Some stars become worldwide known when they’re very young, either as actors or little prodigies that stun the world with their incredible abilities. But if you take a look at this young man, you wouldn’t think he’s much of a celebrity. Let’s see more about the man who was called the world’s strongest boy, and learn how why suddenly disappeared from the spotlights.
If you look at this photo, Richard is an average joe, with nothing that makes you think he was the strongest boy on Earth. Decades after he received the title, he was interviewed so that the world would catch up with what this man has been up to.
Some younger people might not even know who Richard is. That’s because this man became famous when he was only four years old! His mother said they discovered their boy’s talent by mistake: “He was about three and a half or four and we had a huge barbell. He was trying to lift it and hold it and shake it and I said ‘You know what? Let’s try something lighter.’”
Believe it or not, but the kid was happy to train and become the strongest boy on Earth. It was a dream many of us had when we were kids, but for Richard, it came true. However, it all came at a price… What went wrong over the years and why isn’t Richard still doing bodybuilding?
“My parents used to train all the time and I wanted to join in. It was mostly my choice. It’s just what I grew up doing. I was never forced. It was never an issue,” he said in the interview with Inside Edition. However, he also wanted to be a normal kid and play, plus all the training became boring over the years.
Unfortunately, Richard’s dad, who was also his coach, was going through a rough time. During a harsh financial period, his father Pavel turned to alcohol and became violent. Before Richard turned 11 years old, he had to call the police, saving his mom and turning their lives around for the better.
With his father out of the picture, the boy had a little more time to be a kid, and slow down with the bodybuilding routine. Then, he got a call from Hollywood, who wanted him to be the lead actor in a film. Richard’s role in the movie earned him a fitting nickname…
That’s right, it was only fitting that Richard would play the role of Hercules when he was a boy. That’s how the world started calling the boy Little Hercules. But all of that is a distant memory for Richard, and now weightlifting is a thing of the past. His six-pack is gone and now he likes to walk on the beach, and go skateboarding. What does he want to do in the future?
Although Richard is not the Hercules he used to be, he still plays at the Universal Studios Hollywood, as a stuntman at Waterworld: A Live Sea War Spectacular. He’s having a lot of fun on the set, racing on jet skis, jumping on buildings and setting himself on fire!
Richard is happy to have found something that isn’t boring and that makes him feel fulfilled. He is no longer under the spotlight, and he never really wanted to be. As for his future, his main goal is to one day work for NASA in aerospace research.
The new, older Richard is looking back in time and admits he has nothing to be ashamed of: “I’m very proud of my past. It’s not something I don’t want people to know, it’s just that I’m not going to be stuck living in it.” He might not be as famous as he was when he was a little boy, but he is happy and doing what he loves. We can’t wait to see him at NASA!