- Mar 7, 2008
Born in Sutton Coldfield and raised in Hurley, England, Dorian Yates grew up without a passion for sports. Instead, he turned to a life of crime after being badly influenced at an early age. At 16, in 1980, Dorian joined a skinhead gang after moving to Birmingham. Eventually, he was arrested after being involved in a riot. At 19, Dorian was sentenced to 6 months in a youth detention centre. Although he’d never worked out or played sports as a child, Dorian had grown up naturally athletic. This led to him gaining a reputation for his physique as an inmate, powerlifting to keep himself entertained. Dorian quickly packed on the muscle and realized that he had the potential to succeed in fitness.
After being released, he was determined to never return behind bars. The future legend entered the gym at the age of 21, in 1983, beginning his journey to the top of the industry. Dorian trained rigorously and set his sights on competing as a bodybuilder. After a year of working out and dieting, Dorian was on the way to sculpting a formidable physique. He entered his first show at 22-years-old – the 1984 Mr. Birmingham novice. Impressively, he walked away from his debut competition with the trophy. But he was hungry for more.
In 19985, Dorian carried his success into 1985, winning the Novice West Coast show. That same year, he entered his first international contest – the 1985 IFBB World Games. He was up against the likes of Berry DeMay and Matt Mendenhall, but even at the age of 23, Dorian was able to compete. He placed a very respectable 7th. However, it was a year later when he won his first major competition – the 1986 EFBB British. He took home the trophy, but this only made him more determined to make a name for himself. Dorian’s successful start to his career motivated him to take time away from the stage to develop his physique. He returned two years later, in 1988, to compete in the British Championships. At the age of 26, 5 years after beginning his journey, Dorian earned his Pro Card after placing 1st. He had fulfilled his ambition of becoming a professional bodybuilder.
After earning his Pro Card, Dorian took another break away from the limelight. Instead of competing, he focused on developing his body further to win bigger shows. He made his comeback at the 1990 Night of Champions. At this point, Dorian was still a low-profile bodybuilder, and he shocked the industry by placing 2nd in a show after beating the likes of Danny Padilla and Robby Robinson. It was at this point that Dorian became recognized in the industry, gaining the nickname “The Shadow” due to coming out of nowhere to place highly in big contests. In 1991, at the age of 29, Dorian had his most successful year yet. He returned to the Night of Champions and took home the trophy. That same year, he entered the prestigious Mr. Olympia for the first time in his career. Although he didn’t win, he was only beaten by a legend in the sport, Lee Haney, after placing 2nd. He ended the year by winning the 1991 English Grand Prix, but he knew he had to step up his game to win the Mr. Olympia show.
A year later, in 1992, Dorian returned to the Mr. Oympia and walked away as the champion. At the age of 30, he’d won the biggest show in the industry, but this was only the start of his reign at the top. For the next 5 years, between 1992-1997, Dorian won every show that he entered. He secured his place as a legend of the sport after winning the Mr. Olympia a further 5 times.
This video is about Grand Prix bodybuilding competitions:
1992 German Grand Prix
1994 British Grand Prix
1996 British Grand Prix
1996 German Grand Prix
1984 Mr. Birmingham novice, 1st
1985 Novice West Coast (England), 1st
1985 IFBB World Games (London), 7th
1986 EFBB British Championships (London), 1st
1988 EFBB British Championships, 1st (Pro Card)
1990 IFBB Night Of The Champions, New York, 2nd place
1991 IFBB Night Of The Champions, New York, 1st place
1991 IFBB Mr. Olympia, Orlando, Florida, 2nd place
1991 IFBB English Grand Prix, Nottingham, 1st place
1992 IFBB Mr. Olympia, Helsinki, Finland, 1st place
1992 IFBB English Grand Prix, Nottingham, 1st place
1993 IFBB Mr. Olympia, Atlanta, Georgia, 1st place
1994 IFBB Mr. Olympia, Atlanta, Georgia, 1st place
1994 IFBB Spanish Grand Prix, Madrid, 1st place
1994 IFBB German Grand Prix, Duisburg, 1st place
1994 IFBB English Grand Prix, Nottingham, 1st place
1995 IFBB Mr. Olympia, Atlanta, Georgia, 1st place
1996 IFBB Mr. Olympia, Chicago, Illinois, 1st place
1996 IFBB Spanish Grand Prix, Madrid, 1st place
1996 IFBB German Grand Prix, Darmstadt, 1st place
1996 IFBB English Grand Prix, Nottingham, 1st place
1997 IFBB Mr. Olympia, Long Beach, California, 1st place
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