Arnold Classic 2017-All You Need To Know: Dates, Event Schedule and Everything Else
If you're a fan of multiple sports like bodybuilding, martial arts, powerlifting, gymnastics and boxing, then you're in luck. All of these sports and more will be on display this weekend in Columbus, Ohio, at the 2017 Arnold Sports Festival.
The annual competition was started back in 1989 by bodybuilding legend Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jim Lorimer as a bodybuilding competition known as the Arnold Classic. The event has grown over the years into one of the biggest multi-sport competitions in the world.
The event, which kicks off on Thursday, March 4, even features jump rope, archery, disc golf and chess competitions. The headlining bodybuilding events—the Arnold Classic 212 and the Arnold Classic—are scheduled for Friday and Saturday nights, respectively.
For a full list of events and locations, check out the official Arnold Sports Festival schedule page. There are over 140 individual events.
Let's take a look at the general schedule for the entire event, along with some of the latest buzz heading into the festival.
Arnold Sports Festival 2017
What: Multi-Sport Competition and Exhibition
Where: Columbus, Ohio
When: Thursday, March 2 - Sunday, March 5
Live Stream of IFBB Events: GenerationIron.com
10 Competitors Gunning for Arnold Classic Title
When it comes to professional bodybuilding, two titles hold prestige over all others. The first and most notable competition is the Mr. Olympia, a competition Schwarzenegger himself won seven times. The Arnold Classic, though, is just one a notch below the Olympia.
"The Arnold is definitely a tough show too, but there's not as much pressure," former champion Branch Warren said last month, per Ron Harris of Muscular Development. "You can relax a little bit and have fun with it, even though I still take it very seriously and I am there to win."
There is a lot of pride on the line for those competing in the Arnold Classic, though it doesn't hurt that there is a lot of money on the line, too. Last year's winner, Kai Greene, took home a check for $130,000.
Past champions include bodybuilding legends such as Rich Gaspari, Jay Cutler, Flex Wheeler, Warren and Dexter Jackson.
This year, a total of 10 competitors will vie for the biggest trophy of the weekend. The open class competitors are:
A Strong Group of Competitors
Unless you're a massive fan of bodybuilding, you might not be too familiar with some of the competitors in this year's event. However, this doesn't mean fans won't be treated to one heck of a show.
Check out the video below—from Generation Iron and Muscular Development—in which 2016 champion and 2017 host Kai Greene breaks down both the open class and the 212 class for the 2017 Arnold Classic:
Second Annual Wheelchair Competition
While Schwarzenegger has been growing the world of bodybuilding and fitness in Columbus for nearly three decades, a new addition to the festival has only begun to emerge. This year will mark the second annual Arnold Classic Pro Wheelchair event.
The sport of IFBB Wheelchair has only been around since 2011, but it has steadily developed both in scope and in the level of competition. Having this become a regular event at the Arnold Sports Festival should only help the sport continue to grow in the public eye.
"To make this happen is truly the dream. We are following the same process that Arnold Schwarzenegger did," Arnold Classic Pro Wheelchair chairman Nick Scott said, per Jennifer Newton of MailOnline. "A champion's mindset is to not let anything get in the way of your dream - it's about finding a way. That's what I did. I found a way to make this happen."
Harold "King Kong" Kelly won the inaugural event last year and will be one of eight men competing this weekend. These competitors are sure to not only impress festival goers but to inspire them.
"Words cannot express what a powerful experience it is to see these truly unstoppable athletes take ownership of the stage," Scott recently wrote for WheelchairBodybuilding.com. "This very special event is not just about Bodybuilding. It's about proving to the world what the power of a determined mind and the human spirit is able to accomplish."
The Arnold Pro Wheelchair is set to start Saturday afternoon.