Rogers Park District patrolman Sergio Oliva won the 1981 Mr. Europe bodybuilding competition in Germany. His uniform had to be specially tailored. (David Nystrom/Chicago Tribune file photo, 1981) (January 30, 1981)
A retired Chicago police officer who was the only bodybuilder to beat Arnold Schwarzenegger in the Mr. Olympia competition has died.
Sergio Oliva, 71, a longtime Rogers Park District officer, was found unresponsive by a family member Monday and pronounced dead at St. Francis Hospital Evanston, according to the Cook County medical examiner's office.
Oliva defected to the United States from Cuba in 1963 at a Pan American Games qualifying competition in Jamaica, bringing the entire Cuban bodybuilding team with him. He came to Chicago in 1963 because "he heard this was where the jobs were," longtime friend Jack Merjimekian said.