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

Franco died on Friday, with reviews 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 reviews that Columbu drowned whereas swimming on the seaside within the city of ​​San Teodoro in Sardinia at round 2 p.m. native time. Other reviews says that Columbu suffered a coronary heart assault whereas swimming. Emergency companies airlifted Columbu to a neighborhood hospital the place he was pronounced lifeless. 

Columbu is probably finest remembered for his longtime friendship with Arnold Schwarzenegger. The two 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 Best Friend.” Schwarzenegger referred to Columbu as his “partner in crime” and mentioned that in their time coaching collectively they “laughed at every moment along the way.” Schwarzenegger mentioned, “I am devastated today. But I am also so, so grateful for the 54 years of friendship and joy we shared.” The submit included pictures of the pair posing of their heyday, on film units collectively and taking part in chess of their later years:

Franco,

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 rationale I may by no means settle for that label.

But I needed you to know why.

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

When 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 carry you to coach with me, it was as a result of I knew I wasn’t the identical with out my finest good friend. I may thrive with out cash, with out my mother and father, however I couldn’t thrive with out you.

I’m devastated immediately. But 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 beloved. My life was extra enjoyable, extra colourful, and extra full due to you.

I’ll at all times miss you. But 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 daily you lived. And I will likely be there for Maria and Debbie, so you may relaxation now with no worries.

I really 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 have been my finest good friend.

Love at all times,

Arnold

Franco gained Mr. Olympia means 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.

In addition to his success as a bodybuilder, weightlifter and boxer, Franco additionally had a protracted profession performing on TV and in films.

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

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