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Cyberflexing.com Star Profile: Rich Gaspari – The Dragon Slayer

Cyberflexing.com Star Profile: Rich Gaspari - The Dragon Slayer

Quick Bio:

Born: May 16, 1963
Age: 54
Height: 5’8″ – 173 cm
Off-Season Weight: 245 lbs – 111 kg
Contest Weight: 225 lbs – 102 kg

Cyberflexing.com Star Profile: Rich Gaspari - The Dragon Slayer

Early years

Born and raised in New Jersey, USA, Rich grew up idolizing comic-book superheroes, such as Batman, Superman and The Hulk. He became fascinated with their muscular physiques from an early age, and aspired to build a similar body.

It wasn’t long until Rich began reading muscle magazines, with his passion for bodybuilding emerging from the age of 12. After being in awe of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Lou Ferrigno, he started researching how to develop his physique.

At this point, he contracted mononucleosis, and was recommended by the doctor, to begin lifting weights. At the age of 15, in 1978, Rich entered the gym, determined to overcome his weaknesses and sculpt his dream physique.

Bodybuilding

After his first year of training, training 6 days a week, Rich gained an impressive 60 lbs. Rich dedicated his life to fitness, with his sights set on stepping on stage as a competitor.

”I was 110 and I went up to 170 after one year of training. So, my body responded really quick with weight training. It was like I started to get muscular right away.”

Cyberflexing.com Star Profile: Rich Gaspari - The Dragon Slayer

First competition

5 years after embarking on his fitness journey, Rich had developed a powerful physique; he felt ready to start competing, and entered his first show – the 1983 NPC Junior Nationals.

Although he was inexperienced, Rich dominated the Heavyweight division, earning his first trophy in his debut appearance. But more impressively, he was awarded with the overall title.

This gave him the push that he needed to continue bodybuilding.

Pro card

Rich didn’t hesitate in entering more contests; over the next year, he appeared in 4 more shows, adding 3 trophies to his collection.

But that wasn’t all.

After winning the 1984 World IFBB Amateur Championships, Rich was awarded with the prestigious Pro Card. Only a year into his competitive career, he’d successfully become a professional bodybuilder.

Cyberflexing.com Star Profile: Rich Gaspari - The Dragon Slayer

Life as a pro

Between 1985-1995, Rich entered a massive 28 competitions, placing highly in 6 Mr. Olympia shows. During this period, he become very well-respected as a leading bodybuilder of his era.

One of his biggest achievements was winning the Mr. Universe at 21-years of age – becoming the youngest winner in history, beating the previous record set by Lou Ferrigno (Lou was 22 when he won the Mr. Universe show).

Bodybuilding titles

  • 1983 NPC Junior Nationals Overall Winner
  • 1983 NPC Junior Nationals HeavyWeight, 1st
  • 1983 NPC Nationals HeavyWeight, 5th
  • 1984 NPC Nationals Light-HeavyWeight, 1st
  • 1984 World IFBB Amateur Championships Light-HeavyWeight, 1st
  • 1985 IFBB Night of Champions 2nd
  • 1985 IFBB Mr. Olympia 3rd
  • 1986 IFBB Los Angeles Pro Championships Winner
  • 1986 IFBB Mr. Olympia 2nd
  • 1986 IFBB World Pro Championships Winner
  • 1987 IFBB Grand Prix France Winner
  • 1987 IFBB Grand Prix Germany 2nd
  • 1987 IFBB Grand Prix Germany (2) Winner
  • 1987 IFBB Mr. Olympia 2nd
  • 1988 IFBB Grand Prix England 2nd
  • 1988 IFBB Grand Prix France Winner
  • 1988 IFBB Grand Prix Germany Winner
  • 1988 IFBB Grand Prix Greece 2nd
  • 1988 IFBB Grand Prix Italy Winner
  • 1988 IFBB Grand Prix Spain (2) 2nd
  • 1988 IFBB Grand Prix Spain Winner
  • 1988 IFBB Mr. Olympia 2nd
  • 1989 IFBB Arnold Classic Winner
  • 1989 IFBB Mr. Olympia 4th
  • 1990 IFBB Mr. Olympia 5th
  • 1991 IFBB Arnold Classic 7th
  • 1991 IFBB Mr. Olympia 10th
  • 1992 IFBB Arnold Classic 13th
  • 1994 IFBB Chicago Pro Invitational 16th
  • 1994 IFBB Niagara Falls Pro Invitational 15th
  • 1994 IFBB Night of Champions – Did not place
  • 1995 IFBB Canada Pro Cup 5th
  • 1995 IFBB Night of Champions 12th
  • 1996 IFBB Canada Pro Cup 11th
  • 1996 IFBB San Jose Pro Invitational 16th
  • 1996 IFBB Florida Pro Invitational 12th

Cyberflexing.com Star Profile: Rich Gaspari - The Dragon Slayer

Retirement

Towards the end of 1995, Rich’s performances in competitions dipped. By the age of 32, Rich realized that his best years were behind him.

His last show was the 1996 IFBB Florida Pro Invitational, where he placed 12th. It wasn’t the dream ending for Rich, but he left behind a glowing reputation in the industry, remembered for his work ethic and drive.

Hall of fame & Entrepreneur

2 years after his retirement from competitive bodybuilding, Rich made the big decision to create his own supplement company in 1998. His company released numerous products, from protein powders, to pre workouts, becoming a popular brand.

In 2004, Rich’s career as a bodybuilder was honored by the IFBB; he was inducted into the Hall of Fame, joining his childhood heroes, such as Arnold Schwarzenegger and Lou Ferrigno, on the prestigious list.

In 2013 Gaspari was presented with the Arnold Classic Lifetime Achievement Award.

Cyberflexing.com Star Profile: Rich Gaspari - The Dragon Slayer

References:
en.wikipedia.org
greatestphysiques.com

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