How many times was Arnold Schwarzenegger Mr Olympia? Exploring total wins in popular bodybuilding competition

Arnold Sports Festival - Slap Fighting Championship
Arnold Sports Festival - Slap Fighting Championship

Arnold Schwarzenegger has been a lot of things. He's been an action star, starring in movies like Predator, The Terminator, Terminator 2, Last Action Hero and others. He's been the governor of California, one of the few Republican governors in that state in a long time. His bio says he's an actor, businessman, politician and author.

While all of these are true, they don't the one key role Schwarzenegger held for a long time, that of a bodybuilder. He is one of the greatest bodybuilders of all time, with many considering his body one of the best.

Mr. Olympia - arguably the highest honor in bodybuilding - has been bestowed upon Ronnie Coleman and Lee Haney eight times each, the most in history. However, Schwarzenegger isn't too far behind them with seven wins to his name as he was named Mr. Olympia between 1970-1975 and later in 1980.

In 1969, he was placed second to Sergio Oliva, which would have been his record-tying eighth win. Since these are the only times he competed in the Mr. Olympia competition, a 7-1 record is pretty incredible.


Interestingly enough, Schwarzenegger was inspired by Reg Park, who was a Mr. Universe three times. In an inspiring speech, he said:

"One day after school, I walked by a store in Graz. So I went inside and I looked around and then I saw a magazine. It was a bodybuilding magazine that had Reg Park on the cover. Reg Park was then a three-time Mr. Universe, and I saw him on the big screen as Hercules."

He went on to add that he wanted to be like him:

"I read that and said to myself, 'Wow! This is the blueprint for my life. This is exactly what I want to do. I want to become a bodybuilding champion just like Reg Park. I want to get into movies just like Reg Park. And I want to make millions of dollars and be rich and famous just like Reg Park.'"

That's exactly what he did, though many consider Mr. Olympia to be a more impressive win than Mr. Universe.

Arnold Schwarzenegger's illustrious career

Not many people have such an incredible career in their given field. Almost nobody does it in two different fields, but that's what Schwarzenegger managed to do. His bodybuilding career was one of the all-time best.

He won awards, competitions and more to go down as one of the most decorated in history. Following this, he entered the world of acting.

His debut performance in Stay Hungry was enough to win him a Golden Globe for Best Acting Debut in a Motion Picture- Male. He was on Years of Living Dangerously, which won an Emmy for Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Series.

Arnold Sports Festival Australia
Arnold Sports Festival Australia

He's been nominated for Best Actor at the Oscars a number of times, including for:

  • The Terminator
  • Predator
  • Total Recall
  • Terminator 2: Judgement Day
  • Last Action Hero
  • The 6th Day

He never won a Best Actor Oscar, but the number of times he was nominated was impressive nonetheless. A lot of actors don't get nominated as many times, so six nominations is quite good.

While it isn't as impressive as his bodybuilding career, it is quite an impressive second career.

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Edited by Madhur Dave
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