- Bodybuilder, Actor
Arnold was first introduced to weightlifting during a soccer team field trip to a local gym in Graz. After watching the
dedicated bodybuilders there, Arnold was fascinated. His father was disappointed because bodybuilding was the least popular sport in Austria. In 1961 Arnold met Kurt Marnul, the former Mr. Austria. Marnul was impressed with Arnold and asked him if he wanted to train in the Union in Graz. Arnold trained seven days a week. He was so dedicated to bodybuilding that he broke into the gym on Sundays to train because the gym was closed. Conditions there were so harsh that more than once his hands froze to the weights. Besides training Arnold began a three-year apprenticeship as a carpenter.
In 1965 when Arnold turned 18 he joined the Austrian Army for mandatory service. His parents hoped the time in the army would cure him of his bodybuilding obsession. However, Arnold had a different idea. While in basic training, he found out that the Junior Mr. Europe bodybuilding competition was going to be held in nearby Stuttgard. Arnold went AWOL from the army to compete and won the with a perfect 300 point score, the first
anyone had ever had a perfect score. But his absence did not go unnoticed and while trying to sneak back into camp he was caught and thrown in jail for seven days. Despite going AWOL to compete, Arnold became the company hero because of his determination and accomplishment and was even ordered to continue to train, which he did until he was released from service in 1966.
In 1966, Arnold moved to Munich by invitation to train at the Putzingger Gym. In September of that year, he placed second in the Mr. Universe competition held in London. One year later, Arnold bought Putzinger Gym and returned to London to win his first Amateur Mr. Universe title and became the youngest competitor to do so. A year later Arnold's father died of a stroke not seeing the success his son was soon to achieve. Just after his
fathers death in 1972 Arnold won his first Professional Mr. Universe title and was invited by the American bodybuilding champion Joe Weilder to train in America. Despite having completed two years at the University of Munich studying marketing, Arnold moved across the ocean to America.
In 1970, two years after arriving in America, Arnold starred in his first movie, "Hercules in New York". After winning six Mr. Olympia titles and a Mr. World title, Arnold retired from bodybuilding in 1975. In 1976 Arnold starred in his second movie, "Stay Hungry". In 1980 Arnold returned to bodybuilding and stunned everyone involved by capturing his seventh Mr. Olympia. Arnold then hit the big time when he starred as Conan in "Conan the Barbarian". He has made many blockbuster movies since then.
Arnold has produced bodybuilding competitions in Columbus, Ohio for two decades and began the annual Arnold
Schwarzenegger Classic there in 1989. Continuous growth and popularity of the Schwarzenegger Classic led to the addition of a Fitness Expo in 1993, the Ms. Fitness World Competition in 1994 and the Arnold Martial Arts Festival in 1996.
Arnold met Maria Shriver at a New York tennis tournament in 1977 and soon after, she became his girlfriend. After proposing to her in a rowboat on Lake Tollersee in Austria, when they went to visit Arnold's mother, they married in 1986. Their love goes much deeper than their differing political views (Arnold is a republican and Maria is a democrat) and have had a successful marriage for the past 11 years. Maria and Arnold have four children;
Katherine, Christina, Patrick, and Christopher.
In 1989 during President George Bush's administration he served as chairman of the Presidents Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, and is the author of numerous books on health and fitness. Arnold now chairs the Governor's Council of Physical Fitness in the state of California. Since 1979, he has served as the International Weight training coach for the Special Olympics. Beginning in 1991 he became involved in the Executive Commission on the Los Angeles Inner City Games, a mini Olympics designed to help kids say "no" to drugs and violence and "yes" to fitness as a way of life. He sees athletics as a positive alternative to drugs for urban youth, a way to build self-esteem, a way to learn goal setting and build camaraderie in a clean lifestyle. Arnold is now chairman of the Inner City Games Foundation, a program that has expanded to 10 cities and is continuing to grow. In 1991 Arnold received the Simon Wiesenthal Center's National Leadership Award for his support of the organizations Holocaust studies.
On April 16, 1997 Arnold underwent elective heart surgery to repair a defective aortic heart valve. The surgery had no complications and Arnold made a complete recovery. Shortly after being released from the hospital Arnold and Maria were going to an event to promote his new movie Batman and Robin, when they arrived a group of over eager photographers (paparatzy) trapped Arnold and Maria in their car and essentially held them hostage while they scrambled for the "first photos" of Arnold after his surgery.
While in Graz Austria promoting Batman and Robin, visiting friends, and family, Arnold had the honor of opening the "Arnold Schwarzenegger Stadium". The stadium named for the famous Austrian is an impressive site and a tribute to Arnold and all of his hard work.
In an interview with Access Hollywood, Arnold expressed his desire to get back to making quality movies that people love now that he has completely recovered from his heart surgery. Arnold fans everywhere are eagerly awaiting his future projects.
"I was always interested in proportion and perfection. When I was fifteen, I took off my clothes and looked in the mirror. When I stared at myself naked, I realized that to be perfectly proportioned I would need twenty-inch arms to match the rest of me."