end of the 1970s, Dickerson had been participating in international competitions such as Mr. Olympia, finishing fourth in 1979.

He seemed like a shoo-in for first place in the 1980 competition in Sydney, Australia but controversy arose when Dickerson placed second and Schwarzenegger, who had come out of retirement, placed first.

Many disagreed with the decision but Dickerson said he was “elated” to have finished in second place.

“I said, ‘Wow! Second place!’ After all, Arnold is Arnold,” he told Flex magazine. “He wasn’t at his best, but with Arnold Schwarzenegger, what can you do?”

He placed second again in 1981 before finally taking first place in 1982 at age 43, becoming the oldest Mr. Olympia champion.

Dickerson continued bodybuilding in his 40 before retiring in 1994 after he finished fourth at the inaugural Masters Olympia competition, for former champions older than 40.

“If you don’t enjoy the process, you don’t do it,” he told the Atlanta Constitution.

“It’s sort of an affirmation of your youth, really. You want to hold onto it. Bodybuilders are like old soldiers, old jocks. You don’t want to hang it up.”

After retiring, Dickerson became a bodybuilding commentator for ESPN and ABC’s Wide World of Sports.

He also worked as a security officer and personal trainer.

Dickerson was inducted into the International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness Hall of Fame in 2000 and the Muscle Beach Venice Hall of Fame in 2014.

He died at the age of 82 on December 23, 2021, from heart failure, leaving behind no immediate survivors.

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“He was one of the nicest people in the entire sport,” said Bannout.

“He had no chip on his shoulder. When he won the Mr. Olympia, he was still a normal guy. Now you see guys win and you can’t talk to them. They walk in the gym and they think they own the world.”

He became the oldest Mr. Olympia at age 43


He became the oldest Mr. Olympia at age 43Credit: H.J. Lutcher Stark Center
Dickerson died at age 82 on December 23, 2021


Dickerson died at age 82 on December 23, 2021Credit: H.J. Lutcher Stark Center

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