A Carnoustie man has defied the odds and achieved phenomenal success in the world of bodybuilding despite suffering from cancer just six years ago.
On Sunday, at Leeds Town Hall, Richard ‘Rich’ King was awarded first place in the Classic Bodybuilding under 178cm category in the North East Championship of the UKBFF, for the third consecutive time.
His impressive achievement comes after months of hard work, dedicated training and conditioning, but what makes it even more incredible is that just six years ago Rich was lying in a hospital bed stricken with throat cancer, a shadow of his former self.
Rich King, a devoted family man and personal trainer, hopes his proud achievements will serve to inspire others to push themselves.
The former RAF serviceman, from Carnoustie, was diagnosed in 2010 with an aggressive throat cancer that required 10 months of treatment including chemotherapy, radiation and an invasive operation which stripped him of a quarter of his bodyweight and temporarily cost him his voice.
Rich entered his first bodybuilding contest in 2013, coming third, and with determination and some fantastic support he has now racked up three consecutive first places at the North East Championship. He will now go on to the finals of the British UKBFF championships in October.
Rich said: “I meet people and they look at me and when they find out I had a life-threatening cancer in 2010 their attitudes change.
“I would hope to be an inspiration. No matter how bad a shape you are in, I was in a worse place. If I can go from the worst shape of my life to this then they can do it too.
“They don’t need to go to the extreme lengths that I did, but no matter how bad a shape they are, they can work to get to a place where they are happy.”
Reflecting on his success Rich said: “The North east Championship at Leeds is always a sellout crowd and a fantastic atmosphere. I deliberately picked a category that was stacked with talent. Now it’s on to bigger and better things.
“To be honest it’s a bit of a relief really to get the win and confirm my place as a credible bodybuilder.
“To see that effort vindicated and validated and to know that I’ve been doing the right thing is brilliant.
“On my last day before the competition I had seven meals. That might sound great to you, but it was only half a sweet potato and 150g of turkey steak, you can imagine how grumpy I was!
“So first and foremost I would like to thank my family.
“I would also like to thank my sponsor MuscleXcess and Harry Ogg, I couldn’t ask for a better mentor.
“Finally, everybody and anybody who has sent me kind wishes.