- 08/23/2007 (3:21:47 am)
News on Candice, Warming Fans Up….
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
LEWISTON - Another year, another hall of fame for Tony Atlas.
The bodybuilder, now 63 and living in Auburn, will be inducted into the World Body Building Guild's Hall of Fame this weekend at the North American Body Building Figure and Fitness Championships, being held in South Portland.
"This organization, they were the ones who gave me my start, my big start, in the sport," Atlas said Monday. "There was the WBBG, and the AAU (Amateur Athletic Union)."
Last year, Atlas - born Anthony White - was part of the class of inductees into World Wrestling Entertainment's Hall of Fame.
Unlike many organizations over the years, Atlas said he has always had a special place in his heart for the WBBG, because "they've always done things right."
"There was a time when everybody started using steroids to get bigger faster," Atlas said. "But the thing about using steroids is, they will make you bigger in a short time, but to stay big after using them, you have to keep using them. It has some bad effects on your body, on your mind and some other things we can't mention."
The WBBG, Atlas said, is about promoting body building and fitness through natural means, and anyone attending this weekend's showcase at South Portland High School's auditorium will see a host of athletes who have done just that.
"There are going to be guys there who were big, big names in bodybuilding over the years," Atlas said. "Sergio Oliva, who was Mr. Universe before Arnold Schwarzenegger, is going to be there, for one."
Atlas isn't pleading high-and-mighty. He admits to having taken some wrong turns once or twice in his life. But he credits bodybuilding with turning him around each time.
"When I was a kid, I was always a jock," Atlas said. "And I had to play individual sports, and I actually started out as a boxer, but I decided I didn't like that too much."
In junior high school, Atlas played basketball, but quickly left team sports - except for wrestling - when he realized he wasn't necessarily always in control of his own fate.
"In wrestling, yes it's a team, but all I concentrated on was winning my own division," he said.
Bodybuilding and wrestling always were Atlas' true callings.
He had stints in what is now the WWE in the 1980s and 90s, holding various titles within that time frame.
Now, Atlas spreads the word of fitness across the country, while maintaining his own fitness level, and those of his clients, at Fitness World in Lewiston. This week, Atlas is speaking in Saco, and then in New York City, before returning to Maine on Saturday for his latest hall of fame induction.
There are still tickets available for Saturday's show, and to attend the hall of fame induction banquet. For more information, visit promoter Dan Lurie's Web site at www.danlurie.com.
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