Who is bodybuilder Flex Wheeler? | The Sun
FLEX Wheeler is a world renowned bodybuilder – dubbed "one of the best" by Arnold Schwarzenegger.
The legend is highly decorated from a long career in the sport, having won the Ironman Pro several times, as well as the Arnold Classic, and having placed second at Mr Olympia.
When did Flex Wheeler start bodybuilding?
Flex was born a premature baby to a single mother in Fresno, California. Having grown up in poverty, he experienced child abuse and suicidal tendencies from a young age.
Young Flex struggled in school, but found that he excelled in sports.
He started training martial arts when he was a teenager, which led him to discover weight training, and bodybuilding soon after.
After a brief stint as a police officer, Flex turned his focus on bodybuilding full time and took part in his first competition in 1983.
What happened to Flex Wheeler?
Flex has always struggled with his health.
Early into his bodybuilding career, in 1994, Flex suffered a near fatal collision that could have left him paralysed for life.
The incident pushed him into a deep depression.
In an interview at the Arnold Sports Festival last year, he said: “It had broken me. I resorted back to my suicidal thoughts, you know.
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"Because the same injury I had, I broke my C5 and C6, that’s the same injury that killed Christopher Reeves.
"I also broke my collarbone, my ear was almost ripped off, and my eye was almost ripped out off my skull."
Yet, despite all odds he made a strong comeback and went on to narrowly miss out on wins at Mr Olympia in 1998 and 1999.
Sheer drive and determination kept the bodybuilding legend going, even after he was diagnosed with a rare kidney condition soon after.
The disease, focal segmental glomerulosclerosis, was initially bearable and Flex kept competing.
Although the pain soon intensified and he had to undergo a kidney transplant in 2003.
The transplant saved his life, but it continued to cause several other health issues.
He could no longer continue training, and formally retired from bodybuilding later that same year.
He made a comeback at the 2017 Mr Olympia, placing 15th in the Classic Physique division and has not competed since.
In 2019, due to continuing health issues that resulted in circulatory vascular system problems, Flex had to have his right leg amputated.
Medical professionals have asserted that the amputation was the result of the kidney transplant, his car-crash and his focal segmental glomerulosclerosis.
Yet, the star never gives up. He continues to train post amputation, and now works as a body transformation coach.
He has his own line of supplements, and launched a show "Flex Wheeler MGB Mexico Grand Battle Regional" that started in September.
What is Flex Wheeler's net worth?
His impressive career, against all odds has made Flex one of the most well regarded bodybuilders of all time.
He is ranked as one of the wealthiest bodybuilders of all time, with a net worth of $5million.
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