Close your eyes and imagine a good looking man, covered in chiselled herculean muscles, the perfect V-taper and an odd accent; oh yeah, and he is a Mr Universe. I know what you are thinking, that sounds a lot like a Golden Era Arnold Schwarzenegger doesn’t it? Well, move over Arnie, the world has found a new you.
Australian bodybuilder, Calum von Molger has just walked away with his third Mr. Universe title, leaving the June 27 World Fitness Federation (WFF) competition held in La Ciotat, France as a resounding champion.
There is a reason the 25-year-old has been aptly nicknamed “Arnie 2.0”, bringing his best package yet to the prestigious competition, with a perfect balance of aesthetic appeal and monstrous size.
Far from arrogant, von Moger is instead proud of all the obvious hard work he put in to be crowned Mr Universe once again.
‘It was very rewarding – I’ve really sacrificed and focused on being in peak condition, so it’s great to get that recognition,’ he says.
This is his second consecutive overall competition victory, which sit alongside his 2011 Junior WFF Mr. Universe title.
Now for a champion who is compared to the greatest his sport has ever seen, the Aussie Arnie’s story came from humble beginnings.
Hailing from a small town in central Victoria, the von Moger family owned a small hobby-farm before picking up and moving to Geelong, which is where Calum found his true passion.
Describing himself as a “skinny little boy” the 14-year-old von Moger began lifting weights in a warehouse with his brother.
The bodybuilder was hooked from there, and whether it is his genetics and work ethic, a miracle from god or a combo of all of this, he was destined for greatness.
After all, passion can start small, but if it burns bright it can take to where you want to go.
Moving a decade forward, the Mr Universe has come a long way from the small hobby-farm in central Victoria, but the Aussie boy knows he would not made it this far without support.
“My parents, who are always sitting in my corner ready to reach out if I ever need it, and big thanks to all my fans whom I get so much support from every minute of the day,” he says.
“Especially to all my good friends and family at home that sent me encouraging messages and wished me the best of luck. I appreciate it more than you know.
“And most of all I thank God for pouring his blessings out, keeping me and you safe and placing all of you in my life.”
Despite his own success, von Moger is most well-known for his comparisons to the great Arnold.
The Aussie is a throwback to what is known as the Golden Era (1970’s -1980’s) of bodybuilding, where instead of the monstrous size of today’s: Phil Heath, Kai Greene and of course Ronnie Coleman, smaller more aesthetically appealing physiques were at the pinnacle of the sport.
Men like Frank Zane, and of course Arnie himself, ruled the roost with a focus on finer detailing and symmetry, rather than enormous size of muscle.
Until von Moger burst back on the scene with his incredible detail, V-taper and vintage physique the Golden Era looked to be reserved for the highlight reel.
But it is no coincidence that Arnie 2.0 came to be, with von Moger having constantly named Schwarzenegger as an inspiration.
“It is incredible that people see that…that people see me as Arnie 2.0,” he says.
“It’s a very cool feeling as Arnold is someone that inspires me, as he does others, and everybody knows Arnold! To be coined as Arnold 2.0 is already such a big statement.”
As for the future, money and prestige seem to lie in the International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness (IFBB) and its flagship competition the Mr. Olympia.
It is at the Olympia that Arnold made his mark as a seven-time champion, and the place where the majority of the sport’s greatest seem to reside.
Unfortunately, as mentioned, Arnie’s wins were during the Golden Era, presently at 112kg von Moger is a dwarf compared to most of the behemoth’s that currently grace the Olympia stages.
To transition to the Olympia, Aussie Arnie would need to pack on even more muscle and size and quite possibly lose much of the aesthetic appeal that has made him what he is.
This leaves von Moger seemingly caught between a rock and a hard place, making his future increasingly interesting as it continues to unfold.
As for now, let’s just continue to gawk, admire and envy his Arnold-like physique.
By Juan Estepa (@EstepaJ)
CLICK THE LINK BELOW TO LISTEN TO THE INTERVIEW FIASCO SPORTS DID WITH CALUM. Recorded in April 2014.