Mr. Olympia is the title awarded to the winner of the international bodybuilding competition that is held annually. Joe Weider created the contest to enable the Mr. Universe winners to continue competing and to earn money. The first Mr. Olympia was held on September 18, 1965 in New York.
It took a year for the money to come in, as such the first Mr. Olympia made $ZERO in 1965.
The first “Mr. Olympia” is named Larry Scott a.k.a. “the Legend”. Pictured above, Mr. Scott stands next to Joe Weider on the right.
Prize money: 1966 Larry Scott $1,000
“the Legend” Larry Scott
Prize money: 1967-69 Sergio Oliva $1,000
Enter the Arnold
Prize money: 1970-74 Arnold Schwarzenegger $1,000
He also won in the Heavyweight category 1974-75
(Mr. Olympia is now just an “all around winner”)
Prize money: 1975 Arnold $2,500
Prize money: 1976 Franco Columbu $5,000
A year later, Franco lost the title but he kept training and would be rewarded with a few more bucks in prize money when he regained the crown in 1981.
That title would spend the next 3 years on the head of this icon, Frank Zane. During those years, he also got sponsors to push the prize purse up in value…probably because this American was pretty damn good looking (just sayin’).
Prize money: 1977 Frank Zane $5,000
Prize money: 1978 Frank Zane $15,000
Prize money: 1979 Frank Zane $25,000
Frank Zane, an American bad-a**-mother-f*cker
Prize money: 1980 Arnold $25,000
Prize money: 1981 Franco Columbu $25,000
Lou Ferringno for an honorable mention (by commenter’s request).
He didn’t win it but we was the “Hulk” from 1977-81 with 2 last episodes broadcasting in May of 1982. Plus in the 1983 movie Hercules, he played the role of “Hercules”. I’m guessing the residuals for the “Hulk” kept his lights on.
Prize money: 1982 Chris Dickerson $25,000
Prize money: 1983 Samir Bannout $25,000
Prize money: 1984-85 Lee Haney $50,000
Prize money: 1986 Lee Haney $55,000
Lee’s bank account got a bit bigger in the early ’90s.
Prize money: 1990-91 Lee Haney $100,000
Prize money: 1992-94 Dorian Yates $100,000
Prize money: 1995-97 Dorian Yates $110,000
This is Ronnie Coleman and he is strong.
He won Mr. Olympia 8 years in a row.
Prize money: 1998-2003 Ronnie Coleman $110,000
Prize money: 2004 Ronnie Coleman $120,000
Prize money: 2005 Ronnie Coleman $150,000
Prize money: 2006-07 Jay Cutler $155,000
Prize money: 2008 Dexter Jackson $155,000
Prize money: 2009-10 Jay Cutler $200,000
And then there is the current Mr. Olympia.
Back in 2011 his reign as king began. It’s been 5 consecutive years on top.
This is Phil Heath.
Prize money: 2011 Phil Heath $200,000
Prize money: 2012-13 Phil Heath $250,000
Prize money: 2014 Phil Heath $275,000
Prize money: 2015 Phil Heath $400,000
“luv that money”