Joe Weider, the industry giant whose name has been synonymous with bodybuilding since the 1970s, propelling the careers of Arnold Schwarzenegger, Lou Ferrigno, Franco Columbu, and hundreds more, passed away last week at the age of 93. Western Colorado atheltes were shocked to learn of the death of the icon who towered above the rest in the world competitive bodybuilding.

For those with even a remote interest in weight training and bodybuilding, even as far back as the early 1970s, Joe Weider's name and statuesque image was a fixture with weight lifting magazines, nutritional products, and exercise parafernelia.

Weider was the publisher of Muscle & Fitness, Flex, Men's Fitness, and Shape magazines. Chances are you probably worked out on a Weider weight bench at your friends house, or even in your school gym. "He made the sport," said Monument Fitness owner and nationally ranked bodybuilder Margaret Taylor.

In addition to the marketing aspect of fitness, Weider was responsible for creating many of the competitions which ultimately became the brass ring of the entire sport of bodybuilding. It was Weider who created and promoted the Mr. Olympia competition, as well as the Ms. Olympia and the Masters Olympia competitions.

Here in Western Colorado, bodybuilders and weight trainers were saddened to hear the news of the death of the man who was so largely responsible for developing the sport which became their passion.

"Mr. Joe Weider will long be remembered throughout the fitness community. He was an inspiring person that helped many of us become healthier, more fit, and willing to try new events and/or adventures. The sport of bodybuilding/ physique/ bikini have much to remember him for. He will be missed greatly" - Margaret Taylor  Owner of  Monument Fitness and competitive bodybuilder

"I did not personally know Mr. Weider, but his involvement in the sport of bodybuilding, basically putting the sport on the maps with his publications, equipment, and his dedication, has encouraged countless individuals to become the best they can be. Teaching us about discipline and commitment not only affects our physique, but also shapes us into winners. There are two distinctly different paths you can choose, one is to go with the flow and be like most everyone out there, the other is to put Joe Weider's principles to daily action becoming a leader, an example, and a winner." - Rick Barnes NPC bodybuilder

"A True pioneer in weight training. A passionate business man and motivator." - Troy Raper teacher/weight trainer/bodybuilder