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Bobby Pandour – One of History’s First Bodybuilders

Bobby Pandour – One of History’s First Bodybuilders

Initially, I predicted the future of bodybuilding would provide a ‘renaissance of freaks’ with the easy access of anabolics, quality food as well as information, yet it seems this prediction was a misnomer. In the competitive ranks, there remains a steady surge of new freak blood, yet the gyms across this nation remain polluted by puffy-bodied delusionites. The prevalence of readily available information hasn’t helped the average gym rat looking to improve their physique. Why is it with so much access and opportunity to this generation, there are still some that can’t surpass the quality of physique of physical culturists almost a century ago?  This could be for a host of reasons, yet my present assumptions would be that the emphasis put on chems outweighs any other facet of the sport, and the Instagram overlords are attracting a new genetic element – a bad one.

Bobby Pandour_Wladyslaw Kurcharczyk

I’ve been guilty of tripping on nostalgia, yet few bother to build a base anymore. I wouldn’t be surprised if the majority of the dodos started taking their first Anadrol/Trenbolone/Testosterone stack before signing up for membership. Bob Dylan has proved to be a chronic turncoat with each passing decade– yet at least the title of the song ‘Times are a changin’ was correct: we must collectively face the fact that underground bodybuilding culture is dying… We have been spit out by DLB’s duck lips and live in the Instagram/BuzzFeed/bro/brah purgatory… But it wasn’t always like this.Bobby Pandour_Posing

History doesn’t always reward the greatest achievers. All too commonly the greats are relegated to obscurity as the louder, more marketable achieve the limelight of success. His birth name was Wladyslaw Kurcharczyk; he was a strongman entertainer with a physique that thoroughly smashed Sandow’s. While Eugene Sandow would achieve fame and opulence, Pandour often was left with Sandow’s table scraps, working the gigs that Sandow priced himself out of. There is little documentation on Pandour’s life, yet haunting pictures remain as evidence of this myostatin void behemoth. Most bodybuilding fans have never heard his name.

Bobby Pandour

Bobby Pandour died nearly a century ago; Bobby Pandour is a multi-layered metaphor. After one hundred years of advancements in nutrition, exercise equipment, and sports medicine there are scant few gym rats walking around with physiques in the same stratospheres as Pandours. His ghost reminds of the chronic decline in testosterone levels of males, each generation thanks to the pollution of our drinking water and the corrosion of our environment. A hundred years of scientific ‘progress’ has led to chemical eunuchs; a hundred years of progress has left us with Dana Lynn Bailey’s duck lips; a hundred years of progress and people remember Edison instead of Tesla and Sandow instead of Pandour.

By Danny Manslaughter


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