Shawn Rhoden, professional bodybuilder and former Mr. Olympia, has died at age 46.
Rhoden joins a growing list of prominent bodybuilders who died at a relatively young age. This news comes following IFBB pro-George Peterson III’s death last month at age 37.
Other bodybuilding champions Sergio Oliva died in 2012, Larry Scott in 2014, and Franco Columbu died in 2019 — all in their 70’s.
Shawn Rhoden was 2018’s Mr. Olympia, ending the winning streak of seven-time Mr. Olympia winner Phil Heath.
In addition, Rhoden was 43 years old when he captured the coveted bodybuilding championship – making him the oldest bodybuilder ever to win Mr. Olympia.
Former Mr. Olympia accused of sexual assault in 2019
In 2019, Shawn Rhoden was accused of sexually assaulting a female bodybuilder at a hotel. The alleged events reportedly took place shortly after his Mr. Olympia win in 2018.
He was formally charged in July 2019 and was banned from competing in future Mr. Olympia competitions until the legal process involving the charges were settled
TMZ reports that Rhoden was never convicted of sexual assault following the accusations.
Tributes pour in for Shawn Rhoden
In an eerie last Instagram post, the former Mr. Olympia wrote “see you on the other side” in the caption of a photo just days before his untimely death.
Several tributes have poured in for the late bodybuilding champion, who was viewed as an inspiration to many.
A fan shared a photo of the late bodybuilder with his young daughter, writing:
“The death of Shawn Rhoden hurts me so much, but one thing is I’m glad he had a great bond with his daughter in his final moments. These moments she’ll cherish forever. RIP champ!”
A fan suggested that his ban on competing had just been reversed before his tragic death.
“Just found out an acquaintance and former Mr Olympia Shawn Rhoden has passed away this morning at 46 😢After a 3-year court case he had just been accepted back to next year Mr O. This is very sad news for #bodybuilding RIP Shawn.”
Another fan paid tribute to Shawn for overcoming a difficult childhood, as detailed in his documentary Flexatron: Becoming Shawn Rhoden.
“Rip Shawn only 45 Mr Olympia 2018 way too young . You were a winner to me not in bodybuilding but by overcoming alcohol addiction after the death of your father RIP JAMAICAN Muscle.”
Shawn Rhoden recently finished third in the 2020 Mr. Olympia.
The bodybuilding legend is survived by his only daughter Cora, with his ex-wife Michelle Sugar.