Training

To the Victor...

Victor Martinez and what could have been.

by

Kevin Horton / Chris Lund
 

THE DOWNS AND THE UPS

Next year. There’s always next year. Until there’s not. For Victor Martinez there was no next year. Next year, Dexter Jackson shocked the world and became the 12th Mr. Olympia while Martinez watched from the audience. January of that next year, while warming up, Martinez ruptured a tendon in his left knee. It was more than a year before he competed again, and when he did he placed second in the 2009 Arnold Classic. He wasn’t all the way back, but he was getting there, and he had another six months of leg workouts before the O. But that summer, he suffered a greater tragedy when his older sister was murdered. He landed in sixth in his comeback Olympia and a distant eighth the next year. Martinez rebounded in 2011, the year he turned 38, with a fourth at the Olympia and, just afterward, a victory over Dexter Jackson in the Arnold Classic Europe.

But, upon returning to New York from Madrid, he was detained at the airport. His American permanent residency had expired. He spent nearly six months incarcerated while facing the threat of deportation. As a consequence, just when he had seemingly turned the page, he lost another year (and a lot of muscle). In his 20 pro contests since returning to stages in 2013, the Dominican has not been much of a dominator. He’s won only three minor pro shows, and, though he qualified for the Olympia, he no longer impacted the top six. Lacking the roundness and 3-D effect he possessed at his peak. Finally, Father Time, the ultimate dominator, is starting to exert his advantages.

 

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