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Hadi Choopan - The Persian Woh!
In the 1990s, the bodybuilding world had an enigmatic figure known as “The Shadow,” aka Dorian Yates.
Ron Harris

While the rest of the top IFBB pros of the era basked in the sunshine and limelight of Venice Beach, California, constantly being seen and photographed, Dorian was toiling away clandestinely in a dungeon training headquarters called Temple Gym, thousands of miles away and across the Atlantic Ocean in Birmingham, U.K. Even we as fans had no idea what he was up to or what he was looking like until he would make his yearly journey to the Mr. Olympia contest to assert his dominance and hold on to his title. It was always a shocking revelation to behold the fruits of his Blood and Guts efforts over the past year. Today, the Internet and especially social media have made it all but impossible for the pros to maintain that type of privacy or to keep such a low profile. We see their every workout and meal, and fans post photos documenting every meeting with their idols. Even athletes who would have been mired in obscurity20 years ago now have fans following them on a daily basis. It would be almost impossible for a top pro today to fly under the radar— unless that man was Hadi Choopan, The Persian Wolf. There are two tremendous obstacles in the way of Hadi reaching most of the bodybuilding fans. One is language. Choopan speaks Farsi, the native tongue of Iran, which makes it difficult for him to communicate with the fans. The other barrier is more political in nature. Unfortunately for Hadi, his rise as one of the best pros in the world coincided with increasingly strained diplomatic relations between Iran and the Western world. A travel ban instituted by President Donald Trump prevents citizens from a list of Middle Eastern nations from entering the USA, and Iran is one of the banned nations. But let’s put politics aside and talk about this incredible bodybuilding talent.

FROM KICKBOXING TO KICKING ASS IN BODYBUILDING

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October 2019

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