Longtime bodybuilding competitor John Meadows died Sunday at the young age of 49, according to the New York Post.
The famous muscle man has been competing in bodybuilding competitions since he was 13 years old. Meadows caught the bug for the sport and has garnered lots of hardware and respect along the way.
According to the article, a spokesperson for Meadows’ wife and family posted on Facebook that the athlete died unexpectedly in his sleep Sunday.
“This morning, John passed away unexpectedly and peacefully in their home. As you can imagine, this is a complete shock to her and the boys. She will update as soon as she can. Please know she is very thankful for all the prayers and support she knows her and the boys will receive from you all,” the post stated.
Meadows began facing medical issues in 2005 when he was diagnosed with idiopathic myointimal hyperplasia of the mesenteric veins. The condition is a rare colon disease and the athlete had to take some time away from the sport to deal with it.
However, the “Mountain Dog” competitor persevered and returned to bodybuilding in 2007. He received 16th place overall at the IFBB North American Championships. He eventually captured his pro-card when he won his division at the NPC Universe.
Last year, Meadows faced more troubling news when he was diagnosed with a blood clot in his leg, which may have been related to his condition.
Many supporters of Meadows commented on the announcement of his passing, showing their support for the longtime competitor and his family.
“He has touched the lives of so many and left such a positive impact. Deepest condolences. Sending love to the family,” one user wrote.
“John was the kindest, warmest and most thoughtful human being. He always made everyone feel good – and always had a big smile. Rest in Peace, John. I’m so lucky I knew you,” another wrote.
Meadows’ cause of yet was not reported.
Famous in Bodybuilding
Another famous bodybuilder also started competing in his teens. While his notoriety in the sport shot him to eventual fame in Hollywood, Mr. Universe himself, Arnold Schwarzenegger is a respected name in the fitness industry.
Like Meadows, Schwarzenegger worked diligently to earn his stats among the fitness world. Working his way to the top, Schwarzenegger decided to try pivoting into acting.
The stacked athlete had the perfect physique to appear in a James Cameron franchise that shot Schwarzenegger to superstardom. The “Terminator” boosted Schwarzenegger’s platform to a new level, which allowed him to seek more acting roles and somewhat diversify the kinds of characters he played.
However, Schwarzenegger still loves the fitness industry and often still appears at the Mr. Universe competitions in Columbus, Oh. each year.