Shawn Rhoden, Mr. Olympia and Champion Bodybuilder, Dead at 46

by Evan Reier

In a tragic turn of events, reports have come out that 2018 Mr. Olympia and renowned bodybuilder Shawn Rhoden has died.

The initial report came from Generation Iron, whose sources reported that Rhoden has passed away due to a fatal heart attack. The report also says that very little information is immediately available. However, his trainer, Chris Aceto, confirmed the news.

Shawn Rhoden was born in Kingston, Jamaica and initially had aspirations to become a pro soccer player. However, that wasn’t in the cards. What did come to fruition was a legendary bodybuilding career.

Rhoden began training and competing on an amateur level before eventually breaking through with in his first Mr. Olympia competition in 2011. With an 11th place finish, it solidified him as an up-and-comer in the industry.

What followed was a string of victories and finishes that saw Shawn Rhoden go from an up-and-comer to a bonafide success. From the 2012 to the 2017 versions of the Mr. Olympia competition, he finished no worse than 5th. That included a second-place finish and two third-place results.

In 2018, he put himself in the history books by finally dethroning seven-time Mr. Olympia champion Phil Heath and his first title at the event.

Charges and Controversy Surrounding Shawn Rhoden

After his victory, Shawn Rhoden was accused and charged with sexual assault in 2019. A woman bodybuilder made the accusation after an incident at a Salt Lake City hotel in 2018. The assault reportedly came shortly after his Mr. Olympia win.

Not long after the charges were filed, American Media, who runs the Mr. Olympia competition, banned Rhoden from competing in any future events. However, they were going to reconsider the decision depending on the conclusion of the case.

Bodybuilding World Remembers 2018 Mr. Olympia

Many people in the professional bodybuilding world has tributed Rhoden since his death.

Rich Gaspari, one of the most popular bodybuilders ever, expressed his anguish from the news.

“I am shocked to hear of the passing of Mr. Olympia @flexatronrhoden It’s very sad to hear of his passing. He had always been a gentleman towards me. Shawn had one of the most aesthetic physiques in bodybuilding. My condolences to his family. #rip #ripbrother”

NAC Mr. Universe 2018 Vinnie Rasu also expressed his heartbreak.

“I m shattered … broken … you ve been not just a friend , but my idol. You told me you gonna attend my wedding one day, thought me posing and cracked unlimited jokes… I m broken. No words . RIP my brother”

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