Rhoden began his bodybuilding career in 1999 as an amateur and won his pro card in 2009 at the IFBB North American show. He made his pro debut in 2010 at the Europa Pro and earned 6th place. After that, he stepped on the Olympia stage in 2011 and placed 11th.
Overall he won 7 professional contests. The biggest win came in 2018 where he defeated 7x Mr. Olympia Phil Heath who was about to tie the most Olympia titles with Ronnie Coleman and Lee Haney. Rhoden was 43 Years Old at the time of this win.
He hadn’t competed since the 2018 Olympia win due to rape allegations made against him. Case is still pending as no official date is set in court due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The fitness industry and bodybuilding community reacts to the passing of former champ Shawn Rhoden and offer condolences via social media.
Community Tributes Live Updates
Aceto Remembers Shawn Rhoden:
“The best part of being in Shawn Rhoden’s inner circle is to bear witness to his desire, ability and need to validate others. Shawn was a giver. Not a taker. He shared his time with others. He encouraged others, including his competition. We spent endless hours together. Endless. And he never spoke badly about anyone. Ever,” Aceto wrote.
“He gave everything to this sport and more and when he needed help, doors closed quickly. At every turn. It made me very angry and even then Shawn never said a negative word in public or in private about anyone. Some whom could have helped. He was full of kindness, goodness and empathy.
Traits we, who knew him well, traits that made us fall in love with him. And made us want to be better. He uplifted everyone. For these and many other reasons I will miss an athlete who naturally became a genuine and dear friend.”
2021 Mr. Olympia Ramy wrote:
No words can let you know how much we will miss you shawn . Rest In Peace my brother 🙏
7x Mr. Olympia Phil Heath wrote:
I’ve been sitting here all day trying to find my words. I feel completely numb and I don’t want to believe it.
My heart aches for your sweet baby girl, your ex wife, your mother, siblings and all of your family and friends. I can only pray that your soul is at peace, that you can look down on your family and friends and be their big guardian Angel.
I will never forget the many years of brotherhood, the banter, the laughs and the wild times we shared on stage.
@shuriecremona and I send our deepest condolences. We are lifting up your family and friends in prayer. May they feel peace and understanding and know that you’re never too far away. May God rest your soul @flexatronrhoden 🙏🏽Rest In Peace My brother in Iron 💪🏽🙏🏽 #14
Former Mr. Olympia wrote:
This post is to celebrate the life of my friend @flexatronrhoden. For those who were not fortunate to know Shawn just know he was always fun to be around. He always managed to keep a smile on the faces of those around him.
Most of you know Shawn as a great bodybuilder. He had a unique physique with beautiful shape and structure. Shawn also was a master of presentation and posing. What would surprise me most about Shawn was his ability to go from looking like a regular guy to a world class bodybuilder in record time. ☺️ He will be missed by many. You finished your race bro. Much love.
8x Mr. Olympia Haney wrote:
So sorry to hear about the passing of Mr. Olympia Shawn Rhodan. The Bodybuilding community has witnessed several deaths this past year. However, think it not strange when these type of things occur. Every day I remind myself that we are all physically finite beings traveling through.
Time will one day call us all home. The question is, when we make our exit where will eternity find us. As a Follower of the Lord Jesus Christ, I know where my eternal resting place will be. It is my sincere prayer that all reading this will have the same assurance. John 3:16, John: 14:6
To my Iron Brothers and Sisters around the world🙏
Sergio Oliva Jr:
I can’t even write this I can’t stop crying but I’m so fucking mad this industry and sport treated him like shit. Turned their backs on him so fast. God damn it!!!!!! Shawn was one of the best ones and he’s never gonna end up clearing his name. I can’t believe this. Fuck this stupid ass industry so quick to back stab and betray such a wonderful man while you praise the fakest people.
No matter what he never gave up. Never! No matter how many people judged him. No one really fucking knew him. No one!!!!! Love you so much Shawn. I don’t understand why I don’t get it… I’m so angry, why you???!!!!
Legendary Flex Wheeler while still in the hospital dealing with serious health issues related COVID-19 wrote:
As I lay here in my hospital bed in Orlando still fighting Covid.
I find myself just staring at the ceiling. Unable to process any of this. It just doesn’t make sense. First my brother George “The bull” then my sister Carla and I’m a little brother/mini me Shawn Rhoden 🥺🥺.
