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  • Writer's pictureJulian Molteno

FORGOTTEN BODYBUILDERS :


GUNNAR ROSBO

Bodybuilding, like all sports, has its heros, it’s legends, it’s athletes that will endure in our memories long after they have left the stage or put down their last dumbbell. They are the sports’ foundation, the names that we all know so well: Arnold, Lou, Franco, Sergio, Lee, Ronnie and Jay. Then there are a whole host of bit players, the guys who either burst on to the bodybuilding scene,burn brightly and then disappear, or who were around for years but never quite won the big titles. 

Our Forgotten Bodybuilder, Gunnar Rosbo, was definitely in the first category. I remember seeing an article on him in Muscle and Fitness in the early 80’s and at the tender age of 14/15 was mesmerised by him. 

He had such a rugged looking physique, enormous forearms and a powerful look that was a huge inspiration to me. The peak of his career was the World Amateur Bodybuilding Championships in 1982 where he placed second to Lee Haney. (You May remember him being mentioned above?)

And then he disappeared! It was only when I did a little research on him for this post did  I learn some startling and upsetting facts about his life. 

He suffered from alcoholism and unhealthy eating. When he wasn’t training Gunnar spent all his time in bars getting drunk and eating hotdogs. He would even turn up at contests drunk believing it made him more ripped on stage. He then sustained a nerve injury and retired from competitive bodybuilding. 

What a shocking way for such a talented and gifted bodybuilder to end up. Gunnar is not bodybuilding’s only sad story but he is surely one of its greatest wastes of potential. 


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