‘No Way My Son’s Gonna Struggle”: Legend Sergio Oliva, Disappointed by Bodybuilding World, Didn’t Support His Son to Follow His Legacy, Revealed in 2018

Published 12/29/2022, 1:00 PM EST

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Sergio Oliva belonged to a handful of elite bodybuilders (including Frank Zane and Chester Yorton) who could defeat the bodybuilding icon, Arnold Schwarzenegger. For a man of such caliber, it was surprising for the bodybuilding community that he didn’t support his son to pursue bodybuilding as a career. In a 2018 interview, Sergio Oliva’s son finally disclosed the reason for his father’s disapproval. 

In an interview with Muscle and Fitness, Sergio Oliva Jr. also shared rare insights about his father’s struggles and what prompted his father to hold onto such a stern principle. Further, he also led the bodybuilding community towards inroads through his personal experiences of competing in bodybuilding contests. 

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Sergio Oliva Jr. exposed why his father didn’t want him to pursue bodybuilding

“My dad was very unsupportive of my bodybuilding career and pretty much of anything that I did”, the son admitted to Muscle and Fitness. Later, he disclosed that the reason for his father’s unsupportive attitude could be attributed to his past struggles. “My dad escaped from Cuba when he was 18 years old”, he recalled. Further elaborating, the son explained how The Myth came to Chicago and tried his luck in bodybuilding. But that was not all!

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Continuing, the son mentioned how he couldn’t imagine what his father experienced as a black, Hispanic bodybuilder in the 1960s. To add substance behind his father’s abject disapproval concerning Jr. building on his legacy, he said, “I went through so much, there’s no way that my son’s gonna struggle and go into this sport that screwed me over.”

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However, Jr. believes that nothing could justify his father’s behavior towards him. Later in the interview, it seems that Jr. found some peace and was willing to forgive his father. Further, it wouldn’t be wrong to assume that both Sr. and Jr. Oliva have led a difficult start to their careers in their ways. Their struggle once again shows how competing in bodybuilding competitions is not a piece of cake.

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Jr.’s revelations about building on his father’s legacy 

To be related to a bodybuilding legend comes with its fair share of professional pressure of outperforming the previous greats in the family. Similarly, Oliva Junior too was used to getting compared to his father. During an interview, the bodybuilder also narrated how he worked hard for Mr. Olympia 2018 though he knew he wouldn’t win. He further implied that he wanted to end the year 2018 strongly by standing on the bodybuilding stage and was successful to secure sixteenth place. 

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Oliva Junior’s statements show the huge impact his father had in his life. As bodybuilding fans, we await to see whether he will carry his father’s legacy forward. Do you think Oliva Junior can be a strong competitor in Olympia 2023? Let us know in the comments below.

 

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Written by:

Priya Hinduja

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Priya Hinduja is a US Sports author for EssentiallySports. Post pursuing her Master's Degree in English, she worked as an English language trainer at Osmos Club and also dabbled with marketing at Debugee Technologies Pvt Ltd for a year. With a keen interest in playing chess and badminton in her leisure time, she also follows the activities of Michael Phelps, whose story motivates and inspires her.
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Edited by:

Jahnabi Choudhury

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