Cedric McMillan, Arnold Classic Winning Bodybuilder, Dead at 44

by Caitlin Berard
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The sports world is in mourning after the loss of 2017 Arnold Classic champion Cedric McMillan, who died on Tuesday at the age of 44, as confirmed by his sponsors. According to Generation Iron, the tragedy came as the result of a heart attack while on the treadmill.

In a recent Instagram post, McMillan’s sponsor, Black Skull USA, penned a heartfelt message about the athlete. “We regret to inform you that our friend and brother Cedric McMillan passed away today,” the company wrote. “Cedric will be greatly missed as an athlete, comrade, friend, and father. Our prayers are with all his family and friends. He ‘fought the good fight’ and now he rests.”

Arnold Sports, organizer of the annual Arnold Classic bodybuilding competition, shared their heartbreak on Instagram as well. “Known for his larger than life personality, his infectious smile, a gentle heart, and a sense of humor that was loved by fellow competitors and fans alike, Cedric will be deeply missed.”

“While Cedric’s competitive accomplishments, which included multiple professional wins alongside his 2017 Arnold Classic title, made him a star in the world of bodybuilding and fitness,” the post continued. “The career he was most proud of was his 20+ years of selfless service to his country in the United States Army, where he achieved the rank of Sergeant First Class in July of 2021.”

“Above all, Cedric McMillan was a husband and a father, and we send our most heartfelt condolences to his family during this incredibly difficult time.”

Cedric McMillan’s Past Health Issues

Sadly, the fatal heart attack was not the first of Cedric McMillan’s cardiac troubles, despite his young age. In 2021, the athlete had a near-death experience due to heart issues. Following the event, the bodybuilder remained open about his past health troubles and was optimistic about a return to the stage sometime this year.

McMillan was never able to recapture victory in an Arnold Classic. He also never won a Mr Olympia event. Despite that, Arnold Schwarzenegger believed that Cedric McMillan was the measuring stick for modern bodybuilders.

Unfortunately, Cedric McMillan isn’t the first bodybuilder to die at a young age. Former Mr Olympia, Shawn Rhoden and pro bodybuilder George Peterson both passed away last year. Neither athlete had reached the age of 50.

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