As news of Shawn Rhoden‘s death spread today, bodybuilding notables posted their reactions and tributes on Instagram. We’ll update this as more reactions are posted.

Lee Haney:

So sorry to hear about the passing of Mr. Olympia Shawn Rhodan. The Bodybuilding community has witnessed several deaths this past year. However, think it not strange when these type of things occur. Every day I remind myself that we are all physically finite beings traveling through. Time will one day call us all home. The question is, when we make our exit where will eternity find us. As a Follower of the Lord Jesus Christ, I know where my eternal resting place will be. It is my sincere prayer that all reading this will have the same assurance. John 3:16, John: 14:6
To my Iron Brothers and Sisters around the world🙏

Phil Heath:

I’ve been sitting here all day trying to find my words. I feel completely numb and I don’t want to believe it. My heart aches for your sweet baby girl, your ex wife, your mother, siblings and all of your family and friends. I can only pray that your soul is at peace, that you can look down on your family and friends and be their big guardian Angel. I will never forget the many years of brotherhood, the banter, the laughs and the wild times we shared on stage. @shuriecremona and I send our deepest condolences. We are lifting up your family and friends in prayer. May they feel peace and understanding and know that you’re never too far away. May God rest your soul @flexatronrhoden 🙏🏽Rest In Peace My brother in Iron 💪🏽🙏🏽 #14

Shawn Rhoden Phil Heath Dexter Jackson
Mr. O’s #14, #13 & #12: Shawn Rhoden, Phil Heath, Dexter Jackson

Brandon Curry:

This post is to celebrate the life of my friend @flexatronrhoden. For those who were not fortunate to know Shawn just know he was always fun to be around. He always managed to keep a smile on the faces of those around him. Most of you know Shawn as a great bodybuilder. He had a unique physique with beautiful shape and structure. Shawn also was a master of presentation and posing. What would surprise me most about Shawn was his ability to go from looking like a regular guy to a world class bodybuilder in record time. ☺️ He will be missed by many. You finished your race bro. Much love.

Dexter Jackson:

I don’t even know what to say or how to say this. I’ll just start with I Love You Shawn and you will be missed my brother. For those who don’t know Shawn, he came across quite and boring, but for those of you that knew him knows he’s the complete opposite. He was such an amazing friend, competitor and brother. I’d like to send my condolences to his family and beautiful little daughter. R.I.P. and May God Bless you brother.

Dexter Jackson Shawn Rhoden
Jackson & Rhoden

Sergio Oliva, Jr.:

I can’t even write this I can’t stop crying, but I’m so fucking mad this industry and sport treated him like shit. Turned their backs on him so fast. God damn it!!!!!! Shawn was one of the best ones and he’s never gonna end up clearing his name. I can’t believe this. Fuck this stupid ass industry so quick to back stab and betray such a wonderful man while you praise the fakest people. No matter what he never gave up. Never! No matter how many people judged him. No one really fucking knew him. No one!!!!! Love you so much, Shawn. I don’t understand why. I don’t get it. I’m so angry, why you???!!!! 

Chris Cormier:

So sad, such a sad day. Can’t believe it. Tell your people in your life you love them, every time you have a chance!

Dennis Wolf:

Very saddened and still shocked…Rest In Peace Shawn. My deepest condolences to his family, friends and loved ones.

William Bonac:

We should appreciate each other more when alive not when we passed away! My brother, my friend, my mentor in times of need has passed away!!! Wish it were rumors. Ohhh, how bad I wished it wasn’t true. My phone kept beeping and I was afraid to watch. @flexatronrhoden You and I knows what’s up! From day one I have always appreciated you for your mentoring. Gone but never forgotten my brother in iron, Mr. Olympia 2018. May your soul Rest In Peace. Love you brother, always in my❤️👑🥺

Dead people receive more flowers than the living ones because regret is stronger than gratitude. 🙏🏾 – Anne Frank

Shawn Rhoden William Bonac
Dressed for the Olympia banquet: Rhoden & Bonac

Flex Wheeler:

As I lay here in my hospital bed in Orlando still fighting Covid, I find myself just staring at the ceiling. Unable to process any of this. It just doesn’t make sense. First my brother George “The Bull” [Peterson], then my sister Carla and my little brother/mini-me Shawn Rhoden 🥺🥺. I’m so numb I just don’t know how to process any of this. In one short month we have lost two of our brothers and one of our sisters I just don’t know what to say. But no matter how sad any of us feels. Just take a moment and think about his daughter, Cora Capri. She will no longer have him in her life. She will grow up without a father, her true father, and that’s a pain that I can’t even mentally comprehend. Please be thoughtful, a young child has lost her father. He was so much more than a bodybuilder, we all are. When it’s all said and done, bodybuilding is such an insignificant thing compared to family and friends. Let’s celebrate the father and person, good and bad, first. Everything else really doesn’t matter, even an Olympia title. Rest In Peace, Shawn.

Breon Ansley:

Shawn didn’t realize just how much all of his texts and calls really meant! Him & his care meant a whole lot to me!!❤️I’m so hurt to lose someone like him! The only way to cope is to know that God will take care of his beautiful soul! Love ya & Rest in Peace Brother🙏🏾😢❤️

Okshana Grishina:

This is heartbreaking💔 I can’t believe we won’t see Shawn. Such a good friend with a big heart! R.I.P Shawn🙏🏻❤️

Juan Morel:

We shared so many great memories together. We traveled the world, talked endlessly about our little girls. My heart goes out to your beautiful princess I can’t believe today she lost her dad her superhero.

Roelly Winklaar:

I can’t even come to words with this post. Where do I even begin, or where do I stop? So many good memories with @flexatronrhoden throughout the years. Rest peacefully brother 😔. Extending my deepest condolences and most heartfelt sympathies to his family & friends. And mostly to Cora, his little angel ❤️🙏🏼

Flex Lewis:

This has taken several hours to write/ rewrite deleted. Why am I writing another obituary for another close friend 😢 We only yesterday spoke about plans to meet up today, after 3wks on the road I was looking forward to catching up with my friend. I took the call about Shawn’s passing at 2am and not slept since. All day I have tried to make head n tails of it, but I started to think of some the wonderful memories I had with Shawn, we traveled the world competing together, working expos, shows, guest posings, and I will hold on to them dearly. My heart goes out to his daughter who is around the same age as Adiena. I have posted photos of our last win together where we got to celebrate with our Olympia trophies and our biggest trophies—our daughters.

2018 Olympia Shawn Rhoden Flex Lewis
2018 Olympia: Cora & Shawn, Adiena & Flex

As the night turned to morning I started to see posts and read some of the most unbelievable things today, just like I did when Dallas passed away. I am deactivating comments because quite honestly I don’t wanna read opinions on how you thought he died, and what he should or shouldn’t done. Celebrate a man, a Mr. Olympia champion whom you have cheered for, met at a expos, taken photos with. I do agree that something needs to be done for the future. Too many athletes are not having regular health checks. I feel lives can be saved if something is implemented or you can’t compete. We lost a good man today, a friend, a father and a champion. I say this with great sadness but I feel this life could of been saved.

Big Ramy:

No words can let you know how much we will miss you, Shawn. Rest In Peace my brother 🙏

Charles Glass:

It was an honor and privilege to have trained @flexatronrhoden . It was a greater honor to have called him a friend. He will be missed greatly. Rest in peace.

Chris Aceto:

The best part of being in Shawn Rhoden’s inner circle is to bear witness to his desire, ability and need to validate others. Shawn was a giver. Not a taker. He shared his time with others. He encouraged others, including his competition. We spent endless hours together. Endless. And he never spoke badly about anyone. Ever. He gave everything to this sport and more and when he needed help, doors closed quickly. At every turn. It made me very angry and even then Shawn never said a negative word in public or in private about anyone. Some whom could have helped. He was full of kindness, goodness and empathy. Traits we, who knew him well, traits that made us fall in love with him. And made us want to be better. He uplifted everyone. For these and many other reasons I will miss an athlete who naturally became a genuine and dear friend.

Kai Greene:

Our bodies on stage were just a physical manifestation of our thoughts, ideas, and actions. It was bodybuilding that brought us together and soon we realized that our own super powers were not in our physical strength…but found at a much deeper level. LEGACY LIVES ON FOREVER @flexatronrhoden 🤲🏽🙏🏽

All photos from Instagram.