Bodybuilder Gustavo “the Freakin’ Rican” Badell — who faced off against some of the greatest bodybuilders of all time and twice finished third in the prestigious Mr. Olympia competition, has sadly died at the age of 50.
Details surrounding the death are currently unclear.
Fellow competitor and friend Eddie Abbew confirmed the news on Thursday … and shared photos of the men together during their bodybuilding careers.
“I woke up this morning to information that Gustavo has passed away. My heart goes out to his family and friends,” Abbew wrote.
“Gustavo was ten years younger than me. It is always sad when a young person is taken away long before their time. Rest in peace Gustavo and know that you will be missed.”
Badell started his bodybuilding career when he was 19 and won his first competition in 1991 at the Junior Caribbean Bodybuilding Championship.
He went on to compete in many huge competitions, including the Atlantic City Pro, which he won, the Ironman Pro, Arnold Classic, and the World Pro Championships.
His most iconic moments came in 2004 and 2005 when he finished third at Mr. Olympia, right behind bodybuilding G.O.A.T.’s Ronnie Coleman (8 consecutive Olympia titles) and Jay Cutler (won 4 Olympias).
After retiring in 2012, Badell continued to stay in shape … and was still involved in the fitness community, often interacting with fans online.
It’s no surprise hundreds of fans paid tribute on Badell’s IG page … with one writing, “I’m very sorry Gustavo, you surpassed us, your legacy and passion will stay forever. Rest in Peace.”