Calum von Moger: Former Mr Universe’s rise to fame before tragic injury

Aussie Calum von Moger, dubbed Arnold 2.0, is an international celebrity of bodybuilding. He is now reportedly fighting for life.

A three-time Mr Universe winner, with three films under his belt, a clothing line and 3.2 million Instagram followers, Australian Calum von Moger is an international celebrity of bodybuilding and fitness.

He is now fighting for his life after seriously injuring his spine on May 6 and undergoing a major operation, according to Generation Iron.

Fellow bodybuilder and YouTuber Nick Trigili said the 31-year-old was still in hospital in an induced coma.

“When you look at Calum von Moger you think successful, always happy, always having a good time, great sense of humour, goofy guy, loves to live in the moment,” Mr Trigili said in a video.

“Who would have ever predicted that Calum von Moger would be at this point … it’s very hard to imagine Calum von Moger in this situation right now.”

Mr Trigili asked people to pray for him and his family.

“Calum is hitting a rough spot… I hope this is rock bottom for him and he can get his life back.”

According to reports, Moger was recently kicked out of his family’s house in Australia.

The rise of the famous bodybuilder

As a young child, Mr von Moger was raised on a hobby farm in central Victoria with his five siblings before the family moved to Anglesea on the Surf Coast.

It was here he started lifting weights at about 14 years old.

He won the World Fitness Federation junior Mr Universe title in Austria in 2011.

After winning another Mr ­Universe title in South Korea in 2014, he moved to Los Angeles.

In 2015, he told The Australian one of his main goals was to “really make a difference” and motivate kids to get out the house and go to the gym. At this point he had 224,000 followers on Instagram.

Mr von Moger also spoke about using steroids and how unlike in oth­er sports they were “very relevant” in the world of bodybuilding, but added that he worried about the health impacts and warned that ­ignorant use was dangerous.

He won his third Mr Universe title in France that year.

In 2017, Mr von Moger was in his first film – a bodybuilding documentary called Generation Iron 2.

He then played Arnold Schwarzenegger in the 2018 American comedy-drama Bigger.

“I looked up to him my whole life while I was training,” Mr Von Moger said of the Terminator star at the time.

The next year he had his own film on Netflix, Calum Von Moger: Unbroken.

In a video filmed two years ago for his YouTube channel, Mr von Moger further opened up on his take on steroids.

He said he trained naturally for six years before discovering what steroids could do, when he realised his friend was using them.

“One year, my friend just got a lot bigger and stronger, a lot faster and I was like what the hell is going on, how does he do this? And then we learnt he was taking steroids,” he said.

“But I refused to take them, I was happy training natural and just seeing what I could do naturally.

“Also, it was so unavailable for me, where I grew up, where I was living. If my parents found out they would kick me out of home for sure … it’s illegal.”

Mr von Moger said it wasn’t until about the age of 21, after he won his junior Mr Universe title, a mentor said “if you want a place in the top five (in the open division), you have to take steroids”.

He said he then took them leading up to competitions “to get ready”. He warned young bodybuilders against using them too soon. He told them to see what they could do naturally without the health risks that come with steroids.

Back in Australia

Last October, Mr von Moger moved back to Australia.

In a Facebook post made from hotel quarantine in Sydney, he said he had a tough year – which included the death of his dog Rex – he missed Australia and was looking forward to “finally” seeing his friends and family in Victoria.

“I know this sounds crazy, but a voice inside told me it’s time to give up my freedom and luxury life in Los Angeles and come back home,” he wrote.

Last week he edited the caption of an emotional post on Instagram, which asked for his fans forgiveness.

“Everyone has a past. We’ve all been through hard times. I admit, I messed up bad many times. But I don’t care about dwelling on negative thoughts of the past. All I care about is that I learn from my mistakes and become a better person. I’m trying my hardest to stay strong but I have my days too,” he wrote.

Mr von Moger is facing charges after police allegedly found him in possession of drugs of dependence, including methylamphetamine and cannabis, in Melbourne on January 31, Herald Sun previously reported.

Police allege he was stopped in a vehicle without number plates “affixed or displayed in accordance with regulations” and that officers also allegedly uncovered testosterone cypionate, viaplex, and proviplex in his possession.

The case was adjourned to May 26.

Mr von Monger is also facing charges in relation to a separate alleged incident earlier this year, according to The Age.

Fans show their support

Fans rushed to share messages of support on Mr von Moger’s latest Instagram post after learning about his injury.

The post was two photos of Mr von Moger side-by-side – one from 2018 and one from 2022 – acknowledging his successful recovery after a leg injury four years ago.

The official Instagram account of Mr von Moger’s clothing line has reshared stories from fans wishing him to get well soon and asking people to pray for him.

Some shared pictures of themselves in the gym, dedicating their session to their “inspiration”.

News.com.au has contacted Mr von Moger’s management and family for comment.

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