Name: Shawn Rhoden
Nickname: The Flexatron
Division: Men’s Open
Birth date: 4/2/1975
Competition Weight: 240-260 lbs
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Shawn “The Flexatron” Rhoden was born in Jamaica but immigrated to the United States in 1990 when he was 15. While struggling to adapt to his new country, he found an outlet for self-expression in soccer and aspired to be a professional athlete. His cousin introduced him to bodybuilding in 1992, which he initially disliked for being “too painful,” but as his athletic abilities developed, so did his passionate desire to push himself to his limits, and in 1992 he gave up soccer to go pro. However, his road to IFBB stardom was difficult, and he was faced with many setbacks.
His career was put on pause in 2002 after he sustained a serious tendon injury in his hand. Doctors told him that he would never be able to grip with it again, let alone lift several hundred pounds. And while coming to terms with this difficult news, Rhoden was dealt another crippling blow: his father, his biggest fan, passed away later that year. Rhoden succumbed to alcoholism and stepped away from the NPC stage.
Though Rhoden faced many demons, he fought them and won; in 2009, he returned to the NPC and went certified pro after winning the Delaware Open. Later that year he made his pro debut at the IFBB North American Championships, where he placed 1st. Most recently he placed 2nd at 2016 Mr. Olympia, an impressive distinction for an older bodybuilder who took a seven-year break. Rhodes is still an active bodybuilder and has ambitions to one day win the Mr. Olympia title. His motto? “Dream to Believe!”