Every bodybuilder in the IFBB Pro League dreams of one day appearing on the Olympic stage. Sergio Oliva Jr. completed this feat at the age of just two weeks, when his father, three-time Olympic champion (1
The road to the Olympic stage is not an easy route for any competitor, but as you'll read below, the Oliva Jr. route is bumpier than most. In the following questions and answers, he shares his heartbreaking story with brutal honesty and above all demonstrates his determination, resilience, and ability to forgive.
FLEX: What is it like to prepare for the preparation? Olympia as the son of a bodybuilding legend?
Sergio Oliva Jr.: I had to prepare for this show as two different people. I had to do it as an athlete who has to do well and suffer, and also as the biggest bodybuilding fan. I thought it was really cool that older fans of the sport could come to me and say, "I've also seen your father compete in the Olympics. I saw him stop you on stage. "It sounds funny, but I think I knew that I would not win the Olympia, that it was not very exhausting. It was the hardest thing I've ever worked and the best I've ever seen, but in terms of expectations, it was the least stressful preparation I've ever made.
Courtesy of Weider Health & Fitness
Did you have a specific destination for this Olympia?
I just wanted to finish this year strong. This was the worst year of my life, but I had the Olympics qualification, so I kept saying, "When I get on stage and become one of the 19 best bodybuilders in the world, the worst year of my life, then I will automatically better next year.
What Would Become the Worst Year of Your Life in 2018?
My wife had an affair, by the time I won New York Pro in 2017, she was stuck due to immigration into Australia. When it was almost time to be admitted, my wife behaved really weirdly, she was very distant, I thought maybe she was scared and did not want to leave her family, so in February 2018 I moved to Australia to join her Then it got really bad, it was disappearing, it caused a lot of problems because I was trying to prepare for the Chicago Pro, I decided to go back to the States to finish my preparation, and then I got A message from a woman in Australia and let me know that her husband and wife had been having an affair for at least a year .. Her husband had run away with my wife and this woman in the eighth month s chwanger. I was devastated. I got out of social media and stopped preparing. I had to bring things together.
But you participated in the Chicago Pro 2018. What has changed?
With all this, the woman called me every day in Australia. We would FaceTime and she told me, "Hey, I'm eight months pregnant, and if I can, you can." I broke my heart and I spent a lot of money. But I do not have a child to take care of for the rest of my life now. She does. It really made me a man. This stranger, whom I had never met before, got me back into preparation and I took part in Chicago. It was also close. I only lost a few points. After the show, one of my old friends suggested we go skydiving. I swear to God that if I had won or none of this had happened to my wife, I would have said, "By no means." Instead, I said yes and jumped out of a plane a few days later. When I landed on the ground, I looked at my friend and said, "I'm doing the Tampa Pro." I came in second and got the Olympics qualification, which made everything else irrelevant.
They portray their father in the film Bigger and have expressed mixed feelings about being compared to him in social media. What was it like to play him in a movie?
My dad was very dissatisfied with my bodybuilding career and pretty much everything I did, but I think he got a kick out of it. He was a big movie fan. Nothing justifies how my dad treated my mother or me, but I think my dad would be proud and might even have gone on board with my career. I look like him in the movie, but I do not like him at all. My dad was one of the worst people I have ever met. Many people love my dad, and that's a big thing I struggle with in this sport. Sometimes you want to talk about your life, you want to tell the truth, but it brings the dreams of people from their heroes to a standstill.
What did your dad want from your livelihood?
He is Cuban – so a baseball player, lawyer or doctor. And look, I'm older now, so I understand things a little differently. When I started as a bodybuilder, I was 6 & # 39; tall and had 145 pounds. I looked like the used balloon things. He looks at me and goes, "Boy, what do you think?" My father fled Cuba at the age of 18. Castro tried to kill him, and the United States put him in guards and took him to Chicago, where he did bodybuilding and met my mother. He never finished school because he had to work on the farms. And I can not imagine what he did in the '60s as a black-skinned, Hispanic bodybuilder. He also had this awful bodybuilding failure, so he probably told himself, "I've experienced so much that my son will not engage in this sport that has upset me."
I'm sitting here and tell you that I'm not my dad, but here I am. And look how well I worked as a professional in two years. He did not want me to be like him, but I think I'm in some ways like him.
Can you forgive him for treating you?
I can forgive my father for what he did to me, not what he did to my mother. Editor's Note: According to an article in the 1986 Chicago Tribune Oliva Sr. beat his wife twice in an explosive conflict .] My mother is the best person ever, but she will to deal with long-term medical problems, including memory loss, because of him for the rest of her life. My dad was the exact opposite with my sister. It's a Latino thing. The daughter is the princess. I remember that my sister would receive gifts on my birthday. But now she still has no real job. She is a deadbeat. Maybe I would be like that if he had not been so hard on me. Whether that's the truth or not, I do not know, but I'm telling myself to forgive him.
What's next for you?
It's crazy because I'm now friends with the wife of the man who had an affair with my wife. I will be forever in her life and in the life of her child. But not romantic. We are friends and somehow we got through this whole thing from the other side of the world. I've gone through stages in which I've blamed myself, and she did the same, but the baby is so innocent. I know what it feels like to grow up without a father and to have someone who is just poisonous in your life. I will help her raise this child now.
Would you like to say something else?
You know, when you do something about bodybuilding in bodybuilding At a show, this is bad: "Oh, you're just using that as an excuse." Maybe people will say after reading this : "Wait, he's been through the year and never told anyone about it, and he's been dealing with all those demons on his own – and he's still in the top 19 in the world? Wow, what will happen next year? "I really believe in myself now, much more than before. Now that this toxicity is out of my life, I'm looking forward to what's coming.