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V-103DVDSP: 1980 MR. OLYMPIA - 2 DVD Set  

Because so many people ask for more details on this historic DVD set, we have written a separate FAQ to set out some of the interesting facts. 


Some customers have asked why our video (now 2 DVD Set) of the 1980 Mr. Olympia, V-103DVDSP is nothing like the quality, style and content of the modern day Olympia DVDs. Such as those which are shot with multiple cameras angles and complete with full on-stage live sound, with the comments and name announced for every competitor. Plus interview with the winner, complete judging and posedown and every second of the awards, and so on. Most younger bodybuilding fans of today don't understand the full circumstances of that classic event in Sydney, filmed 31 years ago as I write this update in 2011.

1.  Back in the early Olympia period, 1965 to 1981, there was no official film or video made of the Mr. Olympia contest. The first 100% shot on video Mr. Olympia recording was in 1982 in London, thanks to a company called Video 4. This Olympia contest is now available as part of the DVD called THE GOLDEN AGE OF MUSCLE: PART 1 "1982/83 MR. OLYMPIAS" plus "BATTLE FOR GOLD" Documentary, A-1167DVD. By 1982 VHS video had become popular and was dominant in the worldwide home video market.
From 1982 to the present time, the Mr. Olympia contest has been offered on DVD for every year.

2.  In 1980 VHS home videos had only just started to appear, super 8 film was still very popular, and hardly anyone had the luxury of a VHS VCR. At that time (1980) I recorded all contests and features on Super 8 film, as I had done since 1968.  Movie film was mostly silent, sound movie cameras were unreliable as you can tell from the very soft background live sound in disc #1.
Film costs and processing were very expensive back then compared to the cost of blank video tape or CF cards of today. The technological advances since 1980 have been staggering. Digital cameras and DVDs had not even been thought of!

3.  The old fashioned technology of 1980 was shooting on 50' long super 8 rolls of film that ran for just over 3.5 mins each, and cost a small fortune in those days compared to the video tape costs of today.

4.  For the whole of the 1980 Olympia contest I had a bag full of blank 50' films, sufficient to last for about 75 minutes, and that was it. When it got to the final awards I was down to my last 50' reel of film. The MC, although outstanding, was really spinning it out, and it took a lot of time to get through the awards from 6th to 1st place due to the very loud audience participation and reaction as each placing was announced!

I had to conserve film or have none left to show Arnold as the winner, and capture the final contest moments. It was a terrible and
somewhat nerve wracking position to be in.

5.  After filming the 6th place award, I really tightened up on what I captured till the winner was announced, as I waited to use up my last moments of film that I had left. I would give anything to turn back the clock and have another shot at it, with hind sight - and with more film! So no, there was not a second of film that was cut out from the final 2 DVD presentation.
The set is an exact replication of every single second of super 8 movie film that was shot that day.

6.  Through my supplements company at that time called Nutra-Life, we were one of the main sponsors of the event. This included the right to film the whole contest from my centre front 3rd row seat. I had no desire or interest to go back stage or on stage, with my total concentration being on filming the prejudging and finals from my front position in the wonderful Sydney Opera House. 

7.  CBS Sports network came to Australia from USA to record the event, but for some unknown reason they did not put the event to air. It was said that they later "went over their tapes"!  If this was true, it was a terrible loss to the history of Olympia bodybuilding. That being the case, my 8mm record is now the ONLY record showing the contest exclusively from front of stage.
There was a 16mm film documentary shot which chronicled Arnold's comeback and also starring Tom Platz, called "THE COMEBACK". Being that this was Arnold's comeback contest after being retired for 5 years, and also his very last contest ever - most fans are grateful (for our DVD set) in having a record of this famous Mr. Olympia contest. Namely the record of Arnold's 7th and final Olympia victory. This contest was also Mike Mentzer's last contest. Frank Zane, the defending Mr. Olympia champion from 1979, placed 3rd behind Chris Dickerson who was the outstanding runner-up.

8.  As mentioned, an Aussie documentary crew did film parts of the contest and some backstage footage highlighting Arnold and others. This was later released on video and then briefly available on DVD as "The Comeback". This DVD is now no longer available.

9.  Unfortunately in 1981 there was still NO FILM OR VIDEO SHOT on the complete Mr. Olympia contest which was won by Franco Columbu. Please keep in mind that all previous Olympias from 1965 to 1979 were not officially recorded on film.  Fortunately there was some 8 mm film shot from the audience in some years. Plus a short TV highlights version put to air for the 1977 Mr. Olympia won by Frank Zane.

10. When disc #1 was edited in 1981, the standard mastering length was 60 mins, hence its one hour length. This meant that a small amount of interesting footage was at first left out.
Subsequently another fan and good friend who also shot some great super 8 footage that day - shared it with me in order to make, along with my footage, a disc #2 with the final 22 minutes of priceless unseen footage. Shot without the aid of a tripod, as such was not allowed inside the Sydney Opera House for filming, it is still wonderful and historic footage.


My thanks to the promoter and producer of this event, PAUL GRAHAM, who was also President of the AFBB (IFBB Australia) back then, and still holds the position today. If it had not been for his foresight, vision and hard work, this event would never have come to Australia. Without his friendship, and his approach to our Nutra-Life company, this priceless video record would not exist. It has now gone down in history as one of, if not the greatest, Mr. Olympia contests of all time.

1980 Mr. Olympia - 2 DVD set

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