The Best Physical Culturists of the 1960's

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Harry Hayfield
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The Best Physical Culturists of the 1960's

Post by Harry Hayfield » Fri May 31, 2019 8:02 am

Overview
The 1960's has been dubbed by some as "the golden era" with names such as Dave Draper, Larry Scott and Sergio Olivia coming to the fore, but it was not only bodybuilding that was seeing a increase in popularity, any thing that allowed people to see that you could be healthy, strong and powerful was being promoted for this was the era of the peplum (sword and sandal) movie, films that came out of film studios in Italy featuring both bodybuilders of past and present and producing such classics as The Revenge of Hercules (1960) starring Mark Forest, Hercules and the Captive Women (1961) starring Reg Park and Hercules, Samson and Ulysses (1963) with Kirk Morris. This popularity for a bit of muscle even filtered through to mainstream film with Harold Sakata (Olympic silver medal in weightlifting) appearing in the James Bond film "Goldfinger" in 1964.

Rules
1) All nominees must have been born prior to 1940
2) All nominees must have come to public prominence between 1960 and 1969
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 PDT on June 8th 2019
"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 1960's

Post by Harry Hayfield » Sat Jun 08, 2019 10:17 am

Larry Scott (USA)
Larry Dee Scott, also known as "The Legend" or "The Golden Boy", was an American professional bodybuilder and physique model with one minor acting role during the 1960s playing "Riff Muscle Man" in the 1964 film Muscle Beach Party. Standing at only five feet and seven inches Larry wasn't the tallest bodybuilder during the Golden Era but his physique pervades through the decades. He won Mr. America in 1962, Mr. Universe in 1964, the first Mr. Olympia ever awarded in 1965, as well as the 1966 Mr. Olympia.

Albert Beckles (BAR)
Beckles was born in Barbados but emigrated to London. In the mid-1960s, he won several British regional titles before winning the 1969 and 1970 NABBA Mr. Britain titles. In 1971, Beckles joined the IFBB, earning the overall at the IFBB "Mr. Universe." Beckles was one of the most active participants in bodybuilding history, having been in over 100 contests. In 1982, at the age of 52, he won the Night of Champions competition in New York. Beckles’ 13 forays into the IFBB Mr. Olympia have yielded six placings among the top five, including coming second to Lee Haney in 1985. In 1991, at the age of 61 years, he won the Niagara Falls Pro Invitational.

Tommy Kono (USA)
Kono was a gold medalist at both the 1952 Summer Olympics and 1956 Summer Olympics, and a silver medalist at the 1960 Summer Olympics under coach Bob Hoffman. Kono won the World Weightlifting Championships six consecutive times from 1953 to 1959 and was a three-time Pan American Games champion; in 1955, 1959, and 1963.[8] A knee injury prevented him from qualifying for the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo and the following year he retired from the sport. He set a total of 26 world records and 7 Olympic records, making him the most accomplished U.S. male weightlifter to date. Kono was also a successful bodybuilder, winning the Fédération Internationale Haltérophile et Culturiste Mr. Universe titles in 1954, 1955, 1957 and 1961. After his retirement he turned to coaching, taking on the Mexican 1968 Summer Olympics and West German 1972 Summer Olympics weightlifting teams before becoming head coach of the United States' Olympic weightlifting team at the 1976 Summer Olympics. During his weightlifting career in the 1960s, he developed a pair of bands to support knees during training. These eventually extended to the elbows and became standard weightlifting equipment. While he was coaching in Germany during the 1970s, his correspondence with Adidas led to the firm's development of low cut weightlifting shoes.

Polling will start at 0000 PDT on June 10th 2019 to allow time for more nominations
"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 1960's

Post by peter yates » Tue Jun 11, 2019 12:10 pm

Louis Martin, British mid heavyweight Olympic lifter is my nomination.
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Re: The Best Physical Culturists of the 1960's

Post by raynobile » Wed Jun 12, 2019 9:21 am

bill pearl is my nomination.

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Re: The Best Physical Culturists of the 1960's

Post by peter yates » Wed Jun 12, 2019 12:56 pm

I am sure many will agree that it is a difficult task to choose one person from the turn of the century to the early 1970s to represent a decade.There were so many amazing all round physical culture practitioners who left an indelible mark over that period of time. Every time i think of someone i can immediately think of another just as worthy.
Regards,Peter.
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Re: The Best Physical Culturists of the 1960's

Post by Harry Hayfield » Sun Jun 30, 2019 10:15 am

It is clear that member's minds have been elsewhere recently (and given the fact that we lost Sticks, this is not terribly surprising) however, in order to remain on schedule for a grand final in December, I shall have to use a bit of common sense and determine the best physical culturist of the 1960's, open nominations for the 1970's and just hope for the best.

All five nominees have won titles. Larry Scott was the first Mr. Olympia, Alfred Beckles won two Mr. Britain titles, Tommy Kono won two gold medals, Louis Martin won a Commonwealth Games medal and Bill Pearl was one of the greats in bodybuilding, so therefore in order to determine a winner, I need to remind myself of what "physical culture" means and thanks to Dictionary.com we have a definition of "the development of the body by exercise" meaning that the bodybuilders are the true exopents of the term, so therefore who out of Larry Scott, Alfred Beckes and Bill Pearl is the best (to which you could argue which is the better? the ocean, the rivers or the rain).

Well, if we work on the development statement, then let's see how much they all developed over the same timescale. First Larry Scott, he began training at the age of 16 in 1954 and won his first contest in 1959 (so it took him five years to develop his physique to win a title), next Alfred Beckles, now we do not know when he started training but his first title was in 1970 when he was 40, so therefore it stands to reason that he must have started later in life than Larry thanks in part to having emigrated from his native Barbados but having started entering contests in 1965, he must have been training for at least five years prior to that so therefore it took him nine years from the start of training, then finally Bill Pearl, he started training at the age of 16 (based on his own biography) and won his first title in 1953 (at the age of 23) therefore it took him seven years.

Therefore based on that I hereby declare Larry Scott (who took just five years to develop a title winning physique) is the best physical culturist of the 1960's
"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 1960's

Post by peter yates » Tue Jul 02, 2019 5:32 pm

Hi Harry, i feel the dictionary dot com is sadly lacking in its definition of Physical Culture.Bodybuilding is just one part of a greater movement based on the ancient Greek idea of creating an individual of sound mind and sound body, aesthetics and ability were equally prized. The modern Physical Culture movement embraced these ideals and formed them into a philosophy that would take into consideration the development of the whole person,body,mind and spirit. While balanced and pleasing physical development was prized it had to be paired with the ability to excel at various physical related activities. A parallel development of the mind and character was also sought [though not always found.] By the mid 20s physique and ability also began to include the work done by the individual to promote and spread the word about living a strong and healthy lifestyle.So my own definition would be someone who had through their own efforts developed their physique naturally to its fullest potential, was able to perform various physical skills [weightlifting, gymnastics, wrestling etc.] and was engaged in work that would benefit the health and well being of their fellow humans.Also a person who held to those ideals throughout life. By the 60s there was a lot of fragmentation taking place and while some splendid physiques were being created, ability to use those physique was in many cases diminishing. Bodybuilding, weightlifting and the new sport of powerlifting went their separate ways,although there were still a few that embraced all three and even other aspects of a healthy lifestyle making them more in line with the early ideas of PC.From the 60s onward it is important to look at these 'cross trainers' rather than just the specialists.
Regards,Peter.
Peter Yates

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