In the sport where physique matters most, consistency was key to success. As a consecutive two-year title holder, Frank Zane knew this before the start of the 1979 Mr. Olympia contest, which made people wonder if he is actually closer to breaking Arnold's record of five year titles in a row.
However, it was early to assume things before the start of the event which was traditionally held at the Veterans Memorial Auditorium in Columbus, Ohio. This was the last year when competitors were separated in two categories based on their weight (under 200lbs and over 200lbs). Speaking of which, the number of competitors also increased, summing up to a total of 15 bodybuilders at the 1979 Mr. Olympia.
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The cash prize was also increased to $25,000 for the winner. The names of the list included Frank Zane, Boyer Coe, Robby Robinson, Chris Dickerson, Danny Padilla, Carlos Rodriguez, Albert Beckles, Tom Platz, Ed Corney, Steve Davis, Roy Callender, Roger Walker, Dennis Tinerino, Bob Birdsong and Mike Mentzer. Aside from the list that was lengthy, the main judges had a tough job because of the excellent form that many of these bodybuilders were in.
One specific name that was shaking the bodybuilding world at the time was Chris Dickerson, a bodybuilder who was poised to upset everyone. After placing sixth in the previous Mr. Olympia (1978), he won the 1979 Canada Cup weeks after the Mr. Olympia and continued his winning ways by placing first at almost every Grand Prix around the world. His outstanding shape, posing ability and amazing definition were a threat to the title holder Frank Zane as well as the legendary Robby Robinson who held the second place for two years until 1979.
Mike Mentzer was also one of the most famous and well-liked bodybuilders at the time who was a runner-up at the 1979 Mr. Olympia. His perfect physique and amazing Heavy Duty training philosophy had given him a handsome and massive look which was even bigger at the time.
However, Frank Zane proved his dominance and secured the 1979 Mr. Olympia title once again, leaving Mike Mentzer, Dennis Tinerino, Boyer Coe and the other participants in the list. This was the third Olympia title in a row for Zane, and the assumptions about him reaching Arnold's record were becoming more and more real.
|1979 Mr. Olympia Results|