2004, 2005 Mr. Olympia 2nd Runner-up and IronMan Pro champion Gustavo Badell died at just 50 years of age. “The Freakin Rican” was one of the most decorated bodybuilding champions of his day. Although Venezuelan by birth, he lived his whole life in Puerto Rico, and considered himself Puerto Rican to the core. His rise to the top was noted with a great deal of attention to building a classic look and posing with a tremendous level of precision. Fans all over the world mourn his passing, particularly Spanish-speaking fans who celebrated his entire career. In 2005, it seemed that Badell would soon be the next Mr. Olympia. It was during that year that he beat both Ronnie Coleman and Jay Cutler in that year’s Mr. Olympia Challenge Round. 2005 would also be the second consecutive year he’d take 3rd place to Ronnie and Jay. It was like the world was his oyster.
We will never forget what Gustavo brought to the table. He was an old school bodybuilder who truly loved the lifestyle. His work ethic was simply unparalleled. He had the big MuscleTech contract, he was on the cover of all the magazines, and he was mobbed wherever he went. He lived the life of 10 men and I’m sure there wasn’t anything he regretted. We will always remember this true bodybuilding legend.