Gunter Schlierkamp Comeback Not Just an Act
by Joe Pietaro
There is a former bodybuilder residing in California who walked away from the sport to take up acting. He has a very unique sounding accent and has always been a huge fan favorite. After years of retirement, he has decided to once again don the posing trunks and grace the stage.
No, we’re not talking about Arnold Schwarzenegger but he was one of Gunter Schlierkamp’s inspirations.
“The German Giant” may be 40 years of age and six years removed from his last contest, but do not sell him short. “I feel like I’m 30,” the 6?1? Schlierkamp said on a recent episode of MD Radio. “I was down to 260 and I’ve already put back on about 25 pounds and things are starting to look pretty good.”
During his competing days, Schlierkamp had an offseason weight of 300 and took the stage in the 280 range. He had to drop some of that in order to get the acting roles he was seeking but stayed in excellent condition throughout his hiatus. Once he made the decision to compete again, it was as psychological as it was physical.
“If I didn’t think that I could come back and look as good as I was or even better, then I wouldn’t even think about it.”
Just when Schlierkamp makes his appearance remains to be seen. He is hoping to get back by the end of this year but also is hoping for an invite to the 2011 Arnold Classic, a show that he has competed in on four prior occasions. Perhaps the best year of his career came in 2002, when Schlierkamp finished fifth at the Mr. Olympia in a show won by Ronnie Coleman. Three weeks later, Schlierkamp beat ‘The King’ to win the GNC Show of Strength.
A year later, he once again placed fifth at the O. In 2004 he fell back one spot but in ‘05 he came in looking extremely sharp. Many people had him in the top three if not winning the Sandow, but he ended up in fourth. In an October 2008 appearance on MuscleSport Radio, Schlierkamp expressed great disappointment in his placing and even more so after placing 10th at the 2006 Olympia.
That is when he decided to step away from bodybuilding and establish himself in Hollywood. He appeared in a number of television commercials and a few films, most notably “Beerfest” (2006). Even though he is going to compete again, Schlierkamp does not feel as if his acting career is over by any means. In fact, he just hired a new agent.
“I hope that I can create a look that people finally like,” he told host Shawn Ray. “Maybe some movies need a big guy again.” That answer may come in time, but bodybuilding is certainly getting a big guy again.
When Schwarzenegger made his comeback in 1980, he reclaimed his Olympia title. Anything close to that with Schlierkamp is something that would make a great movie.
* 1990 German Championships Overall Winner
* 1990 German Championships 1st, Junior Tall
* 1992 European Amateur Championships 1st, IFBB, HeavyWeight
* 1992 German Championships 1st, Heavyweight
* 1993 World Amateur Championships – IFBB 1st, HeavyWeight
* 1994 Grand Prix England – IFBB 8th
* 1994 Grand Prix Germany – IFBB 8th
* 1994 Mr. Olympia – IFBB 19th
* 1995 Canada Pro Cup – IFBB 2nd
* 1995 Grand Prix Ukraine – IFBB 10th
* 1996 Arnold Classic – IFBB 11th
* 1996 Night of Champions – IFBB 11th
* 1996 San Jose Pro Invitational – IFBB 9th
* 1997 Canada Pro Cup – IFBB 6th
* 1997 Ironman Pro Invitational – IFBB Disqualified
* 1997 Night of Champions – IFBB 9th
* 1997 San Jose Pro Invitational – IFBB 11th
* 1998 Grand Prix Finland – IFBB 6th
* 1998 Grand Prix Germany – IFBB 6th
* 1998 Night of Champions – IFBB 10th
* 1998 Olympia – IFBB 15th
* 1998 San Francisco Pro Invitational – IFBB 9th
* 1998 Toronto Pro Invitational – IFBB 6th
* 1999 Arnold Classic – IFBB 9th
* 1999 Ironman Pro Invitational – IFBB 5th
* 2000 Ironman Pro Invitational – IFBB 4th
* 2000 Arnold Classic – IFBB 6th
* 2000 JOE WEIDER’S WORLD PRO CUP 6th
* 2000 Grand Prix England 4th
* 2000 MR OLYMPIA 12th
* 2001 Toronto Pro 6th
* 2001 Night of Champions XXIII 9th
* 2001 Mr. Olympia 15th
* 2001 British Grand Prix 10th
* 2002 Mr. Olympia 5th
* 2002 GNC Show of Strength 1st
* 2003 Mr. Olympia 5th
* 2003 English Grand Prix 3rd
* 2003 Holland Grand Prix 4th
* 2003 GNC Show of Strength 5th
* 2004 Arnold Schwarzenegger Classic 4th
* 2004 Mr. Olympia 6th
* 2005 Mr. Olympia 4th
* 2006 Mr. Olympia 10th