The Best Physical Culturists of the 1930's

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The Best Physical Culturists of the 1930's

Post by Harry Hayfield » Fri Mar 01, 2019 8:03 am

Overview
By now, the idea of physical culture had really taken off. The idea of seeing muscular people on film was commonplace with stars such as Douglas Fairbanks being photographed in nothing bar a pair of trunks. On the silver screen itself, the first peplum movies were being made with The Defeat of Hannibal premiering in 1937, however it also had its darker side with the Soviet Union realising that they could use physical culture to demonstrate nationalistic supremacy over all, but as the decade came to an end and the outbreak of war loomed, it was an American (Jesse Owens) who put Hitler's own statements on physical culture to shame winning four medals at the 1936 Berlin Olympics.

Rules
1) All nominees must have been born prior to 1910
2) All nominees must have come to public prominence between 1930 and 1939
3) Nominations will be accepted in text (name of physical culturist), images or video (labelled with the name, country of birth and date of image)
4) Nominations will close at 0000 PST on March 8th 2019
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Re: The Best Physical Culturists of the 1930's

Post by peter yates » Fri Mar 01, 2019 2:12 pm

Hi Harry, are you sure you do not mean Germany rather than Soviet Union?
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Re: The Best Physical Culturists of the 1930's

Post by Harry Hayfield » Fri Mar 01, 2019 3:49 pm

peter yates wrote:
Fri Mar 01, 2019 2:12 pm
Hi Harry, are you sure you do not mean Germany rather than Soviet Union? Regards,Peter.
Whilst Germany is perhaps the better known, similar things were going on in the Soviet Union during the 1930's. The following comes from a website that profiles Soviet history:
Physical culture, the hygiene and discipline of the bodies of socialist citizens, was an object of paramount concern to Soviet authorities. Although it was indisputable that socialist physical culture would be different from the capitalist variety, there was a continuous debate about its nature that began in 1920 and received its final solution only in 1934. Pre-revolutionary sports clubs had been accessible only to the privileged social classes, and had carried ideologies alien to the Bolsheviks. The Sokols, or Hawks, had promoted Slavic national identities, while the YMCA pursued the ideal of muscular Christianity. Both were closed down by the Bolsheviks. In their place, the Soviet state promoted organizations that encouraged physical hygiene while eschewing the unhealthy competition that embodied the spirit of capitalism. Calisthenics, eurythmics, workplace exercise, track and field were alloted much of the meager state funding.

The role of the state in the regimentation of the body was a striking feature of the 1930s. That generation was healthier than any other before, and their healthy bodies stood as a metaphor for their healthy minds, unsullied by the psychoses and depravities that plagued their western peers. Physical culture, the disciplining and training of the socialist body, home to the socialist mind, was the popular movement of the decade. No longer was individual accomplishment deemed unsocialist. Just as the workplace produced hero workers such as Aleksei Stakhanov, a growing network of elite sports clubs trained outstanding athletes who brought glory to the socialist homeland. Their anthem, The Sportsman’s March (from the 1935 movie Goalkeeper), sang of their vitality and uncomplicated joy. This healthy generation valued its collective bonds. Togetherness and discipline did not mark for them a lack of individuality, but signaled a healthy sense of self based in community. Every year young physical-culturalists from all over the Soviet Union would march through Red Square on May Day and salute their leaders, saluting themselves as they did and declaring their allegiance.
"Great heavens, what is there to adulate in me? Am I particularly intelligent, or remarkably studious, or excruciatingly witty, or unusually accomplished, or exceptionally virtuous?"
(The Duke of Dunstable, Patience by Gilbert and Sullivan)

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Re: The Best Physical Culturists of the 1930's

Post by peter yates » Fri Mar 01, 2019 4:35 pm

Hi Harry, thanks for that, very interesting.Although i do feel the Nazi promotion of an Aryan super race in Germany was at the time far more sinister.
Regards,Peter.
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Re: The Best Physical Culturists of the 1930's

Post by Internalfitness » Fri Mar 01, 2019 5:09 pm

I can't imagine anyone topping John Grimek for the 1930's, but I'll also put forward Professor K.V. Iyer and Oscar Heidenstam. I was going to add Ronald Walker, but can't condone a nasty smoking habit ;)
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Re: The Best Physical Culturists of the 1930's

Post by peter yates » Fri Mar 01, 2019 6:42 pm

Hi Harry,
some really good people around in the 1930's. Two i would have to go for would first of all be John Grimek but he was born June 17,1910 so is he eligible for this? He could also go into the 1940's so let me know. If not my second choice would be Sig Klein, born April 10,1902.A terrific all round strength athlete and trainer. Owned the most famous Gym in the world at one time,broke lifting records, performed amazing hand-balancing feats and trained many others to championship level. Practiced what he preached until he passed away at the age of 85. Knew all the major players of the iron game from the old timers to the new kids on the block. So Grimek first if he is eligible and second Sig.
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Re: The Best Physical Culturists of the 1930's

Post by Harry Hayfield » Fri Mar 01, 2019 9:27 pm

peter yates wrote:
Fri Mar 01, 2019 6:42 pm
Hi Harry, some really good people around in the 1930's. Two i would have to go for would first of all be John Grimek but he was born June 17,1910 so is he eligible for this? He could also go into the 1940's so let me know
Yes, he was born in 1910 therefore is permissible
"Great heavens, what is there to adulate in me? Am I particularly intelligent, or remarkably studious, or excruciatingly witty, or unusually accomplished, or exceptionally virtuous?"
(The Duke of Dunstable, Patience by Gilbert and Sullivan)

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Re: The Best Physical Culturists of the 1930's

Post by peter yates » Sat Mar 02, 2019 3:05 pm

Thanks Harry,
then i will nominate Grimek as first choice. A bridge between the old and the new at that time. Terrific physique, incredibly strong, agile, supple, acrobatic,personable, a perfect example of a Physical Culture lifestyle. Like Sandow before him, Grimek was responsible for thousands of young men taking up weight training and promoted PC in deed and writing his entire life.
Second choice is Sig Klein for reasons already mentioned.
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Re: The Best Physical Culturists of the 1930's

Post by Harry Hayfield » Fri Mar 08, 2019 8:30 am

At the close of nominations, the following have been duly nominated:

John Grimek (USA)
Prof. K. V. Iver (IND)
Oscar Heidenstam (CYP)
Sig Klein (GER)

Profiles of the nominees will be posted between March 9th and March 23rd with voting open between March 24th and March 30th
"Great heavens, what is there to adulate in me? Am I particularly intelligent, or remarkably studious, or excruciatingly witty, or unusually accomplished, or exceptionally virtuous?"
(The Duke of Dunstable, Patience by Gilbert and Sullivan)

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Re: The Best Physical Culturists of the 1930's

Post by peter yates » Fri Mar 08, 2019 2:07 pm

Hi Harry,
should we go by the place of birth or of the person's nationality? Oscar while being born in Cyprus was a British subject and Sig while being born in Germany was a naturalized American for most of his life.Just asking, you are the Boss.
Regards,Peter.
Peter Yates

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