Before he was ever the Terminator or Dutch from Predator or twin brothers with Danny DeVito, Arnold Schwarzenegger was arguably the greatest bodybuilder of all-time.
Schwarzenegger, one of the most famous actors on the planet who became the Governor of California in the 2000s, was Mr. Olympia seven times and Mr. Universe three times. He took lifting and bodybuilding to new popularity in the famous documentary "Pumping Iron."
(Apologies to Lou Ferrigno for bringing it up).
Arnold Sports Festival: Daily highlights beyond bodybuilding and heavy weights
Columbus mask mandate: Columbus prepares to lift mask mandate, but not until after The Arnold closes
And in 1989, in the City of Columbus, the Arnold Classic was born. It started as a bodybuilding competition and has evolved into what is now the Arnold Sports Festival.
Here's what you need to know the 2022 Arnold Classic and Arnold Sports Festival:
Why is the Arnold Classic, Arnold Sports Festival in Columbus, Ohio?
In the 1970s, Worthington Mayor Jim Lorimer agreed to host bodybuilding competitions.
"It's important to know that our relationship next year will be 50 years (old)," Schwarzenegger said. "It was 1970 when Jim and I met. That was the most important event of my life. It was the first bodybuilding show in which I defeated a very important competitor, Sergio Oliva, and I did it on neutral ground — Columbus."
Schwarzenegger was so impressed by the show that he formed a handshake agreement to put on bodybuilding shows in Columbus starting in 1976, originally including such events as the Mr. Olympia competition.