1980 Mr. Olympia - Winner Arnold Schwarzenegger
1980 Mr. Olympia - Winner Arnold Schwarzenegger

The 1980 Mr. Olympia was held on October 4th, 1980 at the Sydney Opera House in Sydney, Australia. It was one of the most controversial and certainly one of the most popular events of all time, mainly because of Schwarzenegger who announced that he is competing - and because of the current (and unbeatable) form of Frank Zane.

The preparations for the 1980 Mr. Olympia started with rumors that Arnold Schwarzenegger was back and training hard at the World Gym in the summer of 1980. Obviously, many people didn't believe this especially because it was a couple of years after the five-year streak of the champion - and because Arnold was a 'celebrity' at the time without much time for bodybuilding.

Related - The Complete History of Bodybuilding

However, Arnold was there promoting the Olympia contests every year - but not 1980 - when along with his partner, Jim Lorimer from Columbus, Ohio, decided to challenge Frank Zane and compete again at the 1980 Mr. Olympia. This created a lot of fuss but also made Frank Zane even more confident in himself, mostly because of his three year streak. Even though Zane always consulted with Arnold on his form and got advice from him, it was time for them to meet each other on stage.

While Arnold was only training for 8 weeks for his role in the 1982 film Conan the Barbarian, Zane was active and competing in the bodybuilding world. Arnold entered the Mr. Olympia contest only one day prior to the event - which steamed up a lot of things and made this Mr. Olympia contest one of the most popular and most controversial events in bodybuilding history.

The psychology was certainly not on Arnold's side. He always had the 'getaway card' option saying that he was preparing for a movie and dint' pay much attention to his bodybuilding form compared to preparing for the event. However, as a title holder with a three-year streak, Frank Zane was more confident in himself than ever before.

There were so many eyebrows raised at the day of the event and especially when the competitors started appearing on stage. Among Frank Zane and Arnold Schwarzenegger, there were also Chris Dickerson, Boyer Coe, Mike Mentzer, Roger Walker, Roy Callender, Dennis Tinerino, Tom Platz, Danny Padilla, Ed Corney, Tony Emmott, Roy Duval, Casey Viator, Samir Bannout and Ken Waller - a total of 16 bodybuilders competing for the prestigious 1980 Mr. Olympia title.

Surprisingly for many, it was Arnold Schwarzenegger who won. His performance on stage was phenomenal, leaving a lot of mouths opened and impressing a lot of people. Not only this made announcing his role in the next movie a lot better - Schwarzenegger gained even more impressions from the crowd and collected the most points.

Schwarzenegger took the total prize money (again rise) awarded which was $50,000 at the time, having the best points on the scorecard and beating Chris Dickerson to the second and Frank Zane to the third place.

 

1980 Mr. Olympia Results
Placing Competitor Prize
 1  Arnold Schwarzenegger  
 2  Chris Dickerson  
 3  Frank Zane  
 4  Boyer Coe  
 5  Mike Mentzer  
 6  Roger Walker  
 7  Roy Calender  
 8  Dennis Tinerino  
 9  Tom Platz  
 10  Danny Padilla  
 11  Ed Corney  
 12  Tony Emmott  
 13  Roy Duval  
 14  Casey Viator  
 15  Samir Bannout  
 16  Ken Waller