Revenge of the nerds: Google to take over California's Gold's Gym
GOOGLE is set to become the landlord at America's most famous gym for musclemen, in what has been described as the ultimate revenge of the nerds.
Gold's Gym in Venice, California, known as the "mecca of bodybuilding," is where Arnold Schwarzenegger trained, and featured in the 1977 documentary "Pumping Iron."
In recent weeks weightlifters there have been reeling amid rumours the technology giant would be taking over as part of an office expansion.
They fear being evicted from their spiritual home. Mr Schwarzenegger himself said the local community was "freaking out."
On a visit to the gym the former California Governor told the New York Times: "As soon as I walked in, they said 'You heard about Google? It's this conspiracy theory, 'Google is coming! They are going to take over and wipe out our bodybuilding'."
MuscleWeek magazine pointed out the "painful irony" of the "proverbial pencil-neck geek turning the tables and kicking the bodybuilders out of Venice."
However, a spokesman for Google sought to assure the anxious musclemen that their future was safe.
The company, which moved in to 100,000 sq ft of office space in Venice last year, will be taking over the lease on the Gold's building in 2014, but appears to be intending to sublet the gym to Gold's.
The spokesman said: "We have no plans to expand into Gold's Gym space. In fact, we are working with them to extend their lease."
Local councillor Bill Rosendahl said: "We have been thoroughly assured that Google appreciates the significance of Gold's Gym to the Venice and bodybuilding communities, and wants the gym to stay where it is."