A Requiem For Jim Lorimer

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One among bodybuilding’s biggest benefactors, Jim Lorimer, has handed away. He was 96. A lot of you realize Jim because the man who partnered with Arnold Schwarzenegger to placed on the Arnold Basic and the Ms Worldwide in 1989 – which grew to become recognized as we speak because the Arnold Sports activities Competition, rising in dimension and scope to incorporate quite a few different sporting occasions with an athlete participation virtually twice that of the Olympics, that has been duplicated on 5 continents.

However Jim Lorimer contributed rather more than that. Way more. To say Lorimer lived an eventful life is like saying the Grand Canyon is a drainage ditch. After serving within the U.S. Navy throughout World Struggle II, Lorimer graduated from Ursinus Faculty, then went on to obtain a legislation diploma from Penn State, then launched into a profession as a particular agent with the FBI. Within the late Fifties, after a number of years within the FBI, Lorimer relocated to Worthington, Ohio to affix the Nationwide insurance coverage firm, the place he grew to become vice chairman of worldwide affairs. Lorimer’s lifelong ardour for sports activities led him to discovered the Ohio Monitor Membership Ladies Workforce. His success with the group included a number of nationwide championships, and earned Lorimer a job as secretary and chairman of the U.S. Olympic Committee for Girls’s Monitor & Area. His rising involvement in sports activities led Lorimer to chair the World Weightlifting Championship in Columbus in 1967, then introduced the Mr. World and Mr. Olympia to the town.

Jim Lorimer invited a younger Austrian bodybuilder named Arnold Schwarzenegger to compete within the 1970 Mr. World in Columbus. This assembly fostered a partnership that gave start to the largest sports activities pageant on the earth.

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Of his companion and pal, Arnold wrote: “Once I met him 52 years in the past on the Mr. World bodybuilding championship he organized so fantastically in Columbus, OH, I instantly knew Jim can be a giant a part of my life. I advised him after I retired from competing, we might be companions and promote bodybuilding collectively. And beginning in 1976, we did simply that with a handshake settlement for greater than 50 years, increasing from a small bodybuilding present to a sports activities pageant with 200,000 guests and extra athletes than the Olympics.”

Saying Lorimer’s passing on social media yesterday, Arnold wrote: “I’m devastated that I gained’t sit with him once more and listen to his knowledge, or critique bodybuilders collectively, or simply snort and snort. Jim lives on in each member of his household, and he lives on in me. He’s one purpose I might by no means name myself self-made.”

The Schwarzenegger/Lorimer partnership has grow to be a mainstay of the whole metropolis of Columbus, contributing tens of tens of millions of {dollars} yearly to the Metropolis’s coffers. “Jim put Columbus on the map when it got here to bodybuilding and different sports-related competitions,” mentioned Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther. “However he did rather more for the town, particularly our younger individuals.”

Regardless of the expansion of the Arnold, Lorimer nonetheless discovered time to counterpoint his life and lives of others, notably in his group of Worthington. He was appointed Worthington’s mayor in 1967, a place he held for 14 years. He was later elected to Worthington Metropolis Council, and served as vice mayor of Worthington for a number of many years earlier than retiring in 2019. Add all of it up and there’s no argument that Lorimer used his 96 years nicely. However of all he completed in his lengthy life, Lorimer remained, at coronary heart, one in every of us. In a 2020 interview Jim mentioned, “I’ve had a possibility to do a lot of issues, and have loved all of them. However essentially the most rewarding of all is what occurred with the Arnold Sports activities Competition.” For that we’re without end grateful.

Lorimer was preceded in loss of life final yr by his beloved spouse of greater than 50 years, Jean. He’s survived by the couple’s three kids, Kathy Jane Nagle (Paul), James Jeffrey Lorimer (Jeanne) and Robert Craig Lorimer (Tammy), six grandchildren and 6 great-grandchildren.

Jim Lorimer was fearless, a dreamer, the taskmaster, a assured, highly effective man who honored us by responsibly working a significant trade occasion of which we’ve been proud for over 20 years. What he set into movement has grow to be unstoppable. Generations from now, athletes from everywhere in the wolrd will proceed to descend upon Columbus to take part in a landmark occasion that serves extra athletes than the Olympics. However, so far as that attain will lengthen, the core of that monster will without end be the women and men bodybuilders who first took the stage in 1989.

I at all times discuss of a “pantheon of contemporary bodybuilding.” Amongst them I embrace the inventors, the visionaries, the pioneers, the angels and the disruptors which have elevated our sport and our trade to such staggering heights; males resembling Joe and Ben Weider, Joe Gold, Arthur Jones, Ed Conors, Arnold, Jim Manion, John Balik, and Robert Kennedy, to call a couple of. For higher or worse, these males, and their ilk, have hammered, solid and formed our world resembling it’s as we speak and might be many years from now. I knew many of those males and I do know all of them would imagine that the good Pantheon wouldn’t be full with out Jim seated on the desk.

Godspeed, Jim. You lived an awesome, lengthy, life and touched so many individuals. I’ll without end cherish the journey you took me on up the scissor jack, to view the Expo out of your favourite perch, excessive above the ground. The view from the highest being a metaphor, I suppose, for from the place you’re wanting now. RIP my pal.



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