The Internet may love touting the fake accomplishments of Chuck Norris, but Dolph Lundgren is the real thing. Read on and have your mind blown by all the amazing accomplishments of Dolph Lundgren, modern Renaissance man.
1. He can kick your butt.
After being bullied as a teenager, he took up martial arts at the age of 15. He studied the kyokushin style of karate: a full-contact form that involves shotokan, goju-ryu and muay Thai styles. Within five years, he was a 6'6", 200-pound second-degree black belt, becoming captain for the full-contact national karate team for Sweden. He won the European full-contact karate championships in 1980 and 1981 -- and then won the heavyweight division title in Australia in 1982. He is currently a third-degree black belt, and still performs regular exhibitions.
2. He can defeat you in many sports.
In addition to martial arts, he took up weight-lifting in his teen years, earning a third place victory in the Sweden Junior National Weightlifting championship. Throughout the years, he has also trained in fencing, boxing and judo.
3. He's a linguistic genius.
He's fluent in Swedish and English, and also speaks German, French and some Italian. He also speaks Spanish, and currently resides in Marbella, Spain. And he learned to speak a few Japanese phrases -- just to rub it in.
4. He's a former military man.
Lundgren completed his mandatory Swedish military service by training with the amphibious rangers. He served at Kustjägarna, a decorated marine unit specializing in reconnaissance, sabotage and amphibious combat.
5. He's smarter than you.
He's an alumnus of the Royal Institute of Technology of Stockholm, one of Europe's most respected technical universities. He received a master's degree in chemical engineering from the University of Sydney in 1982, with plans to follow the career path of his father, an engineer/economist for the Swedish government. In 1983, Dolph was awarded the Fulbright Scholarship -- the prestigious international education grant -- to continue his studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. After two weeks, he quit the program to move to New York City and pursue acting. It's been reported that he has an IQ of 160 -- the same as Einstein -- but he has gone on record to dismiss that.
6. He's had a classic NYC experience.
While in NYC he worked as a nightclub bouncer alongside Chazz Palminteri, and posed for photographs at Andy Warhol's famous Factory. He originally served as a bodyguard for, then later dated, singer/model/actress Grace Jones. She helped get him cast in his debut performance of a KGB henchman in 'A View to a Kill.'
7. He was born to play Ivan Drago.
His breakout role of the Soviet super-boxer Ivan Drago in 'Rocky IV' almost didn't happen because he was too physically imposing to casting agents, at first. The search for the perfect Drago took over nine months and involved over 5,000 auditioners before producers changed their minds on Lundgren.
8. He legitimately beat Apollo AND Rocky.
During filming, he hit Sylvester Stallone in the chest so hard that filming was stopped so Sly could be flown to St. John's Hospital. Sly's blood pressure was 290, and he had difficulty breathing owing to the swelling of the pericardial sac around his heart. He spent nine days in intensive care before returning to the film.
Then Carl Weathers, a.k.a. Apollo Creed, almost quit the film because of Lundgren's tough boxing style; during the filming of their match, the hits got so authentic that Dolph knocked Carl out for several minutes. Stallone had to mediate a reconciliation that shut the movie down for four days. In 2008, Dolph competed in a real boxing match against former UFC Champion Oleg Taktarov for a celebrity boxing event in Russian. Taktarov won by split decision.
9. He's an Olympian.
Dolph served as the Team Leader (non-competing) for the U.S. Modern Pentathalon Team in the 1996 Olympic Games, held in Atlanta. He coordinated plans for the team and helped promote the image of the sport, which incorporates pistol shooting, fencing, show jumping, 200-meter freestyle swimming and a 3K cross-country run.
10. He's an auteur.
He is a founding member of the New York theater company Group of Eight. He founded the production company Thor Pictures and has directed six films, with a seventh coming next year.
11. Hollywood wanted him to play every superhero.
Dolph was the early candidate to play the big-screen version of comic-strip hero 'The Phantom.' He was also considered for the part of 'The Running Man' before Arnold took it. Plus, he was offered the role of 'Captain America' but he was too busy already playing 'The Punisher.' He was originally set to play the part of the undefeated Tigris in the film 'Gladiator'; and following his part in 'Masters of the Universe,' cartoon and comic depictions of He-Man have been modeled on Lundgren's likeness.
12. Criminals fear him.
In January of 2009, while Dolph was away, his wife Anita was terrorized by three masked, armed robbers at their home in Spain. They tied her up and threatened her with knives, looking for money and valuables. However, upon discovering a family picture that revealed Dolph was her husband, the burglars fled the scene of the crime -- out of fear.
13. Have you seen this?
No, seriously, have you seen it? Lundgren's epic performance from Melodifestivalen, Sweden's portion of the 2010 Eurovision Song Contest is a must-see. Trust us. We are not worthy.