There are no words to describe the shockwaves felt throughout the bodybuilding community, at the news of the passing of George Peterson, days before he was set to compete for the 212 Olympia title from October 7th-10th, in Orlando, Florida. Now several people within the sport have offered up condolences, at the death of this top tier bodybuilder.
Peterson has been a force to be reckoned with from the start of his pro bodybuilding career, winning the Arnold Classic, and competing at four Olympias over the years where has come in third place every time, both in Classic Physique and 212. He was expected to return to the Olympia stage this weekend, with the intent to break that streak and dethrone the 212 champ, Shawn Clarida.
However news broke that just days before competing at the 2021 Olympia, “Da Bull” has passed away, from causes that have yet to be determined. Following this report, the bodybuilding world flooded to social media to offer condolences and share their sadness to hear of his passing.
The Death of George Peterson
According a post from his coach Justin Miller, George Peterson was found in his hotel room, while he was preparing for the 2021 Olympia. He had not been in contact with his coach who realized that something was wrong and got hotel security to open George’s room, where he was found face down.
They reportedly tried to revive him with CPR, but to no avail, as it appears that he had been there for several hours. Moreover, he was apparently found with blood around his nose, which some reports have suggested could indicate that he had an aneurysm, although Justin makes it clear that he has no idea what happened.
“I’m in shock. I’m scared. I’m sad. I’m in disbelief. Freaked out. I’m completely devastated. My hands are trembling as I type this. It feels like a nightmare…but at the same time I know its real,” Miller wrote in his lengthy post.
“Ricky @new_england_muscle_media and I just cleaned out George’s room to bring his belongings home to his mom and sister. We are so freaked out….Im literally shaking. Can’t stop my hands from shaking. Haven’t cried yet…just still in shock.
Here is what we know. George looked amazing! Felt amazing! He was so inspiring last night. Said things both on and off camera that gave Ricky and I chills. He was so on point mentally and physically. George was energetic, strong lifting the whole gym last night. Inspired. Passionate. Focused. The best version of George at any contest both mentally and physically I have ever seen.
I went to amateur prejudging early this morning while Ricky worked on the next episode to put it out before tomorrow’s press conference.
I arrived back at noon and couldn’t reach George. He wouldn’t answer his door. We got a security guard to open his room and we found him face down mostly cold. Called 911 and followed their instructions did chest compressions until more security came and took over CPR, followed minutes later by the EMT’s.
They couldn’t save him….apparently it had been several hours he was gone. I pleaded them to keep trying but eventually they talked me down saying hes been gone for awhile.
I have hundreds of messages and I heard there are reports out in social media of it but I haven’t looked yet.
I don’t know what to do or say.
George was my closest friend. I can’t believe he’s gone. I just can’t believe it.
We don’t know what happened.
Heart attack? Stroke? We don’t know and won’t know until his autopsy is completed.
He looked and felt healthy and was in great spirits.
I was going to disable comments for obvious reasons and trolls and I may still…but for now I will able them.
Please be respectful of this great man and his family.
I wish I knew what to say.
Please keep his soul and his family in your prayers. 🙏
I love you George! ❤
I’ll live with you in my heart for the rest of my days on this Earth.”
Bodybuilding Community Reacts
Naturally the death of someone like George Peterson, who was one of the best bodybuilders in the world, and still in the prime of his career, has left a lot of people in the bodybuilding community mourning. Several of these people took to their social media to express their feelings of mourning, over this unexpected passing.
Classic Physique Olympia champ Chris Bumstead posted to his Instagram Stories with a message about Da Bull. Here he shared the same feelings of shock that many are likely going through right now.
“Thoughts and condolences going out to friends, family, and fans. One of the nicest, humblest, coolest dudes I ever got to do battle with on stage. RIP brother,” Bumstead wrote.
IFBB Pro competitor Maria Rita Penteado also had some thoughts on the sad passing of George Peterson. She shared a photo of George, along with a lengthy message paying homage to the bodybuilder, while imploring others to keep their loved ones close.
“George @georgep_dabull was ready to do great things.
A true role model in matter of work ethic, focus and kindness, just to mention a few of his qualities.
Him and Justin @astrongspirit were the perfect team. More than coach and athlete, they were like brothers.
Today we lost George in a sudden and tragic way.
This is totally devastating for everyone who was inspired by him in any way.
Heart breaking for his family, friends and his coach Justin.
Absolutely ANY athlete that has ever been coached by Justin knows how much he cares about his clients health and wellness. You can ask anyone and they will tell you all the same. His goal is always to make sure they are doing well physically and mentally. More than a coach, he is truly a mentor.
Today I ask you all to keep both, George and Justin on your prayers, as George passed away and Justin is simply devastated, because he lost his brother and friend.
Sending George’s family all my love and condolences.
I don’t know what else to say.
They headed to Orlando to do great things, were so excited and positive….and this happened!
You are both in my heart and I wish I was there in Orlando to give my support on this sad moment.
George, my friend, we are all inspired and proud of you. Rest in peace,” she wrote.
Ron Harris also had a message for the fans of Peterson. He shared a photo of the two together, while explaining how humble and hardworking “Da Bull” was.
