The Calm Before The Storm At The Arnold Sports Festival

Every year, Columbus hosts one of the Midwest’s biggest attractions, the Arnold Sports Festival, in honor of legendary bodybuilder and former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. 

This year, it was scheduled to be held on March 5 through the 8. Up until the Tuesday before the big event, everything was going as planned. Unfortunately, due to the current health crisis with Covid-19 presented at this juncture, the spectator portion of this occasion had to be canceled. Keep in mind, the pandemic was at its beginning stages at this time and was nowhere near as severe as it is currently. 

The Arnold Sports Festival is a huge part of the Columbus economy. With an impact of $53 million, the city banks on the 200,000 attendees for its success. Although many of the events still went on as scheduled, no spectators were permitted to attend the event. For many, this was something to look forward to and be excited about. 

Despite this huge disappointment, many athletes still got to compete in the events that they had been preparing for all year and beyond. The Arnold Classic finals went on as scheduled.

William Bonac, also known as “The Conqueror,” came out on top for the second time in the past three years. He managed to beat 5-time-winner, Dexter Jackson, and earn the lofty $130,000 prize.

Hafthor Bjornsson, who played Gregor “The Mountain” Clegane in “Game of Thrones,” attained the Arnold Strongman Classic for the third year consecutively. This just brushes the surface of all the amazing athletes who worked hard and traveled far in order to compete in the Arnold in their events. 

Overall, despite the unfortunate circumstances, the Arnold Classic was still a success. Spectators were able to watch certain events live, even. The best of the circumstances was made despite the unforeseen challenges that Ohio has found itself in.

Arnold feeding his horses, encouraging people to stay home. (Source: YouTube/CBS News)

We are all in this together. 

Anwen Harris
Reporter

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