The Story Of The ‘Lion Of Lebanon’


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Ever since his late teen years, Lebanese bodybuilder Samir Bannout, aka The Lion of Lebanon, has been proudly putting his country on the map in the world of bodybuilding.

Born and raised in Beirut, Bannout began lifting weights from the age of 16. At only 18 years old, he earned his first win as the as the youngest Mr. Universe participant in the 1974.

In 1983, at the age of 28, he won the prestigious title of Mr. Olympia in an annual international bodybuilding competition held by the International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness (IFBB).

It was during that win on September 24, 1983, at the Olympiahalle in Munich, Germany, that Bannout became the first Middle Eastern bodybuilder to have ever achieved the title of Mr. Olympia.

In 2020, the only other Middle Easterner to take home the prize was Egyptian Mamdouh Elssbiay, known by his nickname Big Ramy.

Bannout is also famous for the extremely well-developed and structured lower back, which was dubbed the “Lebanese Cedar” (because it looked like one)!

In 2020, he was inducted into the IFBB Hall of Fame alongside famous bodybuilders such as Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Currently residing in Los Angeles, California, Bannout is a brand ambassador for Old School Labs. which markets natural nutritional supplements for bodybuilders.

As a father of four, at the age of 65, he’s proving that he’s still got it!

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