Professor Desbonnet, was the judge, and was highly impressed with the lift. Andersson’s nickname soon became “Starke Arvid” or Strong Arvid.
Like many strongmen of the time he was also a wrestler, and held the Swedish Heavyweight Championship for many years. After he retired from wrestling and lifting contests, “Starke Arvid” moved back to Stockholm and opened a café.
He found that he was quite adept at it, so much so that in 1890, Obizzi founded the Milan Athletic Club and was instrumental in spreading weightlifting and physical training throughout Europe. At the Italian Weightlifting Championship, he finished 3rd, in 1897, 3rd in 1900 and 2nd in 1901 and 1902.
Working closely with Professor Desbonnet, Obizzi, helped establish the first Weightlifting Championship of France in 1901 (which he also helped judge.) It was under Obizzi’s suggestion that weightlifting contests adopted weight classes, a feature that continues to this day.
Obizzi weighed only 160 pounds but was quite strong, one of his best lifts was a military press of 200 pounds AND he also had a truly excellent mustache.
Desbonnet opened several schools of physical training (including in 1900, the Halterophile Club de France) and wrote a number of incredible books and courses dealing with strength training and early physical culture. All of his books are detailed and extremely rare. His two most famous titles are Les Rois de la Lutte (The Kings of Wrestling) and Les Rois de la Force (The Kings of Strength).
Apollon, who was at his peak during the 1890s, stood 6″2′ and, in solid muscular condition, around 260 pounds.
While he was certainly thickly-muscled and strong all over, he excelled in grip an forearm feats, especially lifting thick handled weights, such as the Challenge Weight that bears his name. Also of note is the fact that even though this images was taken well over a hundred years ago with crude photographic equipment by today’s standards, Apollons tremendous “core” strength — built through years of heavy one-arm and two-arm overhead lifting — is evident.