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V-108DVD 1970 & 1971 NABBA Mr. Universe Contests: 79 mins $39.95

1970 & 1971 NABBA Mr. Universe Contests - Arnold's last NABBA Crown - 79 mins  $39.95 
For more details on how to order this DVD,
click here.


September, 1970, I had the pleasure to be present at this very famous contest. Why was it so special? It was very special for two reasons.

The first was historical - it was Arnold's last contest appearance in the British NABBA Universe. This was the contest which started in England in 1948 and where the first three winners were John Grimek, Steve Reeves and Reg Park. All legends of the sport of bodybuilding.

The second reason was personal. It was the first ever Universe contest I had attended on what was my first ever visit to England. I had heard that this would be Arnold's last appearance in this event as he attempted to win his 4th NABBA Universe title. It seemed to be a perfect time to make the pilgrimage to London. It was also my first ever filming at an International event.

The Prejudging was held on Friday, 18th September in the Ballroom of the old Royal Hotel in London. It has since been demolished and rebuilt.

I arrived at the Prejudging and found that the audience mostly had to stand behind the judges as only a few chairs were provided. As I am not tall I found a chair to stand on, along with many others. A photo of the audience taken from behind Dave, Reg Park and Arnold appears on this site.

After the Amateur classes' prejudging it finally got to the Professional Tall Class. To my pleasant amazement the class also included Dave Draper from USA, and 3 times former winner Reg Park. Reg was absolutely idolized by the British audience and even today is probably the all-time most popular British bodybuilder along with Dorian Yates.

As the class came out in front of the Judges, lead by a very confident Arnold, it was obvious that one man was missing. The contest organizer Oscar Heidenstam called for Dave Draper to please come out onto the judging stage area. Still no Dave. Then came a second call for Dave to please appear "immediately". Finally a third and very testy final call for Dave to come out immediately or the judging would commence without him. Oscar said that Dave would be disqualified from the contest, and I was feeling worried for Dave.

At the very last moment he came running out onto the stage to the great relief of everyone. The story I heard later was that Dave was left in the pump-up area a long way from the stage, and didn't hear the subsequent calls that it was time to come out for the Prejudging. I believe there was only one call that Dave heard so I look forward to hearing Dave's side of the story.

Dave was in superb shape and it seemed to be a battle primarily between Arnold and Dave for first and second. Dave Draper was the big, blonde, all-American guy; Arnold was the unbeatable champion and Reg Park was a great bodybuilder who first won the Mr. Universe in 1951. Reg was in his 40's and past his peak and I noted from the Prejudging that most attention seemed to be focused on Arnold versus Reg. Dave was hanging right in there too, but the audience cheered loudest for Reg.

Dave's arms were absolutely outstanding with full round bicep peaks and nice balance in his triceps. Arnold's arms in comparison were always great in their size and bicep shape but the complimentary triceps hang did not match the total shape of Dave's arms. Chest was a close thing between Dave's huge pecs with their deep, wide flair and Arnold's thickness and shape. Dave clearly had the best back and lats in the whole competition and his lat spread had the rather conservative British fans whistling and screaming for more.

A clear win for Dave in this compulsory pose. Abs and legs were both fine and in good proportion to the rest of the physique and certainly not a problem. Posing was a series of Dave's trademark poses which were loved by the fans and his whole routine seemed to be over too quickly. Dave certainly left the fans begging for more.

The Prejudging came to an end with Arnold clearly the certain winner and in my opinion Dave in second place from Reg in 3rd place. The next day was the actual show, held at 1.40 p.m. at the famous Victoria Palace Theatre, London. To my amazement at the end of a wonderful show, Reg Park was announced 2nd and Dave Draper placed 3rd. Boyer Coe won the short Professional Class with Arnold taking out the overall Professional title. Frank Zane won the overall Amateur Mr. Universe title. His wife Christine Zane won the women's Bikini competition.

I felt that if Dave had gone back to the Universe again the next year, then victory in this class would certainly have been his. With his golden tan and shy good looks Dave was a huge hit with everyone.

There is an interesting side story to this event. I discovered at the Friday Prejudging that cameras, both photo and movie, were not allowed. I was also warned that no filming was allowed at the show which was to be held at the Victoria Palace theatre the next day.

I duly arrived at the theatre with my super 8 film camera hidden in a brown paper bag with my sandwich! With ushers continually patrolling the aisles of the theatre looking for illegal cameras and unofficial photographers, I filmed what I could with my movie camera hidden inside the paper bag. Naturally the film is a bit jerky at times being shot from half way back in the theatre, and with me hiding it when ever I saw an usher out of the corner of my eye. 

However a rare and classic piece of history was saved for posterity. As one of our local politicians said, "bad rules and regulations are meant to be broken"! This footag,e now on DVD, constitutes the first major contest video I ever produced, and I am pleased to say it is now regarded as something of a classic.
(V-108DVD) It also captures a moving image of Dave, which although brief, is now a part of bodybuilding history.

The second part of this 79 minute DVD is the 1971 NABBA Mr. Universe with highlights from both the Prejudging and the Show. That is another story which I will post on the site later.

1970 & 1971 NABBA Universe - Arnold's last NABBA Crown

Click here to buy the 1970/1971 NABBA Universe DVD which is V-108DVD. It was completely remastered, enhanced and extended in August 2008. I am still shooting the NABBA Universe every year, with 2010 being my 40 year anniversary, 1970-2010.  Wayne Gallasch.
This has been celebrated by the release of my 60 Year History of the NABBA Universe, 1950-2010.

60 Year History of the NABBA Universe  1950 - 2010 - 2 DVD SetPlease click here for the 60 Year NABBA History DVD, GMV-306DVD.

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