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1985 Mr. Olympia DVD Review

The opening of the DVD went over some of the history of the contest including past winners and current prize money. The prize money had started off at $1,000 and was up to $50,000 in 1985 - and well over $100,000 today in 2006. Other past winners were discussed including what they were up to at the time of the 1985 contest. They talked about Chris Dickerson's win in 1982 (which many, including myself, do not feel he deserved). What was impressive was that Chris was 43 in that contest and still in great shape, with the physique of a much younger man. A picture of Chris was shown with his infamous elbow growth. It was announced that Sergio Oliva made a comeback in 1984, and was indeed competing at the show in 1985 as well. The total purse in 1984 was up to $100,000 with $50,000 for the first place winner. Very impressive!

Some of the competitors of the 1985 show were discussed including Sergio Oliva, Jusup Wilkosz, Mike Christian (who appeared to have a slight case of gyno in some closeup footage of him), and ageless Albert Beckles - 56 years old at the time of the contest. Mike Christian was the largest bodybuilder competing in the contest.

Some backstage footage of the competing pros was shown and they were looking sharp. They had much more moderate physiques compared to how they look these days. I wouldn't mind looking like a lot of the guys from the show that night. Nowadays, the pros look like cartoon characters, which offers great entertainment value, but it is certainly not a look myself or many other men would want to aspire too. Even if we did want to aspire to the look of the pros of today, it would be unrealistic as it would require mass quantities of steroids and other performance enhancing agents. Not to mention the mass quantities of food required and animalistic training (training being less important than the other two aspects). And lastly (but not least), incredible genetics for gaining size and getting shredded. Back in the day the bodybuilders looked superior in my mind, at least in terms of a look I would want for myself.

1985 Mr. Olympia Lineup

The pros lined up and were very impressive. They hit some poses while lined up. Johnny Fuller was on the stage that night who had only passed away one day before I wrote this review (January 20, 2006). He was 63 years old when he passed away from blood cancer, and was 43 at the time of the 1985 show - two years older than Ronnie Coleman when he won the 2005 Mr. Olympia Contest who many thought was very old! In bodybuilding, age is just a number as ageless Albert Beckles proved. Father Time forgot about this man who was 56 at the time of the show and placed second after Lee Haney! Although there has been some debate as to the exact age of Albert Beckles, it is basically been conclusively determined that he was born between the years of 1930-1940, so he was at least 46 at the time he won the contest, and he would still be the oldest second place competitor ever.

Albert Beckles 1985 Mr. Olympia

Albert Beckles

Albert posed to the song "Dancin' In The Key Of Life" by Steve Arrington. Just as he did at the 1984 Mr. Olympia Contest, his posing routine had the most energy of anyone in the show! Talk about impressive for a man of 55 years of age. He had a spectacular back, great arms, huge shredded delts, and excellent balance between his upper and lower body (I doubt he was a slouch at the squat rack that's for sure).

Mohammed Makkawy

Mohammed was originally from Egypt, but currently living in Toronto, Ontario, Canada at the time of this contest. He showed up in excellent shape as always, and was a better version of Chris Dickerson in my book - better arms with the same overall balance that Chris had for a shorter competitor. He had lightning bolt triceps and a thick chest. His abs were outstanding and so was his posing ability. Mohammed's calves looked sharp as well. Still though, bodybuilding should be about SIZE as well as all the other qualities Mohammed exhibited and no way should he have beaten some like Bertil Fox or Mike Christian. These guys had great conditioning, more mass, and may have lacked somewhat compared to Mohammed in terms of shape, but had so many other strengths compared to him that they should have placed higher. That said, Mohammed looked very good.

Sergio Oliva

Sergio's conditioning at the show compared to his conditioning at the 1984 contest was like night and day. He was in oustanding shape and at 44 years old still had the tight waist and excellent taper he had during his prime. His stomach was tight and his chest and arms were huge. He posed to the Superman theme music as he had in 1984 but went through the poses more slowly which was a big improvement. Keep in mind he was 44 years old here! That would be like Ronnie Coleman competing until 2008 (and probably taking 11 Sandows by doing so)! More proof that age is just a number. Sergio hit some most muscular poses and his striated delts filled the stage. He looked awesome, for his age or for ANY age.

Sergio Oliva 1985 Mr. Olympia

Rich Gaspari

Rich posed to the Terminator music. It was noted in a bodybuilding magazine that I read that Rich looked "a trifle boxy" at this competition, and I would tend to agree. That said, he was hard as nails. Super dense and extremely cut, can you believe this guy was only 22 years old? How many bodybuilders EVER reach the type of hardness that Rich showed at this contest? Let alone at 22 years of age. Damn. Gaspari had all the trademarks of solid conditioning - striations, separation, diamond shape calves, deep etched abs, shredded glutes and cuts all over the place. I couldn't really make out the song Rich posed to after the Terminator music was over, but it sounded like it would be called "Loving Every Minute of it".

Rich Gaspari 1985 Mr. Olympia

Lee Haney

Lee looked incredible and posed to the normal operatic music that he enjoys and that matches up with his incredible physique. He was big and shredded and had excellent symmetry and proportion. He had full and round muscle bellies but may have been lacking slightly in the arms department in relation to his huge torso (including giant and flaring lats).

Lee Haney 1985 Mr. Olympia

Mike Christian

Mike was a beast who had similar attributes to both Lee Haney and Rich Gaspari. He was big and shapely like Haney but conditioned and dense like Gaspari. In my opinion he was overlooked at some pro events and he definitely should not have placed fourth at the 1987 Mr. Olympia contest. I could see him anywhere between 1-3 place. Lee Labrada had no right to be placed higher than him. His front lat spread was ridiculous. Talk about a huge frame for building mass. Keep in mind he was 6'1 and had the dimensions of a linebacker. He was just under 30 at the time of this contest.

Bob Birdsong

Bob posed to "Nobody Does it Better: The Spy Who Loved Me" by Carly Simon. At 5'8 and around 215 pounds he had a very good look. He wasn't such a freak that he would turn someone off with his physique, but was definitely big and shredded.

Frank Richard

Frank Richard looked fantastic. He recently placed fifth at the Night of Champions. He looekd sharp at the contest weighing in at around 240 pounds at a height of 5'10. He said once that he felt he could have placed even higher if he had a bit more body weight for the NOC. Top five is definitely impressive enough for a comeback at the age of 40. Frank posed to the same music he used at the 1986 Mr. Olympia. He was in excellent condition.

Frank Richard 1985 Mr. Olympia

Bob Paris

At 6'0 and 230 pounds Bob was a very popular competitor. Bob had it all. From head to toe he was balanced. This includes his personality as well as his physique. His posing was excellent and he was truly a work of art. In some sense I think that every guy who walks into the gym for the first time wants to look like Bob.

Bob Paris 1985 Mr. Olympia

Wilf Sylvester

Wilf was looking very well at this contest. He had excellent detail and the conditioning of his hamstrings really caught the eye. His rear lat spread was impressive as was his chest which was full and striated. Good abdominals topped off the package.

Wilf Sylvester 1985 Mr. Olympia

Tom Platz

"Mr. Legs". Tom Platz had legs which were unbelievable. Not just his quads, but his hamstrings and calves were looking crazy and not only big but very shredded. Tom posed to "Back in Time" by Huey Lewis & The News. He had a great deal of upper body muscularity, but admittedly they were not up to par with his legs (no easy task). His thighs measured a whopping 34 inches around!

Tom Platz 1985 Mr. Olympia

Tom Platz 1985 Mr. Olympia

Jacques Neuville

Jacques had a very respectable physique and was in good condition and only didn't have the mass necessary to compete with the top pros at this show. From what I could see, his nailed his conditioning. He had all the trademarks of excellent conditioning including ripped abs, striated delts, a roadmap back double biceps pose, and excellent thigh separation.

Tony Pearson

Tony was a cartoon character. He had a tiny waist and incredibly wide lats and delts. His midsection needs to be seen to be believed. His only main weak spot would be his calves, but otherwise he was world class all the way. His rear double biceps pose was out of sight. His abs and thigh was also just ridiculous.

Tony Pearson 1985 Mr. Olympia

Berry Demey

Berry was a pretty big guy. He was very muscular and to add to this you have to keep in mind he was 6'1, so he had a huge frame to put that muscle on. Berry posed to "Dancing In The Dark" by Bruce Springsteen. His posing music then changed to "Into the Groove" by Madonna. The crowd was clapping and cheering lots at this point. They were obviously big fans of both Madonna and Berry. He looked very good at this show and this was one of the more impressive showings I've seen of him. Berry was only 23 at the time of this show! Talk about impressive. To build a physique like his at that age is outstanding.

Berry DeMey 1985 Mr. Olympia

John Brown

John had some incredible upper arms. He was also a very interesting poser, putting on an entertaining dancing routine to begin with.

The top 7-10 were then announced:

10th - Frank Richard
9th - Bob Paris
8th - Sergio Oliva
7th - Tom Platz

The crowd wasn't entirely pleased with these results but it could have been worse.

The top six were then announced after they traded mandatory poses and posed down:

6th - Berry Demay - $3,000
5th - Mike Christian - $6,000
4th - Mohammad Makkawy - $10,000
3rd - Rich Gaspari - (Prize money not mentioned)
2nd - Albert Beckles - $20,000
1st - Lee Haney - $55,000

Top Six 1985 Mr. Olympia

Lee Haney 1985 Mr. Olympia

Overall Review:

This is a great DVD for those of you who enjoy ironage bodybuilding. The production values are far better than the 1986 edition and the quality of the lineup is quite high. One thing to note is that this 1985 contest was different than current ones in that current contests show the prejudging comparisons. Also, only the routines of the top 15 were shown on this DVD. That all being said, this is still a good buy to see the cream of the crop bodybuilders of the eighties - a time when longevity was a lot more pronounced in bodybuilding. Case in point Wilfried Sylvester and Albert Beckles who competed at ages 46 and 55 in this contest respectively! That is, if you believe that Albert was indeed born in 1930 and not 1938 as some have said. In any case, this is a great DVD and excellent contest.

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1985 Mr. Olympia (DVD)
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Matt Canning

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