by Christian Duque
It absolutely breaks my heart to report that legendary bodybuilder “Mighty” Mike Quinn has passed away. I will never forget going to his parents house in Palm Beach Gardens Florida back in 2015 and sitting down with him for what would be one of the best interviews I have ever done. It ran for over 40 minutes after a considerable amount of editing.
I have never been a fan of editing down interviews because I feel that it removes a certain level of authenticity from the video, but Mike was probably one of the most unfiltered people I have ever interviewed. He was saying things that quite frankly could have brought upon me several lawsuits from several top bodybuilders, supplement companies, bodybuilding Federation‘s, and who knows who else. That’s how real this guy was.
You just knew that what he was saying was the truth. Whether he was talking about how he stood up for his good friend, Ron Love, or if he was talking about how hard he had to fight to get his pro card, you just knew that he was telling you the unfettered truth. This was a competitor that turned pro not just once, but twice. He was someone that didn’t complain and worked hard every day of his life. He was somebody that did not understand giving up and was certainly never going to walk down that road. If he wanted something bad enough, he was going to get it and it didn’t matter what he had to do or how long he had to wait.
In our interview, Mike talked about training with his dad in high school. He hailed from Brockton Massachusetts, one of the toughest places to grow up in the country. It was a town that bred champions. And it was a place where he felt at home. We’re talking about blue-collar Americana to the core. There was no bullshit when it came to this community and the fact that he came from there most definitely had a lifelong contribution on his career.
Whether he was doing a guest posing appearance, or speaking to a magazine, or simply speaking to a fan, he was always about telling the truth. It didn’t matter What the consequences were. Mike would always tell you the way that it was. And he lived up to that reputation to the fullest extent possible. When we did this interview not only did I get to meet Mike and talk to him, but it was the beginning of a beautiful friendship that lasted many years.
As of late I have not been doing contest coverage, but I also have not heard of him making any appearances, either. The last time I saw him would have to be 2019 but every time we saw each other, we always reminisced about that visit back in 2015 when I got to meet Mike, his mom, and his dad. His dad was an absolute warrior. I remember he was shirtless and had abs and definition in his shoulders and pecs. This guy looked to be every bit a bodybuilder as his son. This was a family that loved fitness.
Mike’s sister Kellie was also an accomplished athlete and rose the ranks of the amateur league. She may have gone pro and received a lion’s share of press as Mike was personally training her through her preps. I remember talking to him about her at length and him telling me about the great level of potential she had. He was so proud of her and the rest of his family. You just really got a very strong feel for this amazing champion’s personality. There was no Mike on camera and a Mike off camera. It was Mike 24/7. And that’s why I think so many people identified with him. There was nothing set-up about him. He was as real as they came.
And this is why the magazines adored him. Any time he was on the cover of a magazine it always sold out. And this is also why the WBF scouted him as aggressively as they did. He was making something along the lines of $300,000 a year and was a focal member of the squad. He was all over their publications, their media efforts, and promotional campaigns. People wanted to be around Mike because he was dangerous.
Mike wasn’t dangerous because he was crazy. He was dangerous because he was real. For as much as they try to make him out to be the bad boy bodybuilding that was a term that he took and ran with, but it really didn’t described him accurately. He was dangerous because there was no filter in him. He was not an actor or a poser and people appreciated that about him.
Mike believed in giving the fans what they wanted. You would never see him guest pose im a half hearted kind of way. He put great thought into his posing routines and he would go to into the audience and he’d always pose for photos. He was very much on top of the world doing what he loved. If a promoter hired Mike to guest pose, he made sure the promoter got money’s worth. So many competitors simply arrive to pick up the check and then drag ass around the stage. That was not Mike.
When my front, Kevin Grech of Evolution Of Bodybuilding let me know about Mike’s passing, he asked if he could use our classic interview, and I of course gave him the greenlight. He said it was the best interview of him he’d ever seen. First of all I can’t thank Kevin enough for the compliment and second of all I must say that I have heard many people say that as well. While Mike did interviews with RX, MD, and other publications, the interview that we did together had a very raw unfiltered vibe, even though it was edited from the original. I’m so happy that I was able to give people a fuller understanding of a true bodybuilding legend.
And what really breaks my heart is that Mike never truly had a retirement. He was never able to retire on stage the way a legend of his stature deserves. He was never able to give a speech or do a few last shots for the fans.
Mike’s passing is surely a tragedy. I hope that people will continue to remember him for all of his many achievements and for his on unforgiving honesty. He never meant to hurt anyone, but he certainly wasn’t going to sugarcoat the past in order to get some pats on the back. That’s just not how he was wired. Whether he was talking about Phil Hill or Gary Strydom, he didn’t hold back. He may not have been correct, but he told it like it was based on his best recollection of the matters at hand. That’s who Mike Quinn was and that’s how Mike Quinn should be remembered.
I am truly saddened by the loss of such a great bodybuilding superstar. I will always remember you my friend. Rest in peace.