To the Victor...

Victor Martinez and what could have been.


Kevin Horton


The 2007 Arnold Classic champ turns 45 in July, and we’re left to wonder what could’ve been. What if he’d never snapped that tendon? The 2008 Olympia was the one Cutler lost and Jackson, who was great but not at his all-time best, won. If Martinez had merely repeated his 2007 form, he and not the Blade probably would’ve been the 12th Mr. O, and he would’ve lived forever as an immortal member of the Sandow Society. And his win would’ve set up an epic size-versus-shape, Cutler-versus-Martinez rematch in 2009. If he had never been detained in 2011, he would’ve been in the Olympia mix again in 2012, the last year he could’ve competed in his 30s. Perhaps he would’ve been fourth again, and perhaps he would’ve been even higher. We would’ve been treated to another year or two of peak Martinez. What could’ve been? It’s the question that haunts so many bodybuilders but especially the few who came so close to the top without summiting. None came closer than Victor Martinez in 2007, and none suffered a more devastating setback than he did just three months later. What could’ve been? We’ll never know. We know only what was and what is. Let’s celebrate what was and what still is, because Victor Martinez, with his rare combination of shape and size, of mass with class, was and still is phenomenal.


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