November 27

A Requiem For Jim Lorimer

By fitness

November 27, 2022

One of bodybuilding’s biggest benefactors, Jim Lorimer, has handed away. He was 96. Many of Jim because the man who partnered with Arnold Schwarzenegger to placed on the Arnold Classic and the Ms International in 1989 – which grew to become identified in the present day because the Arnold Sports Festival, rising in dimension 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.

But Jim Lorimer contributed rather more than that. Much extra. 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 War II, Lorimer graduated from Ursinus College, then went on to obtain a regulation diploma from Penn State, then launched into a profession as a particular agent with the FBI. In the late Fifties, after a number of years within the FBI, Lorimer relocated to Worthington, Ohio to hitch 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 Track Club Girls Team. His success with the staff included a number of nationwide championships, and earned Lorimer a job as secretary and chairman of the U.S. Olympic Committee for Women’s Track & Field. 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 most important sports activities competition on the planet.

Of his companion and good friend, Arnold wrote: “When I met him 52 years ago at the Mr. World bodybuilding championship he organized so fantastically in Columbus, OH, I immediately knew Jim would be a big part of my life. I told him when I retired from competing, we would be partners and promote bodybuilding together. And starting in 1976, we did just that with a handshake agreement for more than 50 years, expanding from a small bodybuilding show to a sports festival with 200,000 visitors and more athletes than the Olympics.”

Announcing Lorimer’s passing on social media yesterday, Arnold wrote: “I am devastated that I won’t sit with him again and hear his wisdom, or critique bodybuilders together, or just laugh and laugh. Jim lives on in every member of his family, and he lives on in me. He’s one reason I would never call myself self-made.”

The Schwarzenegger/Lorimer partnership has turn out to be a mainstay of all the metropolis of Columbus, contributing tens of tens of millions of {dollars} yearly to the City’s coffers. “Jim put Columbus on the map when it came to bodybuilding and other sports-related competitions,” mentioned Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther. “But he did much more for the city, especially our young people.”

Despite the expansion of the Arnold, Lorimer nonetheless discovered time to complement 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 City 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 effectively. But of all he achieved in his lengthy life, Lorimer remained, at coronary heart, one in all us. In a 2020 interview Jim mentioned, “I’ve had an opportunity to do a number of things, and have enjoyed them all. But the most rewarding of all is what happened with the Arnold Sports Festival.” 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 is 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 significant trade occasion of which we've been proud for over 20 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. But, 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.” Among 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 similar 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 similar to it's in the present day and shall 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 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 wanting now. RIP my good friend.

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