Bodybuilder George Peterson has reportedly died at the age of 37, and just a day before he was due to take part in a competition in Orlando, Florida.
His death was reported by bodybuilding websites BarBend and Generation Iron on Thursday, citing an announcement from the event’s organisers Olympia LLC on Instagram.
On Wednesday, Olympia LLC said: “It is with great sadness that we report the unexpected passing of George Peterson, a champion on stage and off.”
“Our condolences go out to his family and all who respected and admired one of the kindest men we have ever known.”
Although no further information has been issued, bodybuilding website Generation Iron alleged that Peterson’s coach found the bodybuilder lying face down in his hotel room in Orlando.
His coach, Justin Miller, reportedly tried to revive Peterson after calling for 911. As did members of hotel security also take over and attempted CPR on Peterson.
First responders reportedly said he had died hours earlier. However, the death has not been confirmed and no further details were available on Thursday.
The bodybuilder, who has competed in the sport for a decade. has won a number of titles since returning to competitions in 2017, including the 2019 Arnold Classic Physique and the 2020 Tampa Pro titles.
He had posted on Instagram as recently as Tuesday with a video about “How Soon Should you Eat After a Workout?”
“This is definitely a controversial question and I’m seeing more wrong answers than I should lol,” he wrote. “Hopefully this explanation helps some of you make better choices and plan out your workouts & meals a little more strategic.”
A number of tributes were paid to Peterson on Twitter and Instagram, with fans and fellow bodybuilders praising the 37-year-old.
“I’m in shock George was an absolute legend. I was always grateful to share the stage with such a great man,” wrote Chris Bumstead, a Canadian bodybuilder.
“I appreciate you pushing me on stage and being a man to look up to both on and off the stage,” he added. “Humble and hardworking at its finest. Sending my love to your loved ones brother. RIP” .
Another bodybuilder, Flex Lewis, wrote: I’m so sadden to read this. George was a incredible athlete, and a wonderful smile to see in any room. I don’t know if anyone that had a bad word to say about this man.”
The 2021 Mr Olympia event, which is scheduled for 7 – 10 October in Orlando, got underway on Thursday without Peterson.