Frank Zane at the 1983 Mr. Olympia

Readers of this site will undoubtedly be aware of my admiration for Frank Zane. A three time Mr. Olympia and one of the few bodybuilders to defeat Arnold Schwarzenegger in contest, Zane is a legend of the sport.

What few people remember, however, is Zane’s staunch sense of right and wrong. Following the controversial Mr. Olympia contest of 1980 in which Arnold Schwarzenegger returned from retirement to win the competition, Zane boycotted the 1981 tournament along with several other bodybuilders. He returned in 1982, where he finished 2nd.

The 1983 competition was supposed to be his return to glory but, unfortunately, disaster struck. In the lead up to the competition Zane crashed his motor cycle and the resulting injury disrupted his contest prep. Zane finished fourth at that year’s Olympia. It proved to be his final contest but despite his eventual finish, I think it’s fair to say that Zane went out on top.