FICH Bodybuilding Contests

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DannyBoy
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FICH Bodybuilding Contests

Post by DannyBoy » Sat Apr 23, 2016 2:05 pm

Can anybody tell me more about the bodybuilding contests put on by the FICH? I haven't been able to find out too much about the FICH or their bodybuilding contests. I know the FICH held it's own Mr. Universe (first in 1950 and notably won by the likes of John Farbotnik, Tommy Kono, Guy Mierczuk, Bill March & Bob Gadja), an Asian Championships (first in 1957 and notably won my Mahmoud Namdjou), and it's own Mr. Europe (first in 1961 and notably won by Guy Mierczuk & Louis Martin). I'd certainly appreciate anymore info anybody may have on the FICH, their contests and what prestige they may have held. Thanks!

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Re: FICH Bodybuilding Contests

Post by peter yates » Sat Apr 23, 2016 4:08 pm

HI DANNY,
I THINK IT WAS ACTUALLY FIHC. I DO NOT KNOW MUCH MORE THAN YOU OTHER THAN THEY WERE USUALLY HELD WITH FIHC WEIGHTLIFTING CHAMPIONSHIPS [THE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP I THINK] AND THOSE THAT HAD COMPETED IN THE LIFTING OFTEN TOOK PART IN THE BODYBUILDING CONTEST HELD AFTER THE LIFTING AS WAS COMMON IN THOSE DAYS. I BELIEVE STEVE STANKO WAS THE FIRST TO WIN THEIR VERSION OF THE MR.UNIVERES IN 1947 MAKING HIM AS FAR AS I KNOW THE FIRST MR. UNIVERSE OF ANY ORGANIZATION. AT LEAST THAT IS WHAT I REMEMBER. LOOK FORWARD TO HAVING MORE INFO.
REGARDS, PETER.
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Re: FICH Bodybuilding Contests

Post by DannyBoy » Sat Apr 23, 2016 4:58 pm

peter yates wrote:HI DANNY,
I THINK IT WAS ACTUALLY FIHC. I DO NOT KNOW MUCH MORE THAN YOU OTHER THAN THEY WERE USUALLY HELD WITH FIHC WEIGHTLIFTING CHAMPIONSHIPS [THE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP I THINK] AND THOSE THAT HAD COMPETED IN THE LIFTING OFTEN TOOK PART IN THE BODYBUILDING CONTEST HELD AFTER THE LIFTING AS WAS COMMON IN THOSE DAYS. I BELIEVE STEVE STANKO WAS THE FIRST TO WIN THEIR VERSION OF THE MR.UNIVERES IN 1947 MAKING HIM AS FAR AS I KNOW THE FIRST MR. UNIVERSE OF ANY ORGANIZATION. AT LEAST THAT IS WHAT I REMEMBER. LOOK FORWARD TO HAVING MORE INFO.
REGARDS, PETER.
Hey Peter, thanks for the reply and the additional info. You may very well be right about it being FIHC rather than FICH as I saw it spelled that way too during my Google search, but I went with FICH because that's how MuscleMemory has it listed as well as how Bob Gadja spelled it in an interview. I really don't know whether the 1947 Mr. Universe won by Steve Stanko was an FICH/FIHC sanctioned contest or not, the earliest FICH Mr. Universe MuscleMemory has listed is in 1950 and was won by John Farbotnik. MuscleMemory could be incorrect though. Hopefully someone else (David) can shed some more light on this matter.

Here's the FICH contest listings on MuscleMemory:
MuscleMemory: World-Universe - FICH
MuscleMemory: Asian Championships - FICH
MuscleMemory: Mr Europe - FICH

And here's MuscleMemory's listing for the 1947 Mr. Universe:
MuscleMemory: Mr Universe

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Re: FICH Bodybuilding Contests

Post by peter yates » Sat Apr 23, 2016 7:07 pm

HI DANNY,
I DO KNOW THAT FIHC STANDS FOR FEDERATION INTERNATIONAL HALTEROFILE ET CULTURISTE AND WAS THE GOVERNING BODY FOR WORLD WEIGHTLIFTING ORGANIZATIONS.
REGARDS, PETER.
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Re: FICH Bodybuilding Contests

Post by DannyBoy » Sat Apr 23, 2016 9:30 pm

peter yates wrote:HI DANNY,
I DO KNOW THAT FIHC STANDS FOR FEDERATION INTERNATIONAL HALTEROFILE ET CULTURISTE AND WAS THE GOVERNING BODY FOR WORLD WEIGHTLIFTING ORGANIZATIONS.
REGARDS, PETER.
Thanks Peter, I didn't know that, but it's been of help to me. The IWF is the federation I'm familiar with as the governing body of Olympic-style Weightlifting and now after doing a Google search I've come to the realization that the Fédération Internationale Haltérophile et Culturiste changed it's name to the International Weightlifting Federation in 1972, so they're one in the same. Actually thanks to this timeline on the IWF's website (History | International Weightlifting Federation) I've discovered that the name of the organization has changed a number of times over the years since it's founding in 1905 and it became known as the Fédération Internationale Haltérophile et Culturiste in 1950. It looks like FIHC is indeed the correct abbreviation, so I don't know how/why MuscleMemory has it listed as FICH or why Bob Gadja referred to it as FICH. Just a mistake I suppose.

