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Jean-Claude Van Damme

The Quest 1980 - 1987
Some failures but the will to believe in it

Attracted by America, Jean-Claude gets back to the USA in 79 and 80Jean-Claude Van Damme, but in California this time. He decovers the famous “Gold Gym” and meets the one who will become his first wife : Melly. Back in Belgium, he decides to open a Bodybuilding gym in Brussels : the “California Gym”. The bodybuilding gym is a big success. Jean-Claude trains for hours, he muscles up naturally till he weights 99 kg and he lifts 166 kg at the bench!Jean-Claude Van Damme

 But his projects are elsewhere : the movies! How to get there? He multiplies his contacts in Brussels, Paris, in vain. There is only one way : the United States …. 1982 – The young Van Varenbergh finds himself in Los Angeles, he doesn’t know a word of English, doesn’t have any references… His name being quite hard to pronounce, Jean-Claude opts for Van Damme. He works out very much, but he has to find work to survive : cab driver, pizza deliveries, dance teacher, etc…

 For four years, the young Belgian tries to meet producers and big actors : Stallone, Schwarzenegger, Chuck Norris. The latter gives him a bit-part in “Missing in Action I”. Other little parts are offered to him, as in “No Retreat No Surrender”. But Jean-Claude knows he can do much better. He then decides to risk it all.

© 2000 CNK & Physical Golden Club / Desing by Molos