The Trials of Sergio

With victories like these, who needs defeats? Sergio Oliva Jr.'s rookie year was no walk in the park.


Per Bernal


“I decided to not do the 2017 Mr. Olympia. Instead, I need to get my wife back, get a sponsor, and get my personal life back together. I would rather work on resetting my future than keep dieting just to get a third callout at the Olympia. I know my place. It would be a historical first for me to step on the same stage as my father, plus it would be a first for my mom: being the only woman to have a husband and child compete on that stage. But to go in not at my best would be a slap in her face and my father’s. I got the invite to the Arnold Classic in Columbus from Arnold himself, so that is my next show. I’m going to clean my body out, let my system heal from this horribly rough prep, get my rock, Brooke, back, and have a good off-season to get even bigger, and even maybe shock myself and a few other pros in Columbus.

“Who knows, maybe I’ll be able to keep mine and Chris Aceto’s [his contest prep coach] winning streak going. We’re two-for-two, but poor Chris needs a break from my emotional breakdowns. I wouldn’t have been even half the man/competitor I was in New York, if it weren’t for him. He’s more than a dietician to me. I have so many anxieties and issues, and he knows how to deal with me and kept me confident and motivated.”

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Courtesy of Weider Health & Fitness

Making his Olympia debut with his dad, Sergio, in 1984.


“I’ve changed a lot of my thinking since the New York Pro. I keep thinking I got this far with zero help without truly believing 100% in myself. I look at it as if I were on my deathbed for the past 13 years, struggling, not performing at my best, and I still beat guys while I was suffering. And now they found a cure for me. I’m getting out of the hospital a new man. I appreciate life so much more and also now feel unstoppable. I have a winner’s ring on my finger, reminding me I don’t have bad luck. The world isn’t out to get me.

“In fact, I have great luck because not that many people have done what I’ve done. I’m now more grateful for the bad things that happened to me ’cause I see life in a whole new light now and know now that all those horrible things that have happened to me since my first show were all for a reason— and a gateway to a new beginning.”

Postscript: As of Aug. 5, Sergio is sponsored by Old School Labs Supplements, Angry Mills Sinister Labs, Pro Tan, and Body by Eddie Inc. He also has his own clothing line named after his father’s signature pose, VictoryClothing.com. Things are looking up!