The Tragic Downfall of Ms. Olympia Runner-Up Denise Rutkowski

Penning this piece breaks our hearts. Placing pen to paper, or fairly fingers to keyboard, on this case, makes us marvel concerning the potentialities had issues not taken a flip for the more serious for Denise Rutkowski

As soon as on the prime of the sport, feminine professional bodybuilder Rutkowski was identified for her muscle mass, symmetry, and conditioning. She is most well-known for putting second within the 1993 Ms. Olympia, profitable $20,000 as prize cash. 

If in case you have been across the bodybuilding circuit because the Nineteen Nineties, there’s a excessive likelihood that you’ve got seen photographs of Denise in a number of journal covers and spreads. 

Not solely did Rutkowski have an aesthetically interesting physique, however she additionally had a reasonably face, which made the blonde bombshell probably the most sought-after feminine bodybuilders of her time. 

Over and above her drop-dead beautiful appears, Denise had a coronary heart of gold. Throughout her bodybuilding days, she lived in Venice Seashore, California.

The 1993 Ms. Olympia runner-up was dedicated to enhancing the standard of life for underprivileged kids in her neighborhood. She hung out touring with youth from Venice, California to WWF exhibits, Disneyland, and sporting occasions.

Denise Rutkowski Stats

  • Title: Denise Lynn Rutkowski 
  • Nickname: The Golden Panther
  • Delivery 12 months: 1962
  • Birthplace: Pennsylvania, United States
  • Peak: 5’5″
  • Weight: 140-155 lbs
Denise Rutkowski Golden Panther
Denise Rutkowski Golden Panther

Additionally test: The ten Strongest Ladies To Ever Stroll The Earth

Denise Rutkowski Contest Historical past

The IFBB Professional bodybuilder was a gifted athlete who might decimate her competitors as quickly as she stepped on stage. Rutkowski participated within the following contests:

  • 1988 NPC South Texas: 1st (MW)
  • 1988 NPC Spring Metropolis Basic: 1st (HW)
  • 1990 NPC Metal Rose: 1st
  • 1990 World Health club Basic: 1st
  • 1991 NPC Orange County Muscle Basic: 1st (HW & Total)
  • 1991 NPC California State Championships: 1st (HW & Total)
  • 1992 NPC Nationals: third
  • 1993 NPC USA Championships: 1st (HW & Total)
  • 1993 IFBB Jan Tana Basic: 1st
  • 1993 IFBB Ms. Olympia: 2nd

Should Learn: Recognizing Steroid Person – Eight Indicators Not possible To Conceal

The Denise Rutkowski Story

Denise Rutkowski
Denise Rutkowski

We have no idea quite a bit about Rutkowski’s childhood. In truth, we hardly know something about her youthful years. Though she appeared on many magazines covers and spreads, she stored her private life beneath wraps.

Denise had dominated each present she had competed in throughout her professional bodybuilding profession. She was thought of the subsequent massive factor after her second-place end on the 1993 Ms. Olympia till she abruptly introduced her choice to retire from bodybuilding and attend Calvary Cathedral Worldwide Bible School for 2 years. 

After retiring from bodybuilding, The Golden Panther disappeared from public life. Nobody knew the place she was, what she was doing, and if she would ever step again on a bodybuilding stage.

Denise seems like a extremely good pupil, doesn’t she? She was so engrossed in her faith that she forgot about every thing else.

Rutkowski went into full-time ministry in 1996, stunning the bodybuilding world. By 1996, Denise was going across the nation spreading the phrase of God at numerous non secular revivals. 

To her followers’ pleasure, she did return to the bodybuilding scene for a quick stint in 2001, however it was nothing severe. 

Check out what occurs to your physique after years of chemical substances being pumped into it:

Denise Rutkowski Transformation
Denise Rutkowski Transformation


Denise Goes Underground Once more

Not too lengthy after making a comeback to bodybuilding, Denise determined she was going to take yet one more break and journey across the nation like a homeless individual together with her canine. 

However why did the Golden Panther resolve to stay like a homeless individual, you ask?

Give that chest a relaxation. We’re getting there. 

A number of years after quitting understanding, she allegedly contacted an IFBB official. In line with him, though she had misplaced all her muscle mass, she was doing tremendous. 

Shit hit the roof when the bodybuilding neighborhood noticed mug photographs of Denise Rutkowski in 2012. Rutkowski was arrested in 2012 after which once more in 2013 for evading arrest – the unique crime remains to be unclear.

20 years of drug and steroid use had fully modified the highest feminine bodybuilder (not in a great way). Rather than the lengthy blonde hair was a brief mousy-brown mullet full with a wispy beard and mustache. 

Nonetheless the Golden Panther?

Associated: The Sudden Demise Of Ms. Olympia Competitors In Ladies’s Bodybuilding

From being a favourite to win the 1994 Ms. Olympia crown to being arrested for evading arrest and looking out like a person in her mug photographs – it could be secure to say that Rutkowski went via the mom of all downward profession spirals. Not that we expect Denise cared about her profession one bit at that time. 

