April 15, 2002 Report
Hans Hopstaken, a former NPC Masters National champion who finished in the top five at the last two Masters Olympias, died on Friday, April 12, from congestive heart failure at Santa Teresita Hospital in Duarte, California. Hopstaken, 45, competed in the ’01 IRONMAN Pro and finished fifth at the Masters O last summer (he was fourth in 2000), but he’d been sick on and off since then, according to Brian Whelan, who purchased Foothill Gym in Monrovia, California, from Hopstaken in 1999. Hopstaken, who began as the manager there in 1990, bought the club in 1996 before selling to Whelan three years later. He was still working there as a personal trainer at the time of his death.
‘Hans got real sick about six weeks before he passed away,’ said Whelen. ‘He was having breathing difficulties and had to go to the emergency room at Santa Teresita Hospital, where he was diagnosed with heart disease. He developed pneumonia and had kidney problems as well at the time of his death.’
A service will be held for Hopstaken, one of the nicest people I’ve encountered in the sport, on Saturday, April 20, at 3 p.m. in Eisenhower Park in Arcadia. The park is located at the intersection of Second Avenue and Colorado Boulevard.
Levrone Passes on NOC
Kevin Levrone, who after sub-par finishes in his first two 2002 events (fifth at the Arnold Classic, fourth at the Australian Grand Prix) said he wanted to make a statement at the May 18 Night of Champions, has pulled out of the contest, according to a reliable East Coast source. Levrone allegedly will undergo hernia surgery, which will force him to miss the Beacon Theatre event, where he began his pro career with a bang 10 years ago by taking home the first-place trophy.
Quadzilla Still in California
I heard from Paul DeMayo a while back, and the ’94 NPC National champion said he’s living in Huntington Beach, California, and working in construction. The transplanted Bostonian (DeMayo hails from Malden, Massachusetts) returned to California more than a year ago hoping to resume his professional bodybuilding career. As a pro the now-34-year-old Quadzilla competed only in the ’95 Mr. Olympia and two post-Olympia European grand prix events the same season. He said he hoped to secure a contract from a supplement company but had been unsuccessful and didn’t have the necessary funds to get back onstage. Let’s hope that changes soon. Quadzilla had a huge following in the sport, and those crazy wheels and triceps were worth the price of admission. Remember?