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  • Writer's pictureJulian Molteno

Forgotten Bodybuilders: Freddy Oritz

This post is causing me a lot of confusion!! I cannot make up my mind as to what it is exactly about. The photo at the top is in the “Photos that shaped my bodybuilding career” category, the photo on the right is in the “Poses that modern bodybuilders don’t/ can’t do anymore “ category, the photo bottom left is in the “Old time bodybuilders that still got it” category and finally the photo middle left is in the “ Bodybuilding camaraderie that no longer exists” category!! Plus! Those of you who have a passing interest in bodybuilding should recognise Larry Scott (the first Mr Olympia) but will have no clue who Freddy Oritz, the subject of this post, is. So, the top photo was a subject of great fascination for me. Here are the two bodybuilders generally acknowledged as having the first muscular 20” arms (something I was VERY keen on achieving myself one day!) and how different could their arms be?! Lorry’s bicep just flowed! Smooth and full. Freddy has more definition and you can see the separation between all the muscles. Which is better? I can assure you I spent many an hour mulling this tough question over! Now let’s turn our attention to Freddy’s wonderful pose! It looks amazing! Really artistic, showing off his musculature from a less obvious angle than the usual front, side or rear, AND he is doing a vacuum! No modern bodybuilder could pull off that sort of unique, flowing and beautiful pose today. The perfect combination of mass, definition and shape. Bravo Freddy!! Next up on our photographic journey is a pic of Freddy and Freddy Junior! Taken in 2007 when Freddy was 66 years old. He looks fantastic! That one pic tells us so much about the man and how he lived his life. Here is a guy who has made physical culture one of the pillars of his existence. Not a man to just train for bodybuilding glory, then pack it all in, he has quite clearly lived the bodybuilding and fitness lifestyle. And loved it! How awesome to see him and his son posing together. What a bond of strength and health and love!! The last photo shows our hero sharing a moment of friendship with the great Larry Scott. Competitors in the gym and on the stage, but, as was the case with many of the old time bodybuilders, having a keen sense of respect and admiration for each other too. The sense of community and that feeling of togetherness that only a small group can have, has unfortunately disappeared as bodybuilding grows in popularity and as money enters the picture. Finally, and briefly, a quick word on Freddy. He was born in Puerto Rico on the 1st if January 1941 and came to the States aged 18. Over a span of ten years (1960-69) he competed eight times, the highlight of his career was winning the IFBB Mr Universe (short class) three times in 62, 63 and 64. He retired in 69 and being a very private individual has lived quietly out of the bodybuilding limelight ever since. Freddy lived a life which embraced the discipline and joy of bodybuilding. The deep satisfaction gained from many years of sweat and toil in the gym. A life that was true to the worship of the physical ideal. Well done Freddy!!!! 

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