I’m so numb I just don’t know how to process any of this. In one short month we have lost two of our brothers and one of our sisters I just don’t know what to say.
But no matter how sad any of us feels. Just take a moment and think about his daughter, Cora Capri. She will no longer have him in her life. She will grow up without a father her true father and that’s a pain that I can’t even mentally comprehend.
Please be thoughtful, a young child has lost her father. He was so much more than a bodybuilder, we all are. When it’s all said and done, bodybuilding is such an insignificant thing compared to family and friends. Let’s celebrate the father and person, good and bad, first. Everything else really doesn’t matter, even an Olympia title…
Rest In Peace, Shawn.
We’re saddened to report news that former Mr. Olympia Shawn Rhoden has passed away. We’ve been told this information from a highly reliable source.
Needless to say, we are stunned by this news.
We pass our immediate thoughts and warmest prayers to Shawn’s family, friends, and fans.
Bodybuilder Juan Morel:
“We shared so many great memories together,” Juan wrote.
“We traveled the world, talked endlessly about our little girls. My heart goes out to your beautiful princess I can’t believe today she lost her dad her superhero.”
Arnold Sports Festival:
Our entire team at the Arnold Sports Festival is deeply saddened to learn of the untimely passing of 2018 Mr. Olympia Shawn Rhoden.
We extend our deepest condolences and most heartfelt sympathies to his family and friends during this trying time.
IFBB Professional League:
We are saddened to hear about the passing of 2018 Mr. Olympia Shawn Rhoden
Our thoughts, prayers and condolences to his daughter and his family.
President Jim Manion and the NPC and IFBB Professional League
2021 Ms. Olympia winner Andrea Shaw wrote:
Please tell me this is not so! Gone way too soon! Going to miss you champ.
Former Ms. Bikini Olympia wrote:
Life seems unbelievable when you know someone and then they’re suddenly gone. I had the opportunity to know Shawn, Mr Olympia and promote the fitness industry that we competitors have a passion for all over the world. We are reminded daily how fast life can be for anyone. Rest In Peace @flexatronrhoden 🙏🏼
Again I am lost for words. My condolences go out to his family friends and fans. You will be missed Iron brother. R.I.P. Shawn Rhoden.
4X Ms. Fitness Olympia Champ wrote:
This is heartbreaking💔 I can’t believe we won’t see Shawn. Such a good friend with a big heart!
Fellow bodybuilder and Olympian wrote:
We should appreciate each other more when alive not when we passed away!!
My brother, my friend, My mentor in times of need has passed away!!! Wish it were rumors Ohhh how bad I wished it wasn’t true. My phone kept beeping and I was afraid to watch. @flexatronrhoden You and I knows what’s up! From day one I have always appreciated you for your mentoring. Gone but never forgotten my brother in Iron Mr Olympia 2018 May your soul Rest In Peace. Love you brother, always in my❤️👑🥺
Dead people receive more flowers than the living ones because regret is stronger than gratitude. 🙏🏾
2x Classic Physique champ Breon Ansley wrote:
Shawn didn’t realize just how much all of his texts and calls really meant! Him & His care meant a whole lot to me!!❤️I’m so hurt to lose someone like him! The only way to cope is to know that God will take care of his beautiful soul! Love ya & Rest in Peace Brother🙏🏾😢❤️
Bev Francis And Steve Weinberger:
We are heartbroken to have lost another great champion. We send our love and condolences to the family and friends of Shawn Rhoden.
Nick’s Strength and Power:
Well this one sucks. RIP to one of the nicest guys in the industry. Some of my coolest experiences in this industry were with Shawn Rhoden. I was hoping this one wasn’t true but it looks like it is. RIP brother.
I heard the news hours ago and I just didn’t accept it and believed it was ridiculous rumor – but to my devastation, and thousands of others – the rumor is true.
Our brother of Iron, 14th Mr Olympia, and my dear friend Shawn Rhoden has passed away today. My sincere condolences to his family and loved ones. ❤️🙏🏻 RIP Shawn – this is how I’ll remember you always – with the biggest smile, making me feel special – always.
I am shocked to hear of the passing of Mr. Olympia @flexatronrhoden It’s very sad to hear of his passing. He had always been a gentleman towards me. Shawn had one of the most aesthetic physiques in bodybuilding. My condolences to his family.
Our entire team sends condolences to family, friends, and fans of Shawn Rhoden during this tragic time.