“We Were Spoilt Back Then”: 2 Years After His Mysterious Death, Mr. Genetics’ Unbelievable Throwback Physique Leaves the Bodybuilding World Emotional

Published 05/23/2023, 5:30 AM EDT

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The pursuit of a professional card in the bodybuilding world has become a primary goal for many athletes, as these cards symbolize recognition, prestige, and the opportunity to compete at the highest level. However, there are and have been some exceptional individuals whose impact goes much beyond just holding a pro card. And the late bodybuilder, Matt Mendenhall, is a perfect example. Although he never held a pro card, his legacy remains intact, even two years after his mysterious death. 

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On 28 August 2021, Mendenhall bid farewell to the world under perplexing circumstances. And the reason for his death was never revealed. However, an old picture of the legendary bodybuilder has recently caught the eyes of many bodybuilding enthusiasts. 

The image of Matt Mendenhall from 1985

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The Instagram page, ‘The Golden Days,’ recently posted a picture showcasing the late Matt Mendenhall’s awe-inspiring physique from the 1985 World Games in London. The image, which resurfaced on the Instagram page, was dedicated to celebrating the golden days of bodybuilding and featured Mendenhall standing alongside the iconic IFBB Hall of Famer Berry de Mey.

The photograph showcases Mendenhall and de Mey in their prime, displaying an aura of unmatched strength and dedication. Mendenhall was seen standing tall with his colossal muscles, chiseled abs, and striking vascularity. His balanced physique is a testament to the dedication and discipline he invested in his craft.

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“The structure of Matt Mendenhall was just UNBELIEVABLE‼️‼️‼️ RIP. 1985 WORLD GAMES in London,” the caption stated. This image serves as a reminder of the golden age of bodybuilding and the timeless legacy of Mendenhall. The sight of Mendenhall’s remarkable muscular development has left fans and enthusiasts feeling alike, nostalgic, and yearning for the era of his dominance.

Fan community expresses their emotions

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Since the image’s reemergence, the bodybuilding community has been abuzz with discussions surrounding Mendenhall’s training methods and sheer determination. The post has garnered a lot of attention, with fans flooding the comment box. A fan wrote, “That circled pic of Matt Mendenhall is one of the all-time favorite bodybuilding shots.” Another fan wrote, “Art of Bodybuilding.” Some fans reflected on the impact he had on their lives. “This was the very first bodybuilding show I watched,” a fan wrote. 

One fan penned, “We were spoilt back then. It’s so different now. The sport has lost its sublime quality.” A fan commented, “I’d say perfect”. The comments section was filled with heartfelt messages, some sharing personal stories and memories of Mendenhall. One awestruck fan commented, “One of the best to never go pro from the ’80s-’90s era”. 

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Mendenhall’s untimely death in 2021 shocked the bodybuilding world and left a void that seemed impossible to fill. However, the response to the iconic resurfaced image shows that his legacy is intact.

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Written by:

Shivam Sharma

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Shivam Sharma is a sports writer at EssentiallySports, specializing in American sports. Holding a Bachelor's degree in Journalism, Shivam has previously worked as a writer and show host for a reputable entertainment brand. He has covered over 13 sports covered in his EssentiallySports journey.
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Edited by:

Simar Singh Wadhwa

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