Bodybuilding icon Victor Richards is NOT dead, daughter debunks rumors
A wave of tributes for legendary bodybuilder Victor Richards inundated social media following reports of his apparent death, before his daughter issued a clarification that he is "alive and well."
Generation Iron Fitness Network alongside other bodybuilding outlets initially reported the passing of 'Mr. Big', speculating that he died of a heart attack as there was no official statement or cause of death confirmed. However, Generation Iron later confirmed that earlier reports of Richards' death were false. The 56-year-old athlete's daughter, who preferred to remain anonymous, directly reached out to the outlet to confirm that he was still alive.
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Richards' daughter told Generation Iron that she had spoken to her father following the shocking reports of his passing. Though Richards himself wasn't available for comment, his daughter provided an official statement to the outlet saying the rumors stemmed from an inaccurate Facebook post making the claim. "I'm pleased to assure you that my father is in fact alive and well," she wrote. "An inaccurate Facebook post has caused a wildfire of false information throughout social media and news outlets. Thank you all for your concern, my family appreciates all of the love the bodybuilding community has shown to my dad."
There was a firestorm on social media following a tribute post released by notable bodybuilder Andreas Cahling, coupled with other industry reports appearing to confirm the news of Richards' death. "At the time of Generation Iron’s original reporting – we were unable to receive confirmation from family or an official announcement from Victor Richards’ or a representative of Richards," Generation Iron responded in a release. "Due to this new information confirmed by a family member – we would like to retract our original report."
Richards, born in Nigeria, developed a passion for bodybuilding early on in his life. He was a three-sport athlete during his high school years, excelling in football, wrestling, and track and field events. Richards subsequently began focusing on his physique, earning his pro card while still in Nigeria. The bodybuilder started entering competitions in 1982, when he took part in The American Cup and finished first in the teenage heavyweight division and second overall. He continued to improve his physique and had grown to 240 pounds by the age of 18. Richards then entered the Orange County Muscle Classic where he finished fourth. At the tender age of just 19 years old, Richards had already become a household name in the industry.
The elite bodybuilder began featuring on the covers of various fitness magazines at 21 years old, flaunting his massive frame that constituted nearly 300 pounds of solid muscle. In 1992, Richards took part in the 1992 Nigerian Championships and finished in the first place, thereby earning his pro card. However, despite the achievement, he did not compete in the IFBB. According to Generation Iron, there was some resistance from management that kept him from entering an NPC competition and taking the next step toward a career recognized by the IFBB. This despite Richards winning four out of the five tournaments he competed in. It remains a mystery to date why he was never able to compete in the IFBB despite earning his pro card in his home country.