Joe Weider had monikers for most of the IFBB(International Federation of BodyBuilders) champions. Dave Draper was “The Blond Bomber”. Sergio Oliva was “The Myth”. Larry Scott was “The Golden Boy”. Arnold Schwarzenegger was “The Austrian Oak”, but did you know that there was a “German Oak” that preceded him?
Carl Johann Theodor Abs also know as Carl Abs and further known as “The German Oak” was, according to Wikipedia, “a well known professional wrestler in the 19th century and is considered the founder of modern professional wrestling in Germany”. That brings me to the commentary on a 1932 movie called Island of Lost Souls where the commentator mentions that one of the beast-men of this particular adaptation of HG Wells’ Island of Dr. Moreau was a wrestler named Hans Steinke who was also known as “The German Oak”. This “German Oak”, Hans Steinke, was a movie star well before Arnold Schwarzenegger and played in several movies between 1932 and 1938.
Is it a German thing to be nicknamed something oak tree related? Arnold couldn’t have been “The Austrian Elm” or “The Austrian Black Walnut”? Regardless, the guy below with the spherical barbell weights is, as far as I know, is the original “German Oak”, Carl Abs, 1851 – 1895. The other “German Oak”, Hans Steinke, 1893–1971, is the the guy doing a side triceps pose as well as the guy in beast makeup next to actor Charles Laughton. And of course the guy in the photo directly below is Arnold Schwarzenegger, 1947 – ? .
Schwarzenegger, Carl Abs and Hans Steinke photos below
For info on the origin of Sergio’s “The Myth” nickname look here: http://www.builtreport.com/sergio-oliva/sergio-oliva-origin-of-the-myth/