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A Requiem For Jim Lorimer

Certainly one of bodybuilding’s best benefactors, Jim Lorimer, has handed away. He was 96. Lots 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 turned recognized immediately because the Arnold Sports Festival, rising in measurement and scope to incorporate quite a few different sporting occasions with an athlete participation nearly twice that of the Olympics, that has been duplicated on 5 continents.

However Jim Lorimer contributed rather more than that. Far 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 Battle 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 Nineteen Fifties, after a number of years in the FBI, Lorimer relocated to Worthington, Ohio to affix the Nationwide insurance coverage firm, the place he turned vice chairman of worldwide affairs. Lorimer’s lifelong ardour for sports activities led him to discovered the Ohio Observe Membership Ladies Group. His success with the workforce included a number of nationwide championships, and earned Lorimer a job as secretary and chairman of the U.S. Olympic Committee for Ladies’s Observe & Discipline. 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 young Austrian bodybuilder named Arnold Schwarzenegger to compete within the 1970 Mr. World in Columbus. This assembly fostered a partnership that gave start to the most important sports activities pageant on this planet.

Of his accomplice and good friend, Arnold wrote: “After 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 once I retired from competing, we’d 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.”

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

The Schwarzenegger/Lorimer partnership has turn out to be a mainstay of all the metropolis of Columbus, contributing tens of hundreds of thousands 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 folks.”

Regardless of the expansion of the Arnold, Lorimer nonetheless discovered time to complement his life and lives of others, notably in his neighborhood 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 achieved 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 variety of issues, and have loved all of them. However essentially the most rewarding of all is what occurred with the Arnold Sports activities Pageant.” For that we’re perpetually 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 youngsters, 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 serious trade occasion of which we have now been proud for over twenty years. What he set into movement has turn out to be unstoppable. Generations from now, athletes from all around 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 prolong, the core of that monster will perpetually be the women and men bodybuilders who first took the stage in 1989.

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

Godspeed, Jim. You lived an excellent, lengthy, life and touched so many individuals. I’ll perpetually 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 trying now. RIP my good friend.

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