RIP Greg Kovacs
by Special Ed
IFBB Pro Bodybuilder Greg Kovacs died today at the young age of 44. After turning professional by winning the 1995 Canadian Provincials, Greg quickly became one of the most popular professional bodybuilders by virtue of being featured in Muscletech advertisements that lined the pages of every major muscle magazine. The ads touted Greg as possessing 25 inch arms and tipping the scales at 400 lbs with abs. Although he never lived up to his promise as a competitive bodybuilder on the big stage, Greg’s reputation as the world’s largest bodybuilder made him a sensation at Expos and bodybuilding contests across the globe and his poor placings at IFBB Pro Shows never impacted his ability to make jaws drop when seeing the man in person.
I had the great experience to see Greg on the IFBB stage at the 2001 Night of Champions, where his return to the stage was highly anticipated. Unfortunately, Greg’s once-aesthetic physique was already on the down-side. A report from the show criticized his appearance:
Everyone’s favorite non-bodybuilder, Greg Kovacs, was without question the most awful sight on the stage. From the moment he walked onstage, groans and screams of disgust were heard from the crowd. Greg’s distended belly overhung his waist by almost a foot. And he could not even suck it in at all. It was quite atrocious. He was not even in contest condition. One can only assume that Muscletech gave him a “Do the NOC or lose the contract” ultimatum, for why else would Greg embarass himself in this manner? Fifteen minutes into the pre-judging, Greg walked off the stage and never returned.
His appearance over the years slowly transformed from an aesthetic bodybuilder to a mass monster to a virtual freak show fallen victim to Palumboism — the condition in which a distended abdomen grossly protrudes from the body, oil deposits appear obvious and the arms and legs exhibit muscular atrophy. Despite his failure to compete in many professional events, Greg maintained a large degree of popularity, which was resurrected when his old friend and fellow deceased IFBB Pro Nasser El-Sonbaty revealed Greg’s inability to wipe his own hindquarters without the assistance of his wife, who carried an extra towel wherever they went.
In recent years, Greg maintained a relatively low profile, training local clients and occasionally contributing to the RXMuscle website. At just 44 years old, Greg joins a list of immensely popular bodybuilders whose lives have ended too soon.
Rest in Peace, Greg.