"In sport, there are no limitations, no barriers of race, religion, politics or culture. In sport, we are in touch with each other. Bodybuilding is important for Nation Building."
In front of an enthusiastic and cheering crowd of 5,000 bodybuilding fans, Ben Weider was presented with the annual Arnold Schwarzenegger Lifetime Achievement Award by California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger on Saturday, March 2, 2008 at the Arnold Sports Festival, Columbus, Ohio.
The Arnold Schwarzenegger Lifetime Achievement Award is given to individuals whose careers have greatly contributed to the advancement or promotion of physical activity, fitness, or sports world wide.
Weider is the Honorary Life President of the International Federation of Bodybuilding & Fitness (IFBB) which he founded with his brother Joe, in Montreal, Canada, in 1946.
The IFBB was started with only two countries to promote the sport of bodybuilding which is the minimum number of countries needed in order to participate on an international basis. Thanks to Weider's leadership, dedication and ability to bring people together, it now includes 182 countries and is the 5th largest sport federation in the world.
The tribute, both heartfelt and good-natured, focused on Weider's pioneering efforts in promoting health and fitness for more then sixty years to people worldwide. During the award presentation, Governor Schwarzengger praised Weider commenting, "Thank you on behalf of millions of bodybuilders worldwide. If it was not for you, we would not have this great sport."
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"This award means so much to me because it was given to me by my peers," Weider said. "I've dedicated 60 years of my life to developing this sport and this award has an emotional attachment to me."
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"This Award Means So Much To Me
Because It Was Given To me By My Peers," Weider Said.
There are only seven other recipients of this distinguished award:
For the most up to date information related to the IFBB Professional League, visit the official web site www.ifbbpro.com.