A Requiem for Jim Lorimer

One in all 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 prepare the Arnold Traditional and Ms Worldwide in 1989 – which immediately turned often called the Arnold Sports activities Pageant, grew in measurement and scope to incorporate a number of different sporting occasions with an athlete participation nearly double that of the Olympics, which has been duplicated on 5 continents.

However Jim Lorimer contributed way more than that. Rather more. To say that Lorimer lived an eventful life is like saying that 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 regulation diploma from Penn State after which started a profession as a particular agent with the FBI. Within the late Fifties, after a number of years with the FBI, Lorimer moved to Worthington, Ohio to hitch the Nationwide Insurance coverage Firm, the place he turned vp of worldwide affairs. Lorimer’s lifelong ardour for sports activities led him to discovered the Ohio Observe Membership Ladies Workforce. His success with the group included a number of nationwide championships and earned Lorimer a task as secretary and chairman of america Olympic Committee for Girls’s Observe and Area. His rising involvement in sports activities led Lorimer to officiate on the 1967 World Weightlifting Championships in Columbus, after which Mr. World and Mr. Olympia dropped at the town.

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

About his accomplice and buddy, Arnold wrote: “Once I met him 52 years in the past on the Mr. World bodybuilding championship he so brilliantly organized in Columbus, OH, I knew instantly that Jim could be an enormous a part of my life. I informed him that after I retired from competing we might accomplice 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.”

Arnold introduced Lorimer’s passing on social media yesterday, writing: “I am devastated that I will not be capable to sit with him once more and listen to his knowledge, or criticize bodybuilders collectively, or simply snigger and snigger. Jim lives on in each member of his household, and he lives on in me. He is among the causes I might by no means name myself self-made.”

The Schwarzenegger/Lorimer partnership has develop into a mainstay all through the town of Columbus, contributing tens of tens of millions of {dollars} to the town’s coffers yearly. “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 much more for the town, particularly our younger individuals.”

Regardless of Arnold’s development, Lorimer nonetheless discovered time to counterpoint his life and the lives of others, particularly in his Worthington neighborhood. He was appointed Worthington’s mayor in 1967, a place he held for 14 years. He was later elected to the 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 is no arguing that Lorimer spent his 96 years properly. However for all he achieved in his lengthy life, Lorimer remained, at coronary heart, one among us. In a 2020 interview, Jim mentioned, “I’ve had the chance 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. We’re eternally grateful for that.

Lorimer was predeceased final 12 months 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 operating a serious trade occasion that we’ve got been happy with for over 20 years. What he began has develop into unstoppable. Generations from now, athletes from around the globe will proceed to descend on Columbus to take part in a landmark occasion that serves extra athletes than the Olympics. However so far as that attain will go, the core of that monster will without end be the female and male bodybuilders who first burst onto the scene in 1989.

I all the time speak about a “pantheon of contemporary bodybuilding.” Amongst them I embrace the inventors, visionaries, pioneers, angels and disruptors who’ve lifted our sport and our trade to such dizzying heights; males like 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, cast and formed our world as it’s immediately and will likely be many years from now. I knew many of those males and I do know they’d all consider that the good Pantheon wouldn’t be full with out Jim on the desk.

Good pace, Jim. You lived an incredible, lengthy life and touched so many individuals. I’ll without end cherish the journey you took me on up the scissor carry to see the Expo out of your favourite seat excessive above the ground. The view from the highest is a metaphor, I suppose, for the place you’re looking now. RIP my buddy.

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