by Christian Duque
Well it seems that Vitaliy Ugolnikov aka GoodVito will be taking the stage in September at the upcoming European Championships. The goal is of course qualifying for the 2023 Mr. Olympia. He’ll be up against a jaw dropping Reagan Grimes who was just recently trash talked by Nick Walker and who let’s be honest hasn’t really lived up to his true potential. The legendary Canadian social media sensation is determined to shut up the critics and win over the fans again. He will be bringing his absolute best and that’s going to raise the stakes for everyone competing as well. Another big-name bodybuilder doing the European Championships is The Prophecy Nathan DeAsha. Nathan is an extremely dangerous bodybuilder and one of the best to emerge from the United Kingdom since The Shadow himself Dorian Yates.
Vitaliy made headline news just a couple of weeks ago when he jumped off a stage during a guest posing appearance and had many thinking he would be sidelined for the rest of the summer, possibly the rest of the year, or more. Ultimately it seems that the extent of the damage may rest with an umbilical hernia, at least that’s what Xavier Wills of Desktop Bodybuilding is reporting. I can see a protrusion in his belly button which might be a hernia. Just for the record, I have zero medical training, but I have a pair of eyes and I see what I see. That being said, GoodVito has been consistently evasive when it comes to addressing the extent of his injuries. Let’s discuss that, the decision to compete, and how competitive he’ll be in the coming months.
The decision to compete in September after sustaining what could be one or more serious injuries is very concerning. It’s not surprising given the amount of buzz this particular bodybuilder has generated; however, it could prove to be detrimental to his future as a physique-based athlete. If he does have a hernia the sooner he treats it the better. This would typically require surgery and recovery. If that’s the case how can he recover while prepping for a major battle in less than two months time? If he waits and trains through the trauma then he could potentially cause more damage. Once again, I have no medical training, but we’re speaking in terms of common sense here. Aside from his health and well-being, hernias take away from the aesthetic value of the physique and this is a subjective sport based on how each guy looks. Hernias that go out of control can do a number on a competitor’s midsection.
And September wouldn’t be the end of it. If he won there and qualified for the O, then he’d need to up the training, restrict the diet, and probably up the gear game as he’d be taking the stage at the biggest stage in bodybuilding in just 2 months time after that show. That’s another two months where he can’t have surgery and he can’t rest his body. And that’s assuming a hernia is all that that freak fall two weeks ago caused. What if there’s more than just a hernia? We don’t know because he won’t talk about it. And he doesn’t have to.
Athletes don’t owe anything to the media. It’s not like they’re subpoenaed to a deposition. They choose what they want us to know. That being said, if competitors stay mum about what’s going on, it triggers us to speculate. Given that set of circumstances it’s easy to at least consider the fact that he may have caused more damage than what’s being discussed. My hope is that he’s taking his health and well-being seriously. Again, that’s the hope.
The decision to compete may not be that much of a choice. Many competitors in Vitaliy’s spot probably feel compelled to compete. They look at their brand and the buzz they’re enjoying and competing becomes a must. If he does right by his health and takes the rest of the year off, it’s highly likely that that buzz will be gone in 1-2 months. In 3-4 months he’ll be an afterthought. And that’s being generous. He could be an afterthought in as little as six weeks. I mean look at Liver King. Who talks about that guy? He’s like a ghost. Of course he’s a fraud, but that’s a minor distinction.
The point is, one day you’re on everyone’s mind, and the next no one even remembers you. That’s how it goes in this industry and that’s why so many athletes will put it all on the line. They see their time on top as being limited, but that’s a monumental error. While it’s true that they’re riding a wave at the moment, there’s so much that could be in the future if they play their cards right.
Playing your cards right means knowing that slow and steady wins the race. So if you lose being the talk of the town in 2023, that’s ok, because you do right by yourself in the long haul. Then you come back next year and you get to have many more hoorahs.
Health should be key. Sadly, most guys lack the ability to have that big picture mindset. All they see is the here and now. They don’t have the ability to press pause. It’s either stop or go. And that’s the roadmap to a bodybuilder who could compete 10-20 more years, being lucky to get 2-3. I’ve seen this play out over and over in the past twenty years.
When it comes to how competitive Ugolnikov will be is also in question. He won’t be at his best if he’s having to prepare and compete with an injury. That as much is clear as day. If he’s able to somehow win in September, there’s no way he’ll be able to bring his best to the Olympia. Old school guys would skip the contest. They wouldn’t bring anything but their best. That’s the big picture approach. GoodVito will just push through. He needs to be there, he needs to be seen, he needs to be talked about. That’s the mindset he’s in, at least that’s what I gather. I hope to be wrong, but I’m confident I’m not.
What’s your take on GoodVito’s injury, his decision to compete in September, and his hope to compete at the 2023 Mr. Olympia despite one or more likely injuries from the recent guest posing accident? Be sure to share this article on all your social media platforms. I promise you it’ll generate some LIVELY conversations!