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Franco Columbu Dies
Numerous news outlets from Sardinia, Italy have confirmed the untimely death of bodybuilding icon Franco Columbu on August 30, 2019. The two-time Mr. Olympia is said to have had an accident while swimming in the ocean close to San Teodoro, a town on the east coast of Sardinia, Italy. Rumor has it, Franco suffered a heart attack while swimming and could not be revived. Emergency services airlifted Columbu to Olbia hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Columbu was born in Ollolai, Sardinia, Italy on August 7, 1941. He was naturally strong and a born athlete starting his athletic career as a boxerwhere he won the Italian Amateur Boxing Championships.Columbu progressed into Olympic Weightlifting, powerlifting, and later bodybuilding, winning the title of Mr. Olympia twice in 1976 and 1981 and numerous other titles around the world.Franco was also an actor, author and Doctor of Chiropractic. In August of 1988, Franco was made an official Roman Knight. And in 2009, was honoured with the Arnold Classic Life-Time Achievement Award. But more so, Franco was a loving father, husband and friend.
He met Arnold Schwarzenegger in Stuttgart, Germany in 1965 from which point, they were inseparable. Schwarzenegger took to Instagram to pay tribute to his long-time friend:
Franco, You’ve heard me say that I don’t like when people call me a self-made man. You’ve even heard me say that you’re part of the reason I could never accept that label. But I wanted you to know why. From the minute we met in Munich, you were my partner in crime. We pushed each other, we competed with each other, and we laughed at every moment along the way. When I finally got to America, I was alone. I’d left my family, my country, my whole life behind. So when I asked Joe Weider to bring you to train with me, it was because I knew I wasn’t the same without my best friend. I could thrive without money, without my parents, but I couldn’t thrive without you. I am devastated today. But I am also so, so grateful for the 54 years of friendship and joy we shared. The pumps, the chess games, the construction work, the meals, the pranks, the life lessons - we did it all together. We grew and we learned and we loved. My life was more fun, more colorful, and more complete because of you. I will always miss you. But I’ll also know that a part of you lives on in me, in Debbie, in Maria, and in the millions of people you inspired every day you lived. And I will be there for Maria and Debbie, so you can rest now with no worries. I love you Franco. I will always remember the joy you brought to my life, the advices you gave me, and the twinkle in your eye that never disappeared. You were my best friend. Love always, Arnold
A post shared by Arnold Schwarzenegger (@schwarzenegger) on
Muscle Insider offers its sincerest condolences to Franco Columbu’s friends and family and to all those affected by this most unfortunate news. You're a legend Franco. Thank for inspiring us. You will be greatly missed.
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