“Tried to Keep Up With Him”: Currently Wheelchair-Bound, Ronnie Coleman’s Onstage Rival Recalls an Unknown Story From Their Competing Days

Published 05/22/2023, 9:15 AM EDT

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GOAT bodybuilder, Ronnie Coleman’s legendary presence is cherished by many in the domain. Similarly, IFBB pro, Kris Dim, who underwent a series of health struggles leaving him in permanent support of a wheelchair, also recounted an intriguing story spotlighting the legend’s charm. Recently, he took to his Instagram to share an anecdote from his prime days of pro-competing. 

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Reminiscing about his on-stage competitor, Coleman, at the British Grand Prix in 2005, the year of his final eighth Mr. Olympia win, Dim shared a brief conversation he and the legend once had. 

Kris Dim aspired to be like Ronnie Coleman

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With a throwback picture from almost a decade ago, the 50-year-old bodybuilder illustrated a glimpse of his experience at the British event. The snap featured him, Coleman, and former bodybuilder, Chris Cormier, flexing their robust builds on stage. Whereas, the caption of the post had a different story to tell.

 

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A post shared by Kris Dim (@krisdim_ifbbpro)

He wrote in the post while mentioning the athletes and his “coach and great friend” Milos Sarcev, that they all traveled to different countries in their European tour, while participating at the British Grand Prix in 2005. “traveling with me to all 3 countries with Russia Friday , Holland, Saturday and England, Sunday. Fun times,” the caption stated. 

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Furthermore, the Cambodian pro shared that every time ‘The King’ walked past him, he found him chomping on food. Thus, the American icon ended up expressing his shock, and asked “you’re eating again.” With a witty response, Dim replied, “I have to tried to keep up with him lol.” Followed by iterating his high regard for Coleman, he added, “Not possible @ronniecoleman8 on another planet 🌎 lol.” Though Dim couldn’t champion the stage like Coleman, he did champion the fans’ hearts with his passion for bodybuilding

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Kris Dim’s inspirational journey

Dim was initially placed 6th at the NPC USA Championships, and soon after, he earned his pro card at the 2003 NPC USA event, acing the overall lightweight division. However, years after his pro debut, he underwent life-altering heart surgery. In 2007, he had an aortic dissection, leaving his spinal cord permanently compressed.

This, in turn, emerged as a grave injury, ultimately threatening his bodybuilding career. Two years later, he made a comeback, reflecting his iron will and dedication to the sport. Yet, life’s struggles weren’t over, a subsequent surgery in 2012 left him paralyzed from the waist down, concluding his career in the regular division. Once again unhindered by the hurdles, Dim went for the wheelchair group in 2019, finally winning Mr. Olympia and a runner-up position at the Arnold Classic.

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After ten years of being aided by a wheelchair, the bodybuilder hasn’t yet drifted away from the sport. He now works as a fitness expert in California. Although Coleman is undoubtedly one of the greatest athletes in the sport, Dim’s marvelous journey is no less than a legendary one.

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Written by:

Tiyasa Biswas

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Tiyasa is a sports writer at EssentiallySports, with a keen focus on ice hockey. She is as fascinated by the speed of the ice hockey players as she is by the surges of the surfers in the high seas. Drawing inspiration from legendary figures like Walter Gretzky, the iconic GOAT of the Edmonton Oilers, Tiyasa's writing reflects her admiration for the tenacity and grit displayed by athletes in the face of challenges.
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Edited by:

Simar Singh Wadhwa

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