It was later revealed that Denise Rutkowski had a historical past of drug abuse (hormones and psychedelics). To make issues worse, she was identified with bipolar dysfunction. Drug habit and bipolar dysfunction collectively make a lethal mixture.

It must be famous that Denise Rutkowski has by no means admitted to her drug use. Bodybuilding followers on completely different boards have arrived on the drug connection on their very own. Not solely that, many of those boards are stuffed with speculations of the medication she was utilizing. 

Watch the this video:

Associated: Former IFBB Professional Bodybuilder Dona Oliveira Handed Away

Medication and Bodybuilding 

From Arnold’s and Haney’s aesthetic period, bodybuilding transitioned into the mass monster period with the arrival of Dorian Yates. Denise Rutkowski occurred to enter the game when mass monsters have been revolutionizing the game. 

This brings us again to probably the most in style questions in bodybuilding – are medication secure, and are they value it?

Some folks don’t thoughts bodybuilders utilizing medication as a result of they’re followers of the freak exhibits bodybuilders put up on stage. They argue that if professional athletes in different high-stake sports activities use gear, why ought to bodybuilders lag?

In the meantime, the opposite group consists of anti-drug crusaders. They need steroids fully banned and wish to see physiques going again to the golden period. Whether or not bodybuilders within the golden years have been juicing or not is a separate dialogue for an additional day, however you get the purpose.

Results of Steroids on Feminine Bodybuilding

Professional bodybuilding has been beneath fireplace currently for the premature deaths of many athletes. Bodybuilding legends like Arnold Schwarzenegger, Dorian Yates, Ronnie Coleman, and Jay Cutler are elevating their voices for drug use regulation within the sport. This transfer, if carried out, generally is a lifesaver (actually) for a lot of bodybuilders who’re pushing themselves too onerous.

Whereas Jake Wooden has reportedly promised reforms to bodybuilding judging requirements after the passing of Alena Hatvani-Kosinova, it doesn’t change the truth that bodybuilder deaths from coronary heart assaults and aneurysms (allegedly resulting from steroid use) have skyrocketed within the latest previous. 

Denise In The 1990s And Again In 2013
Denise In The Nineteen Nineties And Once more In 2013

Should Learn: 21 Bodybuilders Who Died of Coronary heart Assault

Listed below are some widespread traits of steroids on feminine bodybuilders:

1. Virilization Results

Testosterone is among the main medication accountable for serving to girls bodybuilders construct muscle mass. In line with analysis, testosterone can result in feminine athletes buying male sexual traits reminiscent of facial hair, a extra outstanding jawline, an enlarged clitoris, pimples, in addition to a disruption to their fertility ranges.

Particular dietary supplements” (as some brofessors wish to name them) have extra drawbacks than they’ve advantages. It’s not unusual for professional bodybuilders to really feel invincible whereas on these medication whereas there’s irreversible injury taking place beneath the hood. 

Whereas on juice, some bodybuilders are inclined to fly just a little too near the solar. And, typically the belief strikes when it’s too late for them to course appropriate. 

2. Drug Use is Unpredictable 

No two folks will ever have the identical outcomes from utilizing the identical quantity of the identical steroid. Taking part in meet up with your coaching accomplice is among the important causes for over juicing in some instances.

On prime of that, steroid use is unpredictable. Whereas one individual won’t see any uncomfortable side effects, the opposite might find yourself with irreversible penalties. 

Denise In 2013

Subsequent Learn: Remembering 28 Bodybuilders Who Handed Away (2017-2020)

3. Juicing Might Disrupt Your Pure Hormone Manufacturing

In the event you use gear for an prolonged interval, your physique can find yourself changing into reliant on the drug and cease producing important hormones. We’re positive we don’t have to let you know that that is dangerous information. 

When you disrupt your pure hormones, there isn’t any assure that you’d ever be capable to bounce again to your outdated self. Feminine steroid customers might find yourself with a deficiency in the way in which their physique naturally produces feminine hormones.

It doesn’t matter if it’s a male or feminine athlete, the drug drawback has develop into an actual difficulty within the bodybuilding world. We hold listening to tales about bodybuilders who misplaced their well being, and even worse, lives to steroid use. 

Whereas Denise Rutkowski didn’t meet a deadly finish, her steroid and drug abuse and bipolar dysfunction resulted in jail time, picture tarnishing, and her life spiraling uncontrolled. 


A feminine bodybuilder who was as soon as considered the greatest athlete on this planet and who many specialists believed would dominate the game for a very long time, ending up falling from grace and turning into nothing greater than a viral meme. 

However with all stated and achieved, Denise Rutkowski was a star of her time, and he or she hit a tough patch. We ship greatest needs to Denise and hope her points with drug habit and regulation enforcement are behind her.

Related Articles

Back to top button