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Professional Bodybuilding: Under Construction
By Zach Bashore
Professional bodybuilding is one of the less popular sports in the
world. Almost everyone knows players like Lebron James and Barry Bonds, but
if you asked someone who Ronnie Coleman is, chances are good that they are
not going to have any idea. What has happened to the sport of bodybuilding
since the days of Arnold, Columbo, and Haney? The media has pulled the plug
on these great athletes, which makes you wonder why this horrific downfall
has happened to our sport.
The present age of bodybuilding has a few kinks that need worked
on. Some will argue that the voting system is rigged because there has been
the same Mr. O the past eight years. There is also the issue of steroids in
pro bodybuilding, and the media giving steroids a bad reputation doesn`t
make things easier In 2005, the IFBB finally decided to raise the winner of
the Olympia`s prize money to a staggering $661,000, but I don`t think this
upgrade in prize money will put an end to the problems of bodybuilding.
In the past, you could turn to channels like ESPN and the Fox
Sports Network to catch a glimpse of what professional bodybuilding was all
about, but now you`ll be lucky to catch a live show on pay-per-view. Almost
everyone in America knew who Arnold, Columbo, and Haney was. Everyone seemed
to want to become the next Arnold and it looked as if bodybuilding would
become the next big sport in the United States. In the year 1977, Arnold
admitted the use of performance enhancing drugs to help him maintain muscle
while preparing for a contest. This set the stage for the use of anabolic
steroids in professional bodybuilding and before you knew it, ninety percent
of bodybuilders were juicing.
Everyone knew Arnold and his popularity was as asset to the sport.
The top bodybuilders of today`s industry are not well known athletes or
celebrities which is one of the leading downfalls to the game. Look at how
the World Wrestling Entertainment became so popular over the years. Hulk
Hogan, The Rock, and Macho Man Randy Savage were all icons that everyone
adored. Even outside of pro wrestling, these guys transformed the
entertainment industry and brought more fans to the sport. Ben Weider needs
to smarten up and use some of the marketing techniques Vince McMahon used to
transform his company into what it is today.
Bodybuilding is slowly starting to get where it needs to be. The
new bodybuilding web video and radio show being broadcasted on
bodybuilding.com is a step in the right direction, but there is more work
that needs to be done. They should consider getting a small television
contract . They also need to somehow change the structure of the event to
make it more entertaining. The fans should be able to vote at contests on
who they beleive won. In bodybuilding, there is really no champion except
for the Mr. Olympia contest held that determines the best bodybuilder in the
world. There should be a point system like in Nascar or the BCS for college
football to determine who the leaders are for the season and use the Mr.
Olympia as a means of gaining more points to the bodybuilders`s yearly
total. This will make smaller shows more interesting and make the bigger
guys like Ronnie Coleman and Jay Cutler have to compete more. I really
believe this would be a huge step in the right direction for the sport and
should be considered by the promoters of the IFBB.
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