Robert 'Bob' Woolger 1912-1995

Tribute and Presentation of The President's Council of Physical Fitness Award by Arnold Schwarzenegger

 

I first want to thank Dianne for helping me to celebrate Bob's birthday, his 80th birthday. Of course there is no doubt in my mind that I wanted to be part of it, simply because Bob Woolger was an incredible influence to me in my early years. When I came to England to compete in the Mr. Universe contest in 1966, he came right up to me after the Mr. Universe contest and said to me;

 

"Arnold, from now on I want you to train every day for six hours, I want you to gain another 30 pounds, I want you to come back next year and take the Mr. Universe contest. I want you to squat with 500lbs, I want you to dead lift 700lb"

 

and he went on for hours like this and he inspired me so much, he gave me so much courage, that I did train like that and came back and won the Mr. Universe and he had me come down to Portsmouth to train with him, to count out repetitions, to put on the weights, to feed me in his house and to have eight scrambled eggs instead of one

 

Anyway, him and his wife Vina were there and supported me all the way and in the years after that always encouraged me, always helped me and so he became like a father figure to me, and for me to be here on your birthday Bob really is an honour for me

 

I want to take this opportunity to thank you very much for what you have done for the sport of Bodybuilding, because everything has a beginning and grass roots, and you were there and provided that, you were there in the early days, when everybody laughed at bodybuilding, you were there fighting through it telling people this is a healthy sport, a good sport, everyone should be part of it. People should stay away from alcohol abuse, from drug abuse, you were teaching those things 50 years ago. There were a lot of people claiming it all at once. I'm not going to mention any names, they call themselves the 'Trainer of Champions', the great figures of bodybuilding, the leaders of the sport of bodybuilding. We have them in every country, in Austria, England, Germany, America, everywhere. You never blew your own horn but we know you started the whole thing. You have inspired millions and millions and we want to thank you for that

 

Before I give you some of your gifts I just want to tell you how much all of this meant to me, to come here today, walk around table to table, to see my old friends, men and women that I trained with 25 years ago. When I used to stay at Wag and Dianne Bennett's house, when I stayed there for weeks, to see the Bennett's here with their children and grandchildren, it makes me feel wonderful. As you know the Bennett's home was always a second home for me. I came here many many times to train and to travel around the country and to see all those bodybuilding champions, to walk around and to shake hands with them, and to take some pictures

 

Sorry I don't have any more time but nevertheless, it is a wonderful feeling for me to be back here again and I hope to come many more times. In fact, Bob promised me that on his 100th Birthday I can come again. Anyway, I have here an Award. We have, in America, something that's called the President's Council of Physical Fitness Award via President George Bush (which I am Chairman of) and we, at a meeting, decided that Bob Woolger should have a special award from the Presidents Council. Behind every successful man is a successful woman, and here is the most successful woman, Vina, Bob's girl