Kolkata: Manohar Aich, 103-Year-Old Bodybuilder And India’s First Mr. Universe Manohar Aich Passed Away in Kolkata.
How many of us knew about Manohar Aich, India’s first Mr Universe? I confess, I didn’t. This 103-year-old man – who’s a legend in his own right – won the title as early as 1952, making India noticeable on the world map.
He’s fondly known as the ‘Pocket Hercules’, owing to his height that measures 4 feet 11 inches.
Manohar Aich was born in the Tipperah District, in a remote village named Dhamti. He was the second Indian to win any Mr. Universe title and the first Indian to win the title post-independence.
Mr Aich began his bodybuilding career early on when not many gyms and fitness centers were available. Taking a cue from his own strength and will power, Mr Aich began body and weight training exercises, such as push-ups, pull-ups, sit ups, and leg raises, that lasted several reps.
He was formally introduced to weight training by Reub Martin (his senior) when he joined the Royal Air Force in 1942. There was no looking back after that.
Mr Aich, after winning the runners-up position in the 1951 Mr Universe competition, finally achieved glory in 1952 by winning the title of Mr Universe – Group III Championship. He participated several times after, where he came third in 1955, and fourth in 1960.
He also went on to win three golds in the Asian Games held in 1951 (New Delhi), 1954 (Manila), and 1958 (Tokyo).
Through the years, he participated in several bodybuilding events. His stint finally came to an end in 2003, at the age of 90.
The man never smoked or touched alcohol. For the country’s bodybuilders and weight-trainers, Mr Aich will always remain an inspiration.