Professional bodybuilder Paul Poloczek dies aged 37 – hours after competing in tournament


Professional bodybuilder Paul Poloczek dies aged 37 – hours after competing in tournament as grieving wife says ‘you live on in our hearts’

  • The Polish strongman had competed in the NPC Worldwide Championship
  • Just hours later, he died unexpectedly, leaving behind a wife and daughter
  • It is the latest in a long line of high-profile bodybuilder deaths

Polish bodybuilder Paul Poloczek has died aged 37 just hours after competing in a championship in Germany.

The Polish-born strongman had taken part in the NPC Worldwide Championship and leaves behind a wife and a young daughter.

A cause of death has not been established but Poloczek is just the latest high-profile bodybuilder to die in recent months.

Polish bodybuilder Paul Poloczek has died aged 37 just hours after competing in a championship in Germany

The Polish-born strongman had taken part in the NPC Worldwide Championship and leaves behind a wife and a young daughter

The Polish-born strongman had taken part in the NPC Worldwide Championship and leaves behind a wife and a young daughter

His wife Kathrin DeNev said in a tribute on Instagram: ‘Bodybuilding was your life. You are not forgotten, you live on in our hearts.

‘We will love you forever.’

 She added in a later post: ‘I will do everything to keep your dream alive. Love you.’

Poloczek was originally a keen football player but fell in love with bodybuilding as a teenager and joined the famous Powerhouse Gym franchise in Oehringen in Germany in 2002, before later becoming its owner.

He won his first Junior Championship bodybuilding competition aged 17 and later finished second in the German Championships in the Super-Heavyweight division in 2012.

A cause of death has not been established but Poloczek is just the latest high-profile bodybuilder to die in recent months

A cause of death has not been established but Poloczek is just the latest high-profile bodybuilder to die in recent months

Poloczek joined the famous Powerhouse Gym franchise in Oehringen in Germany in 2002, before later becoming its owner

Poloczek joined the famous Powerhouse Gym franchise in Oehringen in Germany in 2002, before later becoming its owner

He later won the Arnold Classic amateur tournament in 2017 which allowed him to go professional

He later won the Arnold Classic amateur tournament in 2017 which allowed him to go professional

Former German bodybuilder turned coach Dennis Wolf paid a touching tribute to the 'outstanding athlete'

Former German bodybuilder turned coach Dennis Wolf paid a touching tribute to the ‘outstanding athlete’

He later won the Arnold Classic amateur tournament in 2017 which allowed him to go professional.

Former German bodybuilder turned coach Dennis Wolf said in a tribute: ‘I’m still at a loss for words and I was personally very upset when I found out that Paul Poloczek had left us.

‘Paul was kind-hearted and a great person, a family man and an outstanding athlete.

‘My deepest and sincere condolences go out to family and friends. I wish you a lot of strength for this incredibly difficult time

‘I will miss you very much and will never forget how you were, my friend. Rest in power Paul.’ 

His death comes a month after fellow bodybuilder Stacey Cummings died unexpectedly aged 31.

Born in Florida, the mother-of-two started bodybuilding in 2013, earning her certification as an International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness professional just three years later in 2016. 

She competed in the bikini division of the 2021 IFBB Texas Pro, and co-owned Flex Fitness 24/7 gym in McKinney, Texas, with her husband, fellow bodybuilding professional Bryant Fought. 

His death comes a month after fellow bodybuilder Stacey Cummings died unexpectedly aged 31

His death comes a month after fellow bodybuilder Stacey Cummings died unexpectedly aged 31 

Her unexpected death comes just a week after Cedric McMillan, 2017 Arnold Classic champ (above right) died of a heart attack at 44 years-old  while running on a treadmill

Her unexpected death comes just a week after Cedric McMillan, 2017 Arnold Classic champ (above right) died of a heart attack at 44 years-old  while running on a treadmill

Just a week before, 2017 Arnold Classic champ Cedric McMillan died of a heart attack at the age of 44 while running on a treadmill.

In February, retired bodybuilder Tom Prince died at 52 from cancer, mere days after 37 year-old star Ashley Gearhart died from undisclosed causes.

And in November, the winner of the 2018 Mr. Olympia competition died of a heart attack at the age of 46, following the death of John Meadows in August who was struck down by a blood clot.



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