On August 25, 2015, two legends of bodybuilding bid this world farewell.
Rod Koontz and Baito Abbaspour may have been generations apart, but both men electrified the bodybuilding landscape with their presence.
Born on January 1, 1952, Rod Koontz was not difficult to spot in the wide sea of bodybuilders, especially with his trademark moustache and “Thee Animal” tattoo gracing his prominent deltoid. The 5’11 Koontz was a force in the American bodybuilding scene and soon became a staple fixture when he won the top plums at the AAU Mr. USA in 1977.
Rod Koontz on the cover of Muscle & Fitness
Appearing in the majority of bodybuilding competitions during the 1980s, Koontz took a hiatus from the sport.
He resurfaced for the 1995-96 Masters Olympia, placing 12th on both occasions. During his heyday, Koontz got his fair share of exposure in bodybuilding magazines, even making the cover of Muscle & Fitness in September 1986 (with Gladys Portugese!) and February 1987.
Koontz was diagnosed with cancer and received hospital treatment in June of 2014. In January of this year, Koontz was suffering from pneumonia, which contributed greatly to the decline of his health.
Sadly, Rod was unable to recover and passed away on August 25.
Baito Abbaspour was born on March 11, 1978. The Iranian legend was a powerhouse in the professional circuit, joining prestigious competitions and winning two titles in the process – the 2008 IFBB World Amateur Championships and the 2013 IFBB Nordic Pro.
Baito Abbaspour in a competition.
While standing only at 5’4, Abbaspour was a force in the bodybuilding world, impressing people with his immense thickness, quads, and hams.
After a long battle with vasculitis, Abbaspour finally succumbed to the disease.
Abbaspour passed away at Atihe Hospital in Tehran, Iran.
Know more about Rod Koontz’s passing here and Baito Abbaspour’s here.