Craig Golias and Vlad Yudin spend the entire episode this week reflecting on Shawn Rhoden’s life and his tragic passing.

Welcome to another episode of Talking Huge – a weekly digital series in which Craig Golias talks in-depth with Vlad Yudin on the latest trending topics in bodybuilding. Raw, honest, and uncut – Craig Golias shares his opinions on all things bodybuilding. In this episode, Craig Golias reacts to the passing of former Mr. Olympia Shawn Rhoden, reflects on his legacy, and speculates if the bodybuilding industry could have done more for Rhoden.

2021 has been a very tragic year for the bodybuilding industry. There have been numerous reports of too-soon deaths ranging from active competitors and retired athletes – most under the age of 60. Sadly some far younger. Most recently, Shawn Rhoden passed away at 46 years old. It was gut punch in the sport after an already very challenging year.

This week, we dedicated our entire episode of Talking Huge to the memory of Shawn Rhoden. We discuss the reporting of his passing, look back on his illustrious career and eventual Mr. Olympia victory, and talk about the allegations that came shortly afterwards. Many in the bodybuilding community have been quick to point fingers at AMI and the IFBB/NPC for abandoning Rhoden. Some even believe that Rhoden died of a “broken heart.” Craig Golias is one such bodybuilder.

Craig Golias believes that the stress of the allegations alongside losing his entire career and nearly all sponsorships contributed to so much stress that Shawn Rhoden suffered a heart attack and died. While it’s easy to look back in hindsight and wonder “what if” – what is most important is respecting the legacy of the man who we have lost. While Craig is certainly frustrated – he is also respectful and somber in a way we rarely see Craig on Talking Huge.

Is Craig Golias Concerned For His Personal Health?

Craig Golias also discusses how Shawn Rhoden’s passing alongside many other recent deaths might be changing his perspective. Craig Golias is a very large bodybuilder, even by bodybuilding standards. That’s been his entire brand. So is he worried for his health and possible future heart complications?

The answer, somewhat surprisingly, is yes. Craig Golias states that he is starting to slow down for the time being due to thinking harder about his health. He’s thinking – what kind of repercussions might he face for his current lifestyle? Since Craig is currently suffering from nerve damage anyways, he figures now is the right time to overall reconsider his tactics.

Will Shawn Rhoden’s Death Change The Bodybuilding Industry?

Towards the end of our conversation, Vlad Yudin asks Craig Golias if he thinks Rhoden’s death alongside George Peterson’s will change the industry moving forward. Craig plainly and somewhat nihilistically says no. He thinks nothing will change. Instead, small actions will be taken for publicity – but no real meaningful change will occur.

Craig Golias believes that bodybuilders will always do whatever it takes to be the best and biggest in the world. And he doesn’t believe the pro leagues will start doing mandatory drug testing before every major competition. Unless something that drastic happens – nothing will deep change about the sport or the community.

Wrap Up

To wrap it all up, we asked Craig Golias how he believes Shawn Rhoden will be remembered. Craig thinks he will be remembered first and foremost as a Mr. Olympia champion. And second, he will be remembered as a gentle giant. A man who hardly anyone can say a bad word about and was a kind father, friend, and man – more than just a bodybuilder.

You can check out the full conversation in the latest episode of Talking Huge above. Make sure to check out Talking Huge every week on Friday – only on the Generation Iron Fitness Network!

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Derek Dufour
Derek Dufour has been managing all digital operations on the Generation Iron Network for over six years. He currently manages a team of editors, writers, and designers to provide up-to-date content across the GI Network.