The Arnold Sports Festival - A Brief History.
What started as a one-day bodybuilding competition three decades ago has grown into four days of spectacular sports competitions and demonstrations. With forty-four sports and events makes it one of the world's largest sports and fitness weekends.
It all began when Arnold Schwarzenegger, at the age of 15, discovered weightlifting in his native Graz, Austria. In a few years Jim Lorimer recognized the talent of the young Schwarzenegger, who was virtually unknown in the United States. Lorimer invited the Austrian to Columbus, Ohio in 1970 to compete in the Mr. World Contest. Arnold won and a friendship began. The event was a pivotal moment for both men. It launched the career of a bodybuilding legend who went on to win an unprecedented 13 world bodybuilding titles. Schwarzenegger pledged that once he retired from competing he would promote bodybuilding with Jim Lorimer.
Through the years, Schwarzenegger's and Lorimer's passion for fitness has continued. In 1989 The Arnold Classic and Ms. International brought professional bodybuilding to Columbus Ohio to stay. The event's growth and popularity led to the addition of the Fitness EXPO in 1993; the Fitness International, a contest of athleticism and appearance in 1994; a martial arts festival in 1996; cheerleading in 2000; and the Cheerleading and Dance Team National Championships, Gymnastics Challenge and 5K Pump and Run in 2001.
Since then the addition of more events such as strongman, archery, table tennis, fencing and powerlifting have made the Arnold Sports Festival a huge sports and fitness extravaganza. The new name reflects the wide range of events that make up the Festival which every year continues to get bigger. It now features 12 different Olympic sports among its 44 sports and events that attract 18,000 competitors and 170,000 fans to five premier Columbus venues. Amateur bodybuilding, fitness and figure competitions and the Active Aging Festival came on-board in 2008. Arnold Party With The Pros was added last year to cap off the evening of the Arnold Classic.
Among the new events for 2010 are Arnold Figure Skating Exhibition, Arnold Amateur Strongman, Art At The Arnold, Skateboarding, Arnold Sports Photo Workshop, Ohio Senior Olympics, Arnold CrossFit, Amateur MMA Festival and Battle of the Badges.
Schwarzenegger has achieved world-wide recognition through his varied careers in fitness, film, business, politics and philanthropy. Lorimer has diverse experiences as a sports activist, business and community leader as well as promoter of the Arnold Sports Festival. In March 2009 he was inducted into the Fitness Hall of Fame. The inductee for 2010 was Sylvester Stallone.
Please click here for the Complete Arnold Classic DVD Collection - Men & Women including Strongman.