World fitness federation | World body building federation/p>
In this article we are not going to touch the historical questions of antique strongmen. Competitive sport of bodybuilding started in Europe and America at the same time. Regular competitions started in the thirties of the last century. One of the pioneers of organizing such events was former president of NABBA Mr.OSCAR HEIDENSTAM. He was participating in the competitions himself as well. In 1948 in London (UK) NABBA started international "Universe" contests. During two decades NABBA "Universe" competitions were the most prestigious biggest bodybuilding contests of the World. IFBB started World Championships only in 1959, European Championships in 1966. Bodybuilding magazines had great importance in popularizing bodybuilding through the World ("Strength and Health" in UK and "Muscle Builder" in USA). These magazines were the only possible source of information for thousands of enthusiasts. The competitive bodybuilding came to East Europe as well as to the USSR in the beginning of sixties of the last century. Regular contests were held in Lithuania, Poland, Czechoslovakia. Quick popularization of bodybuilding was suddenly stopped by the prohibition of this sport in the USSR. Then the situation in the USSR was solved by organizing half-official "Amber Prix"contests in Lithuania and GEORG TENNO Memorials in Estonia. Actually during two decades that were the unofficial USSR bodybuilding Championships. Best athletes from surrounding countries used to participate every year in the events. The year of 1975 was very important for bodybuilding in East Europe. In 1975 Czechoslovakia joined IFBB. For many years on it remained the only socialist country to have chance of participating in the World and European Championships. At that time the president of the national Czechoslovakian bodybuilding federation was Mr. VOJTECH FIALA (Praha) assisted byMr.FRANTISEK BULVA (Brno) and Mr.LIUDEK NOSEK (Marjanske Lazne).Being the first to get through the "iron border", bodybuilders of Czechoslovakia took part in European Championship. At once PETR STACH won the first place and made the Western World to speak about Eastern bodybuilding. To say more, PETR STACH produced a nice dynamicposing routine that was not common in the Western countries of those years. Getting constant support from the Government of Czechoslovakia athletes went on winning World and European Championships - ROBERT DANTLINGER, PETER TLAPAK, ALOIS PEK, LIBOR MINARIK, PETER URICEK and many others. East Europe was glad to see the results of Czechoslovakiansand looked upon them with some envy as nobody else had a chance to participate in the competitions held in the West. Eastern countries had to find the way out and they did it. East Europe started to organize regular international bodybuilding contests. Bodybuilders and their leaders developed friendly relations, exchanged information. EDMUNDAS DAUBARAS (Lithuania) having two VilniusUniversity diplomas (Law and Philology) started activities with Czechoslovakian, GDR, Bulgarian, Romanian, Hungarian, Chinese bodybuilding leaders. Countries communicated through competitions, information and developed much or less common politics in bodybuilding. When "perestroika" started in the USSR, prohibition of bodybuilding was canceled. The Sport Ministerium of the USSR (GOSKOMSPORT) set a Commission of bodybuilding, which tried to lead this sport in the country. The former Heads of the Commission Mr.MOROZ, Mr.TAMARLAKOV did not knew what to do and how to do. Ambitious JURY VLASOV was changed by Mr.CAYKOVSKY until at last a real bodybuilding specialist a former famousbodybuilder VLADIMIR DUBININ came to lead the game. The political and commercial interest of IFBB in Eastern Europe was great. All IFBB leaders visited the USSR as well as Mr.BEN WEIDER himself. The best professional bodybuilders used to come and participate in the USSR competitions. The propaganda of IFBB was so great that nobody noticed a visit of NABBA - WABBA athletes to Riga (Latvia) and Moscow (Russian Federation). The bodybuilders of the Baltic Sates were leading in the Soviet Union quite a long time. During "perestroika" they started thinking about independent participation in the IFBB federation.Leaders wanted it very much but were afraid of GOSKOMSPORT. Again the initiative was taken by EDMUNDAS DAUBARAS. He paid the membership fee for IFBB through his friends in Germany, he had sent all necessary documents to IFBB quarters to Canada. The membership of Lithuania in IFBB was possible (even now it is hard to say if some members of IFBB have an official juridical status of a country). But BEN WEIDER listened to the opposition of GOSKOMSPORT and hesitated. EDMUNDAS DAUBARAS had a number of private meetings and long talks with BEN WEIDER in New York (USA), Paris (France), Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), Moscow and Leningrad (USSR). Unfortunately the answer of BEN WEIDER was negative. The Olympic Committee of Lithuania recommended to the athletes to stop participating in the national teams of the USSR. Honestly informed BEN WEIDER, EDMUNDAS DAUBARAS registrated a national bodybuilding organization, took the majority of the national bodybuilding team to NABBA European Championships in France (1991, Epinal), joined NABBA organization. NATALIJA MURNIKOVIENE and ROLANDAS BUCINSKAS became European Champions bringing the first gold medals to Lithuania.