Like fathers, like sons. Joseph Baena, son of legendary bodybuilder Arnold Schwarzenegger, recently uploaded a photo of himself alongside Sergio Oliva Jr., son of the Oak’s former adversary and three-time Mr. Olympia Sergio Oliva Sr.
The latter is preparing to make his bodybuilding return at the Arnold Classic in March in Columbus, OH.
Any bodybuilding fan worth their BCAAs knows the stories of Arnold vs. Sergio Sr.—“The Myth” was the only man to defeat Schwarzenegger in a Mr. Olympia contest, with that win coming in 1969. Arnold would go on to defeat Oliva in 1970 and win five more successive titles. He capped it off with an eventual seventh in 1980.
In 1971, Oliva was controversially disqualified from competing in the Olympia and was only allowed to guest pose. The next year, he came in second behind Arnold.
Schwarzenegger, in his 1977 autobiography Arnold: The Education of a Bodybuilder, wrote of the his first encounter with Oliva in 1969: “Then for the first time, I saw Sergio Oliva in person. I understood why they called him ‘the Myth.’ It was as jarring as if I’d walked into a wall. He destroyed me. He was so huge, he was so fantastic, there was no way I could even think of beating him. I admitted my defeat and felt some of my pump go away. I tried.”
Despite being such heated rivals on the stage, the two had mutual respect for each other, and now their sons are carrying on that tradition.
In his own Instagram post, Oliva Jr. said he and Baena are not trying to be who their fathers were. “We don’t have to be who they were, just who we are meant to be.” He also complimented Baena’s physique, calling it “a huge head start” to where he was at that age.
We don’t have to be who they were, just who we are meant to be. And because some people can’t just take in a great monumental photo at the Mecca and HAVE to compare an IFBB Pro to someone just getting into fitness seriously just know this. When I was @projoe2 age I weighed 55lbs less than what he does in this photo. And when I was that weight everyone told me how I would never ever be anything. So if anything Joe has a huge head start compared to where I was. #FirstThereWasMufasaNowItsTime4Simba2Reign🦁👑 @arnoldsports @arnoldsportsau #ASF2020
For years, Baena has teased competing in the Classic Physique division. But seeing this picture makes us wonder if we might ever see him climb up to the Open division and treat fans to another Schwarzenegger vs. Oliva showdown.