Terry and Jan Todd, faculty members in the College of Education’s Department of Kinesiology and Health Education, were honored in London, England, on March 15 with the Oscar Heidenstam Foundation’s Lifetime Achievement Award.
The Todds are among only a handful of Americans to win the Heidenstam Award, and they were recognized this year for the breadth and significance of their four decades of contributions to the field of physical culture.
Begun in 1991, the Heidenstam Foundation was established to honor the life of Oscar Heidenstam, a renowned “ambassador of physical culture” and a man deemed The Father of British Bodybuilding. Since its creation, the foundation has honored several gifted individuals for their achievements in physical culture.
Jan and Terry are national and world record-breaking competitive lifters who have gained the status of legend in the areas of fitness, bodybuilding and powerlifting. They have coached world champion athletes, taught thousands of students and are prolific scholars who have authored a combined 600 articles and seven books.
Since joining The University of Texas at Austin faculty in 1983, the Todds also have assembled the world’s largest collection of physical culture materials and have donated that collection to the university. The collection forms the foundation of the H.J. Lutcher Stark Center of Physical Culture and Sports, an academic center that soon will be relocated to a new 27,000 square foot home at the north end of Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium. In order to build and outfit the Stark Center, the Todds have raised over $6,000,000 and either donated or solicited gifts of books, photos, magazines and artifacts worth approximately the same amount.
In remarks made after receiving their crystal award at the Heidenstam awards dinner, the Todds stated, “As we began to take up the cause of drug-free sport in the 1970s, we drew courage from the brave efforts of earlier opponents of drug use—pioneers like David Webster and Oscar Heidenstam. These men believed that, at its heart, a physical culture life had to be a healthy life. Otherwise, it was a sham.
“Oscar and David correctly suspected, more than 40 years ago, that the long-term use of these powerful hormones would lead to the many premature deaths we’ve seen in sports and physical culture. For these and other reasons we knew we would be among friends at this dinner—friends of Oscar, friends of drug-free sport and friends of the physical culture life.”
Born in 1911, Heidenstam was what the British call an “all-rounder,” excelling in swimming, diving, gymnastics, hockey, water polo, hand-balancing, weightlifting, bodybuilding, and track and field.
During World War II, he became an officer and was a leader in developing programs to increase the fitness levels of soldiers. Following the war he led the Central Council of Physical Recreation and designed training courses and competitions aimed at improving the fitness level among British youth. In the 1950s his influence increased as he took over the well-respected magazine Health and Strength and continued to organize national and international sporting and fitness competitions. In the 1960s when he witnessed anabolic steroids entering sports and physical culture, he became an outspoken and lifelong opponent of their use.