Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Sergio Oliva A Chicago Police Legend Has Passed Away



 Arnold Schwarzenegger seen here congratulating Sergio Oliva who just beat him for the Mr. Olympia Title.
Chicago, IL—In the early 1970’s a Cuban expatriate found employment as a physical fitness instructor for the Chicago Police Department.  He was a natural for the position but what he really wanted more than anything was to be a Chicago cop.
Sergio Oliva was beyond happy to live in free America where he competed in bodybuilding championships.  In 1969 he beat out a slightly more famous immigrant named Arnold Schwarzenegger for the title of Mr. Olympia.
Sergio had to work hard enough to learn how to read and write English as he prepared for the Chicago police civil service examination.  He passed however some say he got extra help from above on that one.  He entered the Chicago Police Academy at 720 West O’Brien Street on 26 April 1976.  
Sergio immediately had problems with both his kaki recruit uniform and later the regular police uniforms since there were no shirts available for someone of his size at any uniform store.  He had to have them custom made from scratch. His uniform allowance could not cover the cost.
Sergio was a gentle giant and soft spoken, good will ambassador who brought favorable attention to the department.  He worked in 024 Rogers Park District doing patrol.
Like most cops he had troubles in a marriage and was shot five times by his then wife Arleen Garrett.    His incredible muscle mass made him nearly bullet proof and he recovered quickly.  That marriage however did not survive.  
Sergio, 71passed  away yesterday apparently from kidney failure and I’m not yet sure of any arrangements.  I will try to keep you pasted.
UPDATE: Family and friends are invited to attend a wake scheduled for Monday, Nov. 19 at Barr Funeral Home, 6222 N. Broadway, from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. A funeral mass will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 20 at St. Gertrude Catholic Church, 1420 W. Granville Ave. at 11 a.m.
Here Sergio is profiled in a video news story before he retired 10 years ago:
   

1 comment:

Maria DiGiovanni said...

Prayers FoRe! the family and to all of his friends. ~MD