Curaçaoan/Dutch bodybuilder Roelly Winklaar (real name Egberton Rulove Etienne-Winklaar) is opening up after suffering a career-threatening shoulder injury. In a recent Gye Nyame podcast, Winklaar joined William Bonac to discuss his future in bodybuilding and how politics affected his placings while competing actively.
Known for his monstrous build and massive arms, ‘The Beast’ cemented himself as a consistent finisher at major events like the Arnold Classic and Mr. Olympia in the 2000s. Even though he never won either title, Winklaar proved himself for decades against elite-level talent, which included heavy hitters like, Phil Heath, Kai Greene, the late Shawn Rhoden, and Dexter Jackson.
Winklaar reached his highest position on the Mr. Olympia stage in 2018 when he took third place behind Rhoden and Heath. At the event, he was honored with the first-ever Olympia People’s Champ Award. Winklaar’s last performance saw him earn ninth place at the 2021 Romania Pro.
Last year, Winklaar underwent a five-hour operation to correct a left shoulder injury following a car accident. Roelly was unsure of his bodybuilding future shortly after. Not much has changed as it appears Roelly’s ability to train is still hampered following the surgery.
Roelly Winklaar Reveals He Stopped Sport After Shoulder Injury, Says Politics Affected Past Finishes
Winklaar says he stopped the sport because he’s unable to move his shoulder.
“I got in a very bad car accident, very bad accident, where I almost lose my eyes and half of my arm was – damaged. And I stopped with the sport because I can’t even move my shoulder and I think that’s the part of that whole thing that I have now too. But I stay like one year and a half, don’t train.”
“I was not serious in the sport [at the time]. I wasn’t serious in the sport, but I got – after the car accident, I stayed [away] one-and-a-half-year not doing nothing and in Curacao, they have the best parties the first Sunday of the year. We call it Five Guys.”
According to Winklaar, ‘a lot’ of his placings at bodybuilding contests were influenced by political motivations. He underlined that athletes who got upset on stage would end up receiving worse scores at later shows.
“I think a lot [of politics in bodybuilding affected my placings], that’s the thing, you know. They do it a lot with me. What I do, is still laugh, what can you do, you can’t do nothing. If you be angry, your place would be worse.”
“That’s true, that’s true,” says William Bonac.
Roelly Winklaar is far from the first bodybuilder to suggest his contest outcomes were influenced by outside factors. Perennial Olympia contender Kevin Levrone also spoke up on the matter. He believes politics were the reason why he didn’t win a Sandow and shared that judges continued to award eight-time winner Ronnie Coleman despite having a ‘bubble gut.’
In a later interview on The Menace podcast, Levrone commented on winners being handpicked in bodybuilding. While speaking with Olympia officials about some of his finishes, Levrone mentioned that Joe Weider’s decisions were influenced by Dorian Yates’ power over the European markets at the time. Nevertheless, Kevin understands that Mr. Olympia was/is a business and doesn’t take it personal now that he’s retired.
To the contrary, German bodybuilding staple, Günter Schlierkamp doesn’t believe Joe Weider had ‘a hand in fixing anything.’ Schlierkamp shared that he was one of Weider’s favorite bodybuilders, yet it never helped him achieve an Olympia title.
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Outside factors affecting show results remain a hot topic today. Fans and veterans of the sport took issue with Mamdouh ‘Big Ramy’ Elssbiay’s placements at both the Olympia and the Arnold Classic. Some believe this was caused after Ramy failed to guest pose at Jim Manion’s 2022 Pittsburgh Pro last year.
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