Joseph "Doc" Rhodes is a true champion on and off the field of competition. Doc made his claim to fame in powerlifting becoming a state, national and world champion.
He says his induction into the Gulfport Sports Hall of Fame is special.
"It's a huge blessing to me and my family, "stated Rhodes. "The reception in Gulfport has been tremendous."
At the age of 12, the Bay St. Louis native decided to hit the weights in an effort to overcome a lack of size so he could be competitive in football. He soon discovered that he could compete against the top powerlifters in the state.
The 1965 St. Stanislaus graduate started competing in powerlifting meets in 1964 and by the time 1970 arrived, Rhodes became a world champion.
"I was Junior National Champion in 1970 as well as the United States Champion, "said Rhodes. "In 1970 and 1975 I won the Pan American Games and the World Championship in 1977. I won the World Masters in '94.
Doc opened up his own fitness center in Gulfport and has been training coast residents for years.
Rhodes is quiet by nature and very humble.
He said, "Whatever you're fortunate to win and do, you can't do it alone. There are so many good blessings from the good Lord, people he puts in your path."
Rhodes remains in excellent shape and looks as if he could still be competitive in powerlifting.
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