One of the most famous mid-20th century bodybuilders, the idol of Arnold Schwarzenegger, bodybuilding megastar, Reg Park was born June 7, 1928 in a small town in the south of England. As a teenager, Reg was very successful in football, which was the main sport for residents of foggy Albion at all times. He seriously engaged in football until the age of 16, until he met his longtime friend David Cohen, who offered him something more interesting and exciting than football.
Reg began to work with Cohen in the gym. Of course, in those years there were a few such units, and that is why they called the “gym” a small room equipped with dumbbells, barbells and primitive hand-made simulators in the house of their mutual friend. Very soon, Park began to notice that his figure and muscles are perfectly amenable to training. The faster his musculature grew, the more actively engaged Reg. Power sports completely subjugated his body and mind.
Having been trained in the “gym” for almost two years, Park goes into the army, and in view of its excellent physical form in the elite troops. However, he did not want to associate his life with the civil service and for two years he was demobilized. It should be noted that over the years of service, Park has become even stronger and has gained weight and now it looked like a real bodybuilder. Reg Park first saw the competition NABBA Mr. Universe in 1948. Then John Grimek walked around Steve Reeves and won.
Returning home after this contest, Reg sat for a long time in thought, after which he decided that he would tie his life with what he likes most – with power training, namely body building. Then followed a year of persistent studies, studying all kinds of literature, adherence to sports diets and, as a result, 1st place in the competition Mr. Britain 1949. This victory was a real achievement for a young and ambitious Park. In just a year of training (in accordance with program) he managed to achieve public recognition. In many respects Reg was helped by the constitution of his body and beautiful genetics, since his muscles possessed an astounding ability to develop. Park’s parents were so pleased with their son that they gave him a 6-month trip to the US, where he could gain experience and make the necessary acquaintances. By the way, Reg did not miss his chance and met in the US with the famous publisher Joe Weider, who soon began to print a photo of the Park in the pages of his sports magazine. Being in America, Park won in two international bodybuilding tournaments, which earned fame and respect among fellow bodybuilders.
Returning to his homeland, Reg took part in the amateur tournament Mr. Universe 1950 in London, where he lost the lead to Steve Reeves, who 3 years ago saw the spectators from the bench. Another year of training and Reg doing the impossible – winning the professional tournament according to the version of NABBA Mr. Universe in the US, where he was defeated exclusively by Americans, and the people began to have opinions that the US residents had imposed a monopoly on this contest. However, Reg has proved to the whole world that this is not so. Its status as a superstar was regularly strengthened by Park every time winning victories at the Mr. Universe up to the 1970s. He was known not only for the beauty of his forms, but also for his rare physical strength. For example, Park became the first bodybuilder who squeezed a weight of 500 pounds (227 kg) on the bench.
Reg Park is also widely known as an actor – he starred in 5 films of the Italian director about the “Adventures of Hercules”. At one time he became not only an idol, but also a mentor of the future champion in bodybuilding Arnold Schwarzenegger. After the completion of his sports career, Reg participated more than once in the awarding of the stars of Olympia. He even contributed to the design of many championship belts for the International Wrestling Federation, in connection with his friendship with the legendary Hart family.
In 1999, by the decision of the International Federation of Bodybuilding, the name of Reg Park was introduced to the IFBB Hall of Fame.
November 22, 2007, the legend of world bodybuilding Reg Park died in his home in South Africa, after an 8-month battle with skin cancer at the age of 79 years. His longtime friend and admirer Bob Cicherillo conducted a special program of grief on the Internet radio, where all the fans of the Park could express their condolences to the departed champion.