Now hopefully David or someone will have some more info on the FIHC's bodybuilding contests.

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Re: FICH Bodybuilding Contests

Post by David Gentle » Sun Apr 24, 2016 4:17 am

The best source of info re contests is Randy Roachs' Muscles Smoke and Mirrors, also Jan and Terry Todd do an extensive coverage in their Iron Game History of names and dates of contests. Peter is right about it being F.I.C.H it being the Federation of International Halterophile et Culturiste, i.e. to include bodybuilding as well as weight lifting. although bodybuilding still came second in interest in the competitions. a sort of after thought. this lot came about in 1950 from the International Weightlifting Federation. their Mr Universe shows were held in conjunction with the World Weight lIfting Championships The first recognised Mr Universe is rightly as Peter said Steve Stanko, Grimek was not considered because he was believed to be "too old". Stanko was of course the first man to make over 1000lbs Weight lifting total. Grimek was guest poser at the contest held in P.A Sept 1947 Next year, due to the Olympic Games being held in London, Health and Strength ran a Mr U niverse, famously won by John C.Grimek. Skip a year to 1950 and NABBA ran ran their first Mr Universe won by Steve Reeves. Uncle Joe (Weider) commenced IFBB Universe shows in 1959, first being won by Eddie Sylvestre. The NABBA Universe show is still running, although its years since I attended. Last one iI think I saw, Eddie Ellwood won? the longest continous running bodybuilding show of all is the Mr Britain in the war years they compared photographs. David Gentle.The only contest I ever won, was "Worlds best granddad."
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Re: FICH Bodybuilding Contests

Post by DannyBoy » Sun Apr 24, 2016 6:01 am

David Gentle wrote:The best source of info re contests is Randy Roachs' Muscles Smoke and Mirrors, also Jan and Terry Todd do an extensive coverage in their Iron Game History of names and dates of contests. Peter is right about it being F.I.C.H it being the Federation of International Halterophile et Culturiste, i.e. to include bodybuilding as well as weight lifting. although bodybuilding still came second in interest in the competitions. a sort of after thought. this lot came about in 1950 from the International Weightlifting Federation. their Mr Universe shows were held in conjunction with the World Weight lIfting Championships The first recognised Mr Universe is rightly as Peter said Steve Stanko, Grimek was not considered because he was believed to be "too old". Stanko was of course the first man to make over 1000lbs Weight lifting total. Grimek was guest poser at the contest held in P.A Sept 1947 Next year, due to the Olympic Games being held in London, Health and Strength ran a Mr U niverse, famously won by John C.Grimek. Skip a year to 1950 and NABBA ran ran their first Mr Universe won by Steve Reeves. Uncle Joe (Weider) commenced IFBB Universe shows in 1959, first being won by Eddie Sylvestre. The NABBA Universe show is still running, although its years since I attended. Last one iI think I saw, Eddie Ellwood won? the longest continous running bodybuilding show of all is the Mr Britain in the war years they compared photographs. David Gentle.The only contest I ever won, was "Worlds best granddad."
Thanks David. So just how prestigious/highly regarded were the FIHC bodybuilding contests, particularly in comparison with AAU & NABBA contests and later on IFBB contests? Did the FIHC contests get much coverage in the muscle mags at the time? Seeing as how it's not easy to find out info on these old FIHC contests and I don't see many (big) names amongst the lists of competitors in them, I'll make a guess that they weren't too highly regarded. In any case, I had noticed that a number of the guys who won FIHC contests (at least of the names I recognize) were more so weightlifters than bodybuilders; Tommy Kono, Mahmoud Namdjou, Louis Martin & Bill March. Which makes complete sense now that I know more about the FIHC and that their bodybuilding contests were held in conjunction with weightlifting competitions.

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Re: FICH Bodybuilding Contests

Post by peter yates » Sun Apr 24, 2016 10:50 am

HI GUYS,
THANKS FOR THE GREAT INFO DAVID, REALLY FLESHED THINGS OUT A BIT. MY FEELING IS THE FIHC UNIVERSE DID NOT CARRY THE SAME PRESTIGE AS THE NABBA UNIVERSE DID. THE MAJORITY OF CONTESTANTS WERE AS YOU STATED DANNY, WEIGHTLIFTERS WHO MAY HAVE DONE SOME BODYBUILDING FROM TIME TO TIME. AS DAVID MENTIONED JUST LIKE AAU EVENTS THE BODYBUILDING SHOWS WERE PUT ON AFTER THE LIFTING OFTEN LATE AT NIGHT. IT MAY HAVE BEEN AN ATTEMPT BY THE FIHC TO CONTROL BODYBUILDING AND NOT ALLOW IT TO GET TOO BIG AND OVER SHADOW THE LIFTING.
REGARDS, PETER.
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Re: FICH Bodybuilding Contests

Post by DannyBoy » Sun Apr 24, 2016 2:10 pm

During my searching earlier I came across this photo from the 1959 FIHC Mr. Universe.

Image
From left to right: Abdul El Guindi, Guy Mierczuk, Louis Martin & Tommy Kono. Their final placings in the contest were:
1. Mierczuk
2. El Guindi
3. Kono
4. Martin

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Re: FICH Bodybuilding Contests

Post by peter yates » Sun Apr 24, 2016 2:14 pm

NICE ONE DANNY.
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