“Rest In Peace George. He was one of the most humble, hard-working men I’ve ever known in the sport. Gone much too soon at 37, just two days before he would have stood on the Olympia stage for the fifth year in a row,” Harris said.
The team at the Arnold Sports Festival took to their official Instagram page to offer condolences in the wake of this news. They posted a photo of George Peterson winning the 2019 Arnold Classic.
“Our entire team at the Arnold Sports Festival is profoundly saddened to learn of the passing of professional bodybuilder George Peterson.
We would like to extend our deepest condolences to his family, friends, and fellow competitors during this incredibly difficult time,” the post reads.
Juan “Diesel” Morel also had a photo of he and George to share, posting the final picture he got to take with Peterson. Here he expressed his sadness at knowing this was the last conversation he got to have with his friend.
“I can’t believe you are gone @georgep_dabull
I keep trying to put in words my love for you but my heart is so heavy.
Love you brother you will be missed
This was our last picture together and I’ll always remember our last conversation from this day.
R.I.P.” Morel wrote.
The Muscular Development crew issued a message to their social media, reacting to this terrible news. They offered their thoughts to the friends and family of Peterson, expressing how much he would be missed.
“All of us at MD are so sad to report the tragic passing of one of the industry’s best people; George Da Bull Peterson. Our hearts go out to his family & friends in this difficult time. Rest in peace George, you will be sorely missed,” they said.
Olympia veteran and social media influencer Sadik Hadzovic had some words about the death of George Peterson, too. He called for a change in bodybuilding, while explaining that he will greatly miss his friend.
“I am very saddened by the loss of a friend today. I don’t have the right words to say but I know something needs to change. Rest In Peace George. My condolences to his friends and family. We will miss you greatly 😞” he said.
RxMuscle’s Dave Palumbo also had some kind words for his friend and brother in iron. He sent positive vibes towards Peterson’s family in this undoubtedly trying time.
“It’s with a heavy heart that I have to report the death of @georgep_dabull .. I send all my prayers and healing energy out to his family This is a tragic loss of a young man in the prime of his life He will always hold a place in my heart for the good man that he was. RIP my friend!” Palumbo said.
IFBB Pro competitor Kerrith Bajjo shared his thoughts about this shocking news with a post to his own Instagram. He explained how much he was looking forward to meeting George Peterson at the 2021 Mr. Olympia, and hopes that he rests in peace.
“It hurt me to hear about your passing. We never met but I was looking forward to meeting you this week. Such class and dedication. Nothing but respect for your name until the end of time. Thank you for sharing your life with us. You will always be a legend. May you rest peacefully,” he said.
Iconic bodybuilding photographer Will Wittmann shared a heartwarming story of one of his first times meeting Peterson, and his coach. He also reiterated the emotion felt throughout these posts, as to the type of genuine person that George was.
“My first ever Olympia, when I got to Vegas, I was lucky enough to get to know George and his coach Justin better than I already did as I served as a small time Uber for them lol I showed George some photos and complimented him and he nearly welled up. You’d be hard fought to find a more kind or genuine human. Love ya, and we’ll miss ya buddy ❤️” Wittmann said.
Fellow 212 Olympia contender Derek Lunsford also paid his respects to Peterson. He shared a photograph of the two during a workout together, while perfectly capturing the shock that the community is feeling.
“My heart is so broken right now… 😢 I LOVE YOU BROTHER ❤️ I’m praying for all family and loved ones. 🙏✝️ “
IFBB Pro Rickey Moten gave his thoughts on this tragic news as well. His message was short, but still said enough about this sad news.
“Damn bro 💔
RIP” he wrote, simply.
Classic Physique competitor Alex Cambronero had some words to say about “Da Bull” as well. Well, he said that he had no words, which speaks volumes as to how gut wrenching the passing of Peterson is.
“No words to express the sadness of this news. My heart and prayers go out to the @georgep_dabull family 🐃🖤you will be miss homie 😢🙏🏽” Cambronero said.
Iconic bodybuilding gym, the Bev Francis Powerhouse had some words of condolences for Peterson and his family. They had massive amounts of praise to heap upon him in the wake of his untimely passing.
“With sadness beyond words, we mourn the loss of a true East Coast Mecca LEGEND – George Peterson.
First and foremost we send our love and condolences to George’s family and loved ones.
George’s incredible and massive physique was dwarfed by his warmth and kindness that touched everyone in the gym. Chasing his dreams never deterred him from taking a moment to smile and chat with everyone he passed by.
He is already missed and will be forever in our hearts,” they said in their post.
IFBB competitor Arash Rahbar was also blown away by the news that Peterson was no longer with us. He explained how happy he was just to have known George.
“You left us too soon brother.
My heart is broken.
I’m at a loss for words.
To say George was one of the kindness, sweetest, hardest working men I have ever had the pleasure of knowing would be an understatement.
We love you
RIP” Rahbar wrote.
Top bodybuilding coach Chris Cormier shared his thoughts on the death of George Peterson, as well. He wrote a brief message about the tragic nature of his untimely passing.
“My sincere condolences such a tragedy ! Gone too soon ! 💔 Rest In Peace!” Cormier said.
Fitness Volt would like to offer our most sincere condolences to the family and friends, as well as the fans of George Peterson. There has not been a death hitting the community so hard in a long time.