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What disease does Chris Bumstead have?

Dixit Bhargav

What disease does Chris Bumstead have?

Imagine working extremely hard, that too in a gym, to achieve a dream of being crowned Mr. Olympia but lacking behind due to unforeseen circumstances. Getting penalized for no mistake committed by one is usually a hard pill to swallow and the same was the case with Canadian bodybuilder Chris Bumstead in 2018.

Bumstead, who is a four-time Mr. Olympia Champion in Classic Physique, hadn’t tasted success until the third year of his participation in the coveted competition. Although Bumstead had finished as a runner-up in his debut season in 2017, him not winning a title the following year was heartbreaking both for him and his fans.

Having gained experience from the first season, Bumstead worked hard accordingly to make amends in the frequent season but only to fail for no mistake of his.

What disease does Chris Bumstead have?

For those who don’t know, Bumstead had been hospitalized six weeks before Mr. Olympia 2018. While six weeks is ideally a time period when bodybuilders prepare to the best of their abilities in terms of both lifting weights and diet, Bumstead laid in a hospital bed with no official confirmation about his participation in 2018 Mr. Olympia.

It was eventually revealed that Bumstead was suffering from IGA Nephropathy, an autoimmune kidney disorder, which generally causes swelling in the patient’s kidneys, legs, back and stomach. In simple words, the immune system, responsible for fighting with other diseases, attacks the patient’s body in a strange set of circumstances in this disease.

It is needless to say that the aforementioned symptoms of this incurable disease have it in them to adversely affect the career of a bodybuilder, let alone one season (in Bumstead’s case). Nicknamed “Cbum”, he was all of 22 at the time and was yet to win Mr. Olympia even once. However, his story will serve as a motivational anecdote in the future as he not only recovered to compete but also finished at a position behind champion Breon Ansley that year.

“They put in a long needle and slowly froze it close to my kidney. [The doctors] put like a 16 gauge needle and with a little clip on end. It goes in and touches the tip of your kidney that kind of shoots like a gun,” Bumstead had once provided details about the physically hard and mentally exhausting treatment for the disease on his podcast.

As mentioned above, Bumstead continues to face ramifications of this disease. That being said, he has learnt to cope with it without it affecting his professional career. Bumstead, who has admitted to feeling better now on multiple occasions, will be eyeing a fifth title in a row later this year.

About the author

Dixit Bhargav

Dixit Bhargav


Born and brought up in Pathankot, Dixit Bhargav is an engineering and sports management graduate who works as a Cricket Editor at The SportsRush. Having written more than 10,000 articles across more than five years at TSR, his first cricketing memory dates back to 2002 when former India captain Sourav Ganguly had waved his jersey at the historic Lord’s balcony. What followed for an 8-year-old was an instant adulation for both Ganguly and the sport. The optimist in him is waiting for the day when Punjab Kings will win their maiden Indian Premier League title. When not watching cricket, he is mostly found in a cinema hall watching a Punjabi movie.

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