It is not uncommon to witness children achieving many great feats. From child actors to young athletes, the world has often witnessed gifted kids grow into fame and fortune through their skills, talents, and special abilities. Very notable among these children who distinguished themselves from a young age is the famous former bodybuilder, Richard Sandrak.
Richard Sandrak gained attention very early in life due to his physique and rigorous workout routine. However, after several years in the spotlight, the bodybuilder retreated to focus on his education and other things. Keep reading to learn more about the former bodybuilder who was referred to as Little Hercules.
Who Is Richard Sandrak (Little Hercules)?
Richard Sandrak was born in Ukraine on the 15th of April 1992, but he moved to Pennsylvania with his parents, Pavel Sadrak and Lena Sandrak when he was just 2 years old. His father, a taekwondo trainer and a world champion martial artist believed in the ability of his son to catch up in the sport and got Richard involved with lightweight training and working out at a young age. Frank Giardina, a gym owner/instructor, was hired by Pavel to help boost Richard’s chances of becoming well known. Lena Sandrak, Richard’s mother, is an aerobics competitor; so it’s safe to say that fitness was a way of life in the Sandrak home.
The family later moved to California, intending to get involved with show business. By the time Richard turned six, he had amassed the necessary skills, strength, and experience necessary for bodybuilding expertise. He dedicated his time to training hard and didn’t bother himself with friendships that would distract him.
His father’s watchful eyes over him ensured that his body form stayed intact; the man never let his son indulge in junk food like other kids, he was placed on diets on many occasions. However, Richard Sandrak has stated that it was his choice to fully engage in diets and bodybuilding, not because his father forced him.
Richard’s diligence started paying off when he started getting recognition for the feat he achieved with his body as a child. He started participating in competitions and getting promotion deals for nutrition products. He appeared on many TV and radio shows and also did photoshoots for several magazines.
His Hollywood journey began in 2009 when he played the titular character role in the movie, Little Hercules in 3D. As a result, ‘Little Hercules’ became the name he is most associated with.
What Happened To Him?
As Richard Sandrak grew older, his bodybuilding career began to fade off and the problems in his family only made matters worse. The relationship between his father, Pavel, and his hired trainer, Frank Giardina, become strained when Frank came to believe that Pavel’s parenting was practically criminal. This earned Frank a death threat from Pavel as conditions began to nosedive in the Sandrak home.
Pavel became estranged from his family after he physically assaulted his wife, broke her wrist and nose, compelling Richard to call the police and get him arrested. Pavel was imprisoned for this and during his time away, Lena and Richard Sandrak left him. After he was eventually released from prison, Pavel was put under psychiatric guidance.
Lena later came out in defense of her son when medical experts claimed that Richard Sandrak could have used steroids to enhance his muscles. The reason for the medical claim was because Richard was strong enough to bench-press three times his own body weight and his body had less than 1% body fat, as revealed by a documentary titled The World’s Strongest Boy. Medics claimed that it was impossible for someone under 10 to have such a body.
Where Is He Now?
Now all grown up, Richard Sandrak no longer prioritizes bodybuilding and he ended up quitting his bodybuilding career when he became bored with it after his father’s imprisonment.
Richard currently works as a stuntman at Waterworld and he had expressed a desire in becoming an engineer for NASA. While bodybuilding is no longer a priority for Richard, he still does cardio exercises.