Brian Budd – The Budd Way

Many of us live our lives by a set of rules handed down by our parents at a young age.

For the outgoing and larger than life Brian Budd, he had own his standards that he always lived by. He was a strong believer in making sure to make others always feel welcomed and Budd always made time for kids by coaching and providing leadership. Later in his life, he even had a rule named after him due to his success.

Born in Toronto and raised in Vancouver, Budd won seven caps for Canada in a soccer career in the 1970s that included stints with Vancouver, Colorado, Toronto and Houston in the North American Soccer League and Ayr United reserves in Scotland. He played indoors for the Cleveland Force and Baltimore Blast.

“Brian was an all-around athlete,” Brenda Budd (Brian Budd’s wife) said. “When competing, he was always very tenacious and focused on what needed to be done.”

Reaching new fans outside the sport of soccer, Budd turned heads by using that athleticism to beat a host of big-name athletes in Superstars, a popular TV show that pitted athletes against each other from different sports in everything from rowing and swimming to tennis and weightlifting,

Leaving rivals with better bodies and resumes in his wake, the unimposing Budd took over Canadian Superstars and then won World Superstars from 1978 to 1980, prompting organizers to institute a rule that anyone who won the event three times could no longer take part.

1980 World Superstars

The competition was billed as a showdown between two-time World Superstars champion Brian Budd, a Canadian soccer play, and two-time British and European Superstars champion Brian Jacks, an Olympic judo medalist. It quickly became evident that the event would be a coronation for Brian Budd in his sixth and final Superstars win.

The highlight of the competition was the showdown between Budd and Jacks in the gym tests. Jacks was an expert in the parallel bar dips section of the gym test in Europe, but the World Superstars used pull-ups instead. Budd got the upper hand by completing 47 pull-ups to 44 for Jacks. The total number of squat thrusts would be added to the pull-ups to determine the overall winner.

Budd was up first and completed a record 114 squat thrusts in one minute for a record total of 161. Jacks set off at an equally furious pace pumping out the last few thrusts in the final seconds to break Budd’s records with 118 squat thrusts and a total of 162, nipping the champion by one point.

Jacks took the overall lead by lifting 270 pounds in the weight lifting category to defeat the much larger NFL player Russ Francis. Budd took seven big points by finishing second to Gaelic footballer Bernard Brogan in the 100 yard dash.

In the bike race, 1968 Olympic 400 meter hurdles bronze medalist John Sherwood of Great Britain won the one-mile event. Budd took second ahead of Jacks and began to pull away from the rest of the field.

In the half mile run, Budd was pressed hard by Sherwood the entire time and won by just 0.05 seconds. This gave Budd 41 points to 25 for Jacks and 24 for Sherwood.

Sherwood stayed close to Budd with a runner-up finish in the soccer event, behind Swiss Olympic bobsled champion Erich Shaerer, while Jacks managed just one point. Budd clinched the overall title with another win in rowing. Sherwood failed to score in the obstacle course, but still managed second place overall. Marty Hogan finished third in the obstacle course to tie Jacks for third overall, just ahead of Shaerer and Brogan.

After Budd’s latest triumph, ABC Sports imposed a rule that three-time champions were no longer invited back. Some believe that the rule was created specifically for Budd and refer to it as the “Budd rule.”

“Brian was very athletic and the Superstars events provided him an opportunity to showcase his skills,” Brenda said. “He swam competitively growing up and Brian really enjoyed the cycling portion, even though it was newer to him, before the Superstars events. Since, Brian was always thinking, the sport of cycling provided him an opportunity to really strategize his game plan for success and execute it.”