Bodybuilding Legend Franco Columbu Died Tragically at 78

It’s a tragic day for the bodybuilding neighborhood. Franco Columbu, a former Mr. Olympia and one in every of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s closest pals, has died tragically at 78 on 30th of August, 2019.

Franco died on Friday, with experiences out of Italy saying the legendary bodybuilder misplaced his life in an incident at sea in his native Sardinia.

Franco Columbu was transported to the hospital of Nuoro, he died on the San Francesco within the early afternoon. La Nuova experiences that Columbu drowned whereas swimming on the seashore within the city of ​​San Teodoro in Sardinia at round 2 p.m. native time. Different experiences says that Columbu suffered a coronary heart assault whereas swimming. Emergency providers airlifted Columbu to a neighborhood hospital the place he was pronounced lifeless. 

Columbu is probably greatest remembered for his longtime friendship with Arnold Schwarzenegger. The 2 of them emigrated to America collectively in 1969 and began out as bricklayers earlier than breaking into the world of aggressive bodybuilding.

Schwarzenegger penned a tribute to Columbu on Medium on August 30. It was titled, “To My Greatest Buddy.” Schwarzenegger referred to Columbu as his “companion in crime” and mentioned that in their time coaching collectively they “laughed at each second alongside the best way.” Schwarzenegger mentioned, “I’m devastated at the moment. However I’m additionally so, so grateful for the 54 years of friendship and pleasure we shared.” The submit included photographs of the pair posing of their heyday, on film units collectively and taking part in chess of their later years:


You’ve heard me say that I don’t like when individuals name me a self-made man.

You’ve even heard me say that you just’re a part of the explanation I may by no means settle for that label.

However I wished you to know why.

From the minute we met in Munich, you had been my companion in crime. We pushed one another, we competed with one another, and we laughed at each second alongside the best way.

Once I lastly received to America, I used to be alone. I’d left my household, my nation, my entire life behind. So once I requested Joe Weider to convey you to coach with me, it was as a result of I knew I wasn’t the identical with out my greatest good friend. I may thrive with out cash, with out my dad and mom, however I couldn’t thrive with out you.

I’m devastated at the moment. However I’m additionally so, so grateful for the 54 years of friendship and pleasure we shared. The pumps, the chess video games, the development work, the meals, the pranks, the life classes — we did all of it collectively. We grew and we realized and we liked. My life was extra enjoyable, extra colourful, and extra full due to you.

I’ll at all times miss you. However I’ll additionally know that part of you lives on in me, in Debbie, in Maria, and within the tens of millions of individuals you impressed day-after-day you lived. And I will likely be there for Maria and Debbie, so you possibly can relaxation now with no worries.

I like you Franco. I’ll at all times bear in mind the enjoyment you dropped at my life, the advices you gave me, and the twinkle in your eye that by no means disappeared. You had been my greatest good friend.

Love at all times,


Franco gained Mr. Olympia method again in 1976, the 12 months after Arnold retired from the well-known bodybuilding competitors. Franco gained once more in 1981, the 12 months after Arnold’s comeback win.

Along with his success as a bodybuilder, weightlifter and boxer, Franco additionally had an extended profession appearing on TV and in films.

Relaxation in Peace Franco, you’ll by no means be forgotten.

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