Bodybuilding’s two tribes: how social media changed fitness

Arnold Schwarzenegger won his first Mr Universe title 50 years ago at London’s Victoria Palace Theatre. Bodybuilding then was a niche affair – two years later, when Schwarzenegger won his third consecutive Mr Universe title, the Pathé newsreel covering the event called him simply ‘an Austrian’.

Half a century on, thousands attend bodybuilding and fitness events like Fitcon, which took place last weekend at London’s Olympia Exhibition Centre.

Bodybuilding has gone mainstream in the age of social media, and the stars of the sport can make thousands from just one Instagram post. But the new fitness devotees are not all like the supermen of 1967.

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Louis van Gaal – Don’t Believe The Hype

The big story from the last quarter-final of the World Cup is, of course, Netherlands coach Louis van Gaal and his substitution in the last seconds of extra time. Bringing on Newcastle’s Tim Krul to face Costa Rica’s penalties instead of Jasper Cillessen has been hailed as a stroke of genius from the man who will be in charge of reviving Manchester United after the shambolic performance of David Moyes.

Van Gaal claimed after the game that it was Krul’s greater height and reach which persuaded him to make the substitution that many have seen as clinching the game for the Dutch. Even the Costa Ricans agree, midfielder Celso Borges saying ‘They were right, he did his job.’

But was it really the moment of genius everyone seems to believe it was? I’m not so sure. Continue reading

Rugby League, Sport

Where Next For Rugby League In London?

On Saturday, the Spirit of ’99 died, ruthlessly butchered by some Warriors from the North. With it went the London Broncos’ season and, barring a miracle next year, top flight professional rugby league in the capital altogether.

The scale of Wigan’s victory in the Challenge Cup semi-final – 70 points to nil – suggests such a miracle is unlikely. The impending return of promotion and relegation to Super League will most likely see London sink out of the top tier, replaced by more traditionally rugby league towns like Sheffield or Featherstone.

The question now is, what does all this mean for rugby league in London? Continue reading