There are marks of quick growth in his skin. The room is filled with men, who look like they’ve been here for decades, who slam heavy weights onto the floor with such vigor, the dust on the ground gently floats in the air before descending gracefully down. Magazine clippings of bodybuilders and the products they advertise fill the yellow walls of the gym. Arnold, from different decades, appears in all of them.
“I was maybe thirteen, fourteen, when I stumbled here for the first time”, Mika Nikkonen explains between the slams. There’s an article about him making second place in last Finnish Bodybuilding Championships, hanging in the bulletin board. “I didn’t have any idols growing up. In high school, during recess, we just came here to find out who was the strongest”, he quietly tells me. In a few months, he’ll travel to Rome to compete in an international competition hoping to become the third Finn to gain Pro-status.
Mister Olympia was also published as a book