Gustavo Badell, popularly known as “The Freakin’ ‘Rican,” was a professional bodybuilder from Venezuela, who later became a Puerto Rican citizen and represented Puerto Rico in the International Federation of Bodybuilders (IFBB).
Height- 1.73 m
Weight- Contest: 245lb Off season: 260-265 lb
Nickname- The Freakin’ ‘Rican
Born- 3 November 1972
Death- 13 July 2023
Spouse- Jessica Rodriguez
Best win- Ironman Pro Invitational; 2006
Competition weight- 245 pounds (111 kg)
Offseason weight- 260–265 pounds (118–120 kg)
Gustavo Badell’s parents are Mere and Gomez Badell.
Gustavo Badell had an undoubtedly remarkable career as a professional bodybuilder, and throughout his journey, his wife Jessica Rodriguez stood by him as a steadfast pillar of support. Despite their marriage facing challenges, their relationship remained resilient and strong.
The family of Gustavo Badell consists of his wife Liz Valeria Badell, and their children: Barbie Ann Badell, Nicole Marie Badell, 14-year-old Michael Gustavo Badell, 13-year-old Christian Carlos Badell, and the youngest, 4-year-old Sabella Badell.
Born in Venezuela, Gustavo Badell made his way to Puerto Rico when he was approximately 22 years old. He initially started weightlifting at the age of fifteen with the goal of increasing his size for boxing. Surprisingly, he gained muscle rapidly, and at the age of 19, he participated in and emerged victorious in his first bodybuilding competition, the 1991 Junior Caribbean Bodybuilding Championships.
After six years of dedicated weight training, he achieved the status of a professional bodybuilder by securing victory in the 1997 Caribbean Championships. This opened the door for him to compete on an international level, and in 1998, he made his debut in the International Federation of BodyBuilders (IFBB) by competing in the Grand Prix of Germany. However, his initial performances
were not remarkable; he finished 14th in the IFBB Night of Champions (now the New York Pro) in 1999, and 18th in the Ironman Pro Invitational in 2000. It was not until 2002 when he first appeared in the prestigious Mr. Olympia competition, finishing 24th, and in 2004, he secured 7th place in the Arnold Classic.
Gustavo’s professional career saw significant improvement from 2003 onwards, thanks in part to the guidance of fellow bodybuilder Milos Sarcev. His success led to numerous features in fitness and magazine articles, and he even graced the cover of Flex magazine. Additionally, he became a prominent face in advertisements for MuscleTech, often endorsing products like Nitrotech Hardcore protein powder and Masstech weight-gain powder.
Gustavo Badell’s Bodybuilding Competition Placings:
- 1991 Junior Caribbean Championships, overall winner
- 1997 Caribbean Championships, overall winner (received pro card)
- 1997 World Amateur Championships Heavyweight, 10th
- 1998 Grand Prix Germany, 9th
- 1999 Grand Prix England, 17th
- 1999 Night of Champions, Did Not Place
- 1999 World Pro Championships, 14th
- 2000 Ironman Pro Invitational, 18th
- 2000 Night of Champions, Did Not Place
- 2000 Toronto Pro Invitational, Did Not Place
- 2000 World Pro Championships, 11th
- 2001 Grand Prix England, Did Not Place
- 2001 Ironman Pro Invitational, 16th
- 2001 San Francisco Pro Invitational, 11th
- 2002 Ironman Pro Invitational, 13th- 2002 Night of Champions, 10th
- 2002 Mr. Olympia, 24th
- 2002 Southwest Pro Cup, 6th
- 2002 Toronto Pro Invitational, 3rd
- 2004 Arnold Classic, 7th
- 2004 Ironman Pro Invitational, 3rd
- 2004 San Francisco Pro Invitational, 4th
- 2004 Show of Strength Pro Championship, 3rd
- 2004 Mr. Olympia, 3rd
- 2005 Arnold Classic, 3rd
- 2005 Ironman Pro Invitational, 1st
- 2005 Mr. Olympia, 3rd
- 2006 Arnold Classic, 4th
- 2006 San Francisco Pro Invitational, 1st
- 2006 Mr. Olympia, 6th
- 2007 Arnold Classic, 4th
- 2007 Mr. Olympia, 8th
- 2008 Ironman Pro Invitational, 2nd
- 2008 Arnold Classic, 6th
- 2008 Mr. Olympia, 10th
- 2009 Atlantic City Pro, 1st
- 2009 Mr. Olympia, 13th
- 2012 Arnold Classic, 13th
Net Worth 2023
Gustavo Badell, the professional bodybuilder born in Venezuela and later becoming a Puerto Rican citizen, had an estimated net worth of $5 million at the time of his passing.
Cause Of Death
Gustavo Badell, a celebrated bodybuilder known as ‘The Freakin’ Rican,’ has tragically passed away at the age of 50. The news was confirmed by his friend, Eddie Abbew, although the specific cause of his death has not been disclosed publicly.
Throughout his illustrious career, Gustavo Badell showcased his remarkable talent on the bodybuilding stage, finishing third at the prestigious Mr. Olympia competition in both 2004 and 2005. His impressive achievements in the world of bodybuilding earned him a reputation as a consummate professional and one of the hardest working athletes of his generation.
In addition to his successful bodybuilding endeavors, Badell also had a strong association with the supplement company Muscle Tech. The company paid tribute to him, expressing their honor to have been represented by such an exceptional individual. They acknowledged his dedication to the sport and recognized the lives he touched and the lasting legacy he left behind.
Despite retiring from competitive bodybuilding, Gustavo Badell remained dedicated to promoting health and fitness online. He continued to inspire and encourage others to lead a healthy lifestyle, leaving a positive impact on countless individuals.
As news of his untimely passing spreads, the bodybuilding community mourns the loss of a true icon. Gustavo Badell’s family, friends, and fans remember him not only for his outstanding accomplishments in bodybuilding but also for his unwavering commitment and passion for the sport he loved. Rest in peace, Gustavo, and may your legacy continue to inspire generations to come.