Today is the birthday of Mr. Universe, Tom Platz.
Known as the Golden Eagle, Tom Platz first caught the bodybuilding world's attention due to his sick wheels, but gathered an enduring army of fans through his positive attitude, hunger to be his best, and his passion for lifting and making the most of life in general. He went on to balance his massive legs with a thick and powerful upper body, winning the IFBB World Amateur Championships (Mr. U) in 1978. His third place finish at the 1981 Olympia in which a legless Columbu stole the trophy, makes many consider him the "Uncrowned Mr. Olympia."
At wannabebig, we wish Tom the best of birthdays and many more to come!
Off the Tom Platz website:
From the Golden Eagle.... I vividly remember my first bodybuilding contest when I was a senior in high school. It was the 1973 Mr. Adonis competition, which was held at the Detroit YMCA basketball court. We had a makeshift stage underneath the basketball hoop. In fact the posing light was wired on to the hoop. I trained really hard for this show with full support of my gym teacher, Mr. Sargent, and my classmates. The only equipment available to me were the five old Universal machines - we made up routines as we went. There was no squat rack or free weights available. There was a wrestling mat in the middle of the gym.
After the workouts, I would stand at the mirrors in the locker room, and my friend Rob would tell me "God, you look great! Just like the guys in the magazines!" And I would reply, "doesn't my one trap look bigger than the other; it looks odd??" He would say, "Of course it does look a little strange, but look at me." Rob was a bit thinner.
Gradually, Rob recruited the whole gym class, and they would all cheer me on, even while we were running track - it felt great with that kind of support. My biggest concern was not my diet or training, but I was really scared that no one would applaud while I was on stage during my posing routine. But to my surprise and sheer delight, Rob brought about a 100 guys from my class to the event, and when I walked out on stage a roar came from the crowd from all over the court, screaming my name. To heighten the day even more, I won the title of Mr. Adonis 1973. To date, that show has been just as important and meaningful as any Mr. Olympia contest I competed in! Those were the days!