The Greatest Bodybuilding Show



By Mario Strong

On September 8, 1973, I had the pleasure to attend Dan Lurie's WBBG World Bodybuilding Championships in New York City. The show featured guest posers Sergio Oliva, Frank Zane, Dave Draper, and Kenny Hall. Among the dozens of competitors that night were Chris Dickerson, who won the Pro Mr. America, and Boyer Coe, who won the Pro Mr. World. It was a great thrill to see all the champs flex their stuff but they were shadowed by what was about to come...

"Finally, the much anticipated event that drew thousands of muscle builders from all over the country had arrived. Dan Lurie's heavily promoted appearance of the legendary Steve Reeves at the 1973 WBBG World Championships was about to become a reality. Those loyal to this Herculean legend held tight onto their seats as a stage wide movie screen lowered to the floor. All eyes stared forward, not daring to miss a second of this historic moment. Suddenly, the screen filled with images of the movie "Hercules Unchained", revealing this perfectly developed being, whose symmetrical structure could have only been created by the Gods. No mere mortal was he, standing there beneath the great coliseum's entrance, holding two heavily steeled chains on both sides of his muscular physique. HERCULES, the filmed echoed loudly across the theater, bringing the now standing room only crowd into a near frenzy. HERCULES, screamed this thunderous voice again as it sent legions of fans into a moment of disbelief, as they witnessed this immortal figure pull down the great coliseum walls with his seemingly inhuman strength. HERCULES, HERCULES, roared the film, as jolts of lightning flashed across the screen, electrifying every muscle in the house and sending hundreds in attendance rushing towards the stage. Then suddenly the moment of a life time had come. Onto the center of the stage walked Dan Lurie, Steve Reeves, and his wife Aline. There they stood, side by side, smiling and waving in awe at this sea of Herculean admiring fans. In an instant, without notice or cause, one massive fellow jumped from the seating area and onto the stage as he rushed towards a startled Steve Reeves and his wife. Acting with instinct Dan Lurie immediately ran in the direction of this crazed intruder and blocked the guy's path to Reeves like a pro wrestler, by grabbing and thrusting this unwanted spectator off the stage and into the hands of security personnel. The crowd cheered and applauded wildly with relief as Dan, Steve, and his wife Aline walked over to the microphone to address the crowd at the greatest bodybuilding show ever held.”