Ronnie Coleman has won the highly coveted Mr. Olympia a record breaking eight times.
Former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger only snagged the title seven times.
Arguably the most successful bodybuilder of all time, ‘Big Nasty’ retired form professional completion in 1996, leaving behind a legacy that will be hard to beat.
Here are a few facts about the legendary Ronnie Coleman that you probably never knew.
1. Ten Surgeries
Coleman has undergone ten surgeries, with the most recent in September 2018.
He has had hip replacements, a disc decompression, and a fusion of the neck.
When asked if he would do anything differently, Ronnie said, “I would have trained HARDER!”
2. Hometown Heroes
Ronnie grew up in the small city of Bastrop, LA. Namesake of the founder Baron de Bastrop, it is also the home of Bill Dickey, a deceased New York Yankees catcher; and Pat Williams, a retired defensive tackle for the Minnesota Vikings.
3. An Ex-Cop
Though Coleman steers clear of politics, we can tell he has respect for the state and the rule of law by looking at his employment history.
He was a police officer from 1989-2000 in Texas, keeping his day job while competing.
Ronnie graduated Cum Laude from Grambling University with a degree in accounting.
After college, he moved to Dallas and spent about 2 years working at Domino’s as a delivery man, trying to land an accounting job.
He was unable to find one. He attributes this to divine intervention.
5. Devout Christian
Coleman considers himself a deeply religious man and credits his mother for raising him with a strong Christian foundation. In 2005, he said i
n an interview, “…the reason why I am Mr. Olympia is because God has chosen that destiny for me.”
Ronnie married a French-Lebanese personal trainer in 2007. She was studying sports medicine at the time they wed.
They split up shortly after tying the knot, despite a relationship lasting almost a decade leading up to the wedding.
7. A Philanthropist
Coleman supports the Inner City Games, an academic, athletic and cultural enrichment program created by Daniel Hernandez with support from Arnold Schwarzenegger.
The organization’s purpose is to build confidence, self-reliance and camaraderie among inner city youths. The program is now run under the Hollenbeck Youth Center name.
8. Paternity Suit
Ronnie had an intermittent sexual relationship with a woman he met in Arlington, TX.
He agreed to be a sperm donor for the woman who later had triplets.
She sued for child support, and he was in a legal battle with the woman for years before the court ruled in his favor.
9. A Dead Child
Coleman was not involved in the life of the triplets that he had sired, and he had always made it clear that he was not interested in a fatherhood role.
Regardless of the role he took, one of his biological children died several months after being born.
10. His Beginnings
Ronnie never planned to be a body builder.
After failing to land an accounting job and turning to police work, a fellow officer told him to join a local gym.
Rhe owner, Brian Dobson, offered Coleman a free lifetime membership to the gym if Dobson could train Ronnie to compete for Mr. Texas.
A true champion, Coleman remains positive during this difficult time of his life and continues to train to this day.
Like his fellow legendary forerunner, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Ronnie continues to be an inspiration to rising bodybuilders and the fitness community worldwide.