Born Richard Eugene Piana, Rich Piana was a well-known U.S bodybuilder who did everything to have the perfect body and keep it in shape and he succeeded in doing that until his sudden death in 2017. Before he passed on, Piana won several contests that earned him several titles like the Mr. Teen California title which he won in 1989, after taking part in an International Federation of Bodybuilders (IFBB) competition, he also won the 1998 IFBB Mr. California and the National Physique Committee (NPC) competitions in 2003 and 2009 respectively. Learn more about the bodybuilder; bio, career and what led to his death.
Who Was Rich Piana?
As mentioned above, Rich Piana is a U.S bodybuilder. He was born in Glendale, California, on September 26, 1970, to a father who is of Italian descent and a mother who has Armenian roots. He developed an interest in bodybuilding as a child when he would follow his mom to the gym and watch as she trains for her bodybuilding contests. Apart from his mother, Piana was also greatly inspired and influenced by an old-school bodybuilder, he knew named Bill Cambra.
Influenced by these two important persons in his life, Rich began training and weightlifting at the age of eleven. By the age of fifteen, he was already competing in bodybuilding contests. When he turned eighteen, he had already won several titles including 1989 IFBB Mr Teen California title. He went ahead to win several competitions and titles which include NPC competitions in the Los Angeles Super-Heavyweight division in 2003, in 2009, he won the Sacramento Super-Heavyweight division and the Border States Classic Super-Heavyweight division as well as the overall championship in 2009.
In 1998, he appeared on the cover of the November edition of Ironman magazine and in 2015, he appeared on the Summer issue of the Muscle Sports magazine.
Rich embarked on a steroid cycle practice called “test and deca” after he turned eighteen. The practice involves a combination of an anabolic steroid called testosterone (the primary male sex hormone) and Deca-Durabolin – generically known as Nandrolone. It took Rich Piana twenty-five years to realize the harm he has done to his body by using the steroids, he would later admit publicly that the risks he took by using those substances are very high. He added that he knew the dangers but was still willing to take the risk but advised aspiring bodybuilders to stay natural and totally avoid the use of steroids if they could.
Who Was Wife Or Girlfriend?
Piana was married twice. the name of his first wife is not known but they reportedly separated after he cheated. In 2015, he married Icelandic bodybuilder Sara Heimisdóttir but the marriage ended the following year after he accused her of stealing from him and using him to get U.S residence, thus, the marriage was annulled on account of false pretence. Before his second marriage, Piana had an on and off relationship with Chanel Jansen and after his marriage with Sara ended, he resumed his relationship with Jansen, who was with him at the time of his death.
How Did He Die?
Rich Piana died on August 25th, 2017, two weeks after he was placed in a medically induced coma after suffering a cardiac arrest in his Florida home. Piana had collapsed in his home on August 7, 2017, after he suffered a sudden cardiac arrest while his girlfriend and fitness model Chanel Jansen was giving him a haircut.
According to Jansen, he was standing at the time he collapsed and hit his head, she called the emergency operator, who gave her instructions on how to give him a CPR before paramedics arrived. When the medical team finally arrived ten minutes later, they confirmed his heart wasn’t beating properly. When his heartbeat was eventually restored, so much time had passed, resulting in a brain damage which was caused by lack of oxygen.
The paramedics reportedly discovered crushed white powder in his home alongside a straw and had to administer Narcan (a medication used to counteract a possible opiate overdose). By the time the police arrived at his home, they reportedly found not less than twenty bottles of testosterone. Piana eventually died on August 25th, 2017 after staying in a medically induced coma for two weeks, he was 46.
An autopsy carried out on him would later reveal that he had significant heart disease, the autopsy also revealed that Rich Piana’s heart and liver were enlarged and weighed double of that of a normal average adult male. Chanel confirmed this by stating that the bodybuilder, was aware that his organs were enlarged, which was the result of the steroids and hormonal drugs he has been taking over the years but he was not aware that this has put him at risk of suffering a sudden cardiac arrest.
His Net Worth
According to Celebrity Net Worth, Piana’s fortune at the time of his death was $4 million, which are earnings from his career as a bodybuilder, as well as from his business ventures. Rich Piana had his own line of nutrition product called Rich Piana: 5% Nutrition.