Gustavo “the Freakin’ Rican” Badell, a bodybuilder who competed against some of the best bodybuilders of all time and twice finished third in the renowned Mr. Olympia competition, died at the age of 50.
The circumstances surrounding the death are yet unknown.
Eddie Abbew, a competitor and friend, verified the news on Thursday… and posted images of the guys together during their bodybuilding careers.
I awoke this morning to learn that Gustavo had passed away.” “My thoughts are with his family and friends,” Abbew added.
“Gustavo was ten years my junior. It is always tragic when a young person is stolen from us far too soon. Gustavo, rest in peace and know that you will be missed.”
Badell began his bodybuilding career at the age of 19 and won his first competition, the Junior Caribbean Bodybuilding Championship, in 1991.
He went on to win numerous major contests, including the Atlantic City Pro, the Ironman Pro, the Arnold Classic, and the World Pro Championships.
His most memorable moments occurred in 2004 and 2005, when he finished third at Mr. Olympia, just behind bodybuilding G.O.A.T.s Ronnie Coleman (8 consecutive Olympia championships) and Jay Cutler (4 Olympias).
After retiring in 2012, Badell maintained his fitness… and remained active in the fitness scene, frequently connecting with followers online.
Hundreds of followers paid tribute on Badell’s Instagram page, with one saying, “I’m very sorry Gustavo, you surpassed us, your legacy and passion will live on forever.” “May you rest in peace.”