have I seen anything like it. I have seen all the Mr. Olympia
contests, Arnold, Lee Haney, Dorian and there has never
been anything like the audience response the night Larry
competed in the first Olympia. I was actually afraid they
would get out of control. They were screaming and crying,
trying to get one last look at Larry".
on the threshold of my first Mr. Olympia contest, it seemed
a lifetime ago...
I was always smaller than my friends. When junior high came
along, everyone's voices got deeper as they matured. Everyone
except me. Gradually I began to grow but I soon realized
I'd have to settle for a dismally average physique until
something occurred that changed my entire life.
During the spring of my 16th year, I hauled a whole load
of clutter to the city dump and it was there that something
caught my eye. It was a bodybuilding magazine with a shot
of an incredibly built human being by the name of George
Pain doing a side triceps pose. The photo caption read,
"You too, can have an arm like this in 30 days".
an old tractor axle I began doing the exercises I had seen
in the magazine. By the end of the summer my arms had grown
to 12.5 inches. I was actually getting bigger! I told myself,
"I am going to train so hard. Nothing is going to stop
me." I felt all my energy focused into a single goal
of getting bigger. I knew what I wanted. I wanted to be
loved, to be to be admired, looked up to. Now finally, after
all these years of being rejected and unrecognized I had
found a way to do it.
By this time I was devouring each issue of "Muscle
Builder" magazine and it soon dawned on me, if I was
going to continue to progress, I would have to leave Idaho
and move to California. I soon found a school in Hollywood,
California and convinced my parents to let me go to continue
my education, but my real motivation was to continue my
At Bert Goodrich's Health Club on Hollywood Boulevard I
met Lou Degni whose physique took my breath away. He looked
even better than in the magazines. Lou must have seen something
special in me, similar to the Zen master who selects a young
student from many novices, and he began to train me. I couldn't
have shown much promise but... I was dedicated.
Soon after, Lou landed an Italian movie contract and left
town so I switched to Vince's Gym out in San Fernando Valley.
There I met Vince, the Iron Guru, who taught me a tremendous
amount about training, posing and nutrition. He was a great
teacher and especially good at suggesting rather than insisting.
A few years training under Vince and it was time to enter
some California contests. I had won Mr. Idaho a few years
before but now I was ready for bigger stuff.
After having placed third in Mr. Los Angeles, a few months
later I tried Mr. California. I didn't think I had the slightest
chance of winning and was hoping for at least 5th. When
the contest was over, the judges announced another name
for the fifth place winner I thought the contest was over.
The judges continued calling out the place winners, then
finally, "And the winner of Mr. California,...... Larry
Scott." I couldn't believe it. I wandered out on stage
as if in a dream. It was the biggest surprise of any contest.
won Mr. California I was now one step closer to my 11 year
dream of winning Mr. America. As Mr. California, I was now
in demand for the Weider magazines and we soon had a photo
shoot at Venice Beach. This was my first chance to meet
Joe Weider, who was to become my long time friend.
After the photo session, Joe took me to lunch and suggested
I enter his IFBB Mr. America contest rather than the AAU
event and I began from that moment to build a friendship
which to this day is one of my most cherished. Our friendship
grew as I began to prepare for the Mr. America show in New
You know, I can't help mention that auditorium without feeling
a warm feeling. I journeyed from California to New York
for 6 straight years competing on that same stage. The finest
was the night I won the Olympia. For personal glory, if
there really is such a thing, this night was the pinnacle.
Rick Wayne was there that night... I will let him finish
the story as he saw it...
"Over the bedlam you heard Bud Parker trying to introduce
the contender from California. You heard, "and gen-men...fornia...the
incred.. Fractured words that made as much sense as the
noise that now filled the auditorium. The amplified voice
of the mohair suited "M.C." was hardly a match
for this New York audience that already was too hot for
the next star appearance to be reasonable.
La-ree! La-ree!" What had gone on before, was nothing
compared to this uninhibited display of enthusiasm and star
worship. And all this before Scott had set foot on the rostrum.
Larry Scott was only a few feet away in the darkest corner
of the wings, oiled and pumped up, quietly sensing the mass
of hysteria that his coming had triggered in unflappable
New York. After such a display, what judge in his right
mind would dare to suggest that any of those who had gone
before Scott was more deserving of the right to call himself
King of Bodybuilders, Champion of Champions? Mr. Olympia!
He mounted the dias and painstakingly positioned himself
beneath the overhead amber lamp so that his deltoids, his
biceps, his pectorals and his trapezius were heightened
by lights and shadows, a special effect that seemed to instantly
add new incredible inches to his earlier monolithic appearance.
Now he glided into the first of a series of Scott postures
from which he paraded an array of prime meat the like of
which had never before visited the human imagination. Great
Scott. In 1965 the man was awesome!
Scott was beyond compare. At 5'8" he weighed slightly
more than 200 pounds, all of it fat free. His arms, from
the small-boned wrists to the thick slab that capped his
shoulders were perfect in their construction; dense forearms
that reminded of tenpins sang in tune with upper arms that
were so thick they took your breath away. The flexed Scott
biceps, regardless of whether the forearms were extended
or bent at shoulder heights were nonpareil; another watershed
The "M.C.'s" announcement at the end of Larry's
presentation was almost a cliché.
Long before it came, the New York audience had cast its own
vote and was in no mood to accommodate disappointment. Where
these votes were concerned, Scott on this night was the greatest
bodybuilder on earth, more deserving than any other of the
engraved... the 1st Mr. Olympia.