Tim Belknap took the world by storm in the early '80s by taking first place in the AAU Mr America contest in 1981. A diabetic, taking insulin shots, he was an inspiration to a lot of folks.
Tim was truly huge! He was made from the same mold as Tom Platz: Huge, vascular, cut, gigantic thighs.
He had this phenomenal ability to bulk up his 5′ 5″ frame all the way up to over 220 pounds, then cut down to 185 or so. I always thought having precise control over his blood sugar and insulin levels had something to do with it, but I never got any “proof” of this. No doubt, however, Belknap trained HARD.
He overcame what most would consider a debilitating disability for a bodybuilder. It's hard enough building muscle with a fully-functional system; having to deal with a messed up blood-sugar control system makes the nearly impossible even more so.
Tim didn't stay in the bodybuilding scene for too long. He turned pro in 1983 or so and never really made it. I don't know why. Then, he sort of fell off the map. Only recently has somebody been able to get in touch with him, and now he has a web site (TimBelknap.com).
But he remains largely a mystery.
I will never forget his entrance onto the bodybuilding scene! He was a phenom. Simply incredible.