On November 26, 2021, professional bodybuilder Fouad Abiad posted a video on his YouTube channel that included several announcements. Among them was his formal retirement from competitive bodybuilding. Abiad said he made the decision to retire on video rather than on stage after the recent deaths of many athletes in his sport, most recently in 2018, Mr. Olympia Shawn Rhoden, George Peterson and John Meadows. The ad can be seen from the 2:01 mark in the video below:
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Abiad first mentioned his desire to participate in the Toronto Pro. His decision not to do so was in part “for [himself], and part was for John [Meadows]. But I knew I wouldn’t win and that I would be smaller.
It was gonna be my farewell show … But then George [Peterson] past, then Shawn [Rhoden] passed, and I did my own blood tests. It wasn’t much worse than any other time, but I wasn’t… happy with the context of everything else… and I unplugged.
Abiad admitted he wanted to be at his best to ‘say goodbye on stage’.
Fouad Abiad’s career
Abiad’s official retirement is the conclusion of a 16-year professional career in sport. According to Muscle memory, the Canadian competitor achieved IFBB Pro League status by winning the super-heavyweight division and overall Canadian Championship titles in 2006. He made his first professional appearance at the Atlantic City Pro in that year, finishing in 15th place.
It will be two more seasons before Abiad makes his debut with Mr. Olympia. Prior to the creation of the Olympia Qualifying Series, competitors could earn Olympia places by placing in the top three or top five of any show. Abiad’s third place finish at the 2008 Europa Pro helped him land his ticket to that year’s big contest in Las Vegas, NV. He would eventually finish in the top 15 at Olympia that season. Dexter Jackson won the 2008 title.
It will be another seven years before Abiad tastes victory as a professional. He won two competitions in 2015: the Orlando Show of Champions and the Vancouver Pro. He also placed second at the Tampa Pro that year ahead of winner Maxx Charles. Despite qualifying for the Olympia, Abiad did not make the big contest that year, when Phil Heath won the fifth of his seven career Sandow trophies.
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Abiad’s last competition was the Arnold Classic 2017, where he placed sixth overall. Her focus eventually shifted to launching her supplement brand, Hosstile, and promoting contests in Canada.
Today, fans are more familiar with Abiad as the host of various podcasts, including the Real Bodybuilding Podcast, Bodybuilding and Bollocks, which he started with the late Luke Sandoe, and Brother Cat. These last two shows feature other past and present contestants such as Guy Cisternino, Nick Walker, Iain Valliere and James Hollingshead, among others.
In the same video as his retirement announcement, Abiad shared that he was offered a commentary position at the Arnold Classic 2022. The Arnold Sports Festival has yet to make an official announcement at the time of this article’s publication. Abiad has commented on smaller shows in the past, which has led fans to post their support for him to do more on social media. Now that the 43-year-old’s stage career is officially behind him, he could become even more active behind the mic in the years to come.
Featured Image: @fouadabiad on Instagram