[We are all so sad, but at the same time very happy, to have lived during the tenure of Joe and Ben Weider. Here is my interview of Sir Ben Weider published here 5 years ago.
More coverage on our Facebook page.]
Here is Aronold’s tribute to Joe, published on Facebook today:
“Today, I lost a dear friend and mentor, and the world lost one its strongest advocates of living a healthy lifestyle. Joe Weider was a titan in the fitness industry and one of the kindest men I have ever met.
I knew about Joe Weider long before I met him – he was the godfather of fitness who told all of us to “Be Somebody with a Body.” He taught us that through hard work and training we could all be champions. When I was a young boy in Austria, his muscle magazines provided me with the inspiration and the blueprint to push myself beyond my limits and imagine a much bigger future. I know that countless others around the world found motivation in the pages of his publications just as I did, but as I read his articles in Austria, I felt that he was speaking directly to me and I committed to move to America to make my vision of becoming the best bodybuilder, to live the American dream, and to become an actor a reality.”
AND NOW MY INTERVIEW OF BEN
INTERVIEW WITH SIR BEN WIEDER
Exclusive Interview with Sir Ben Weider. The Founding Fathers of the bodybuilding world. The Weiders are the undisputed pioneers of the bodybuilding world. Weider Nutrition is a leader in the nutrition supplements industry, which is close to a $14 billion industry here in the U.S. and a $40 billion industry worldwide.
Part 1: biggest changes in the bodybuilding world – most influential female bodybuilder
Lori Braun: What have been the biggest changes in the bodybuilding world from 1980 to Year 2000?
Ben Weider: The biggest change in bodybuilding since 1980 up to now is the fact that we participate in all of the regional games that are organized by the International Olympic Committee. These are the Pan American Games, Central American Games, South American Games, The World Games, the Mini Olympics, the South East Asia Games, and the Asian Games. During this period, the IFBB also received recognition from the International Olympic Committee, which puts our sport on a par with all other sports. This means that bodybuilders could walk with their heads high and be proud to be bodybuilders.
Lori Braun: In your opinion, who has been most influential female bodybuilder of the last 30 years?
Ben Weider: I believe that Rachel McLish and Cory Everson were the 2 most influential female bodybuilders in the last 30 years.
Part 2: most influential male bodybuilder – promote male and female bodybuilding – major television and cable networks
Lori Braun: Who has been the most influential male bodybuilder of the last 30 years?
Ben Weider: On a professional level, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Lou Ferrigno and Lee Haney have been the most influential male bodybuilders.
Lori Braun: Can the Internet be effectively used to promote male and female bodybuilding in the 21st Century?
Ben Weider: The Internet can be effectively used to promote male and female bodybuilding in the 21st century. In fact, we are doing this right now. Anybody can visit our Web Site, which is: www.ifbb.com.
Lori Braun: Can bodybuilding attract more attention from the major television and cable networks in the future?
Ben Weider: We are attracting more attention than ever from major television and cable networks, and this exposure will continue. For example, the European Men’s Championships was never covered by any organization. Now the ESPN Group, as well as Spanish and Russian television, covered the event and it will be shown in over 50 countries around the world. The same will apply for the World Men’s Amateur Champions, which will take place in Malacca, Malaysia. More and more major television and cable networks are getting involved.
Lori Braun: Are Americans really healthier and stronger now than they were 20 or 30 years ago?
Ben Weider: I believe that there are more Americans training with weights and actually doing bodybuilding than ever before. An A.C. Nielson report shows that there are nearly 50 million Americans who train regularly with equipment. This is a fairly strong statement.
Part 3: steroids in bodybuilding – exercise programs in our schools – the future for female bodybuilding
Interview with Sir Ben Weider
Lori Braun: Is there a problem with the use of steroids in bodybuilding and, if so, how is it being addressed?
Ben Weider: There is a problem with the use of steroids and other drugs in all sport. It is not limited to bodybuilding. There is a perception and a reality. The reality is that the IFBB has been addressing the drug problem since 1986 and we have made the testing procedures, on an out of contest analysis, since we have received Olympic recognition. The amount of steroids in our sport is reducing substantially.
Lori Braun: Do you feel we have adequate exercise programs in our schools and offices?
Ben Weider: I feel that exercise programs in our schools and businesses could be increased substantially. The more fit a person is, the more he will be able to produce in a very happy and healthy manner.
Lori Braun: What do you see as the future for female bodybuilding?
Ben Weider: With regards to the future of female bodybuilding. When you talk about female bodybuilding as it was in the past, and the new fitness competitions, the future looks great. In fact, during the European Men’s Championships we had 2 fitness girls give a demonstration and Mr. Samaranch and the other members of the IOC Executive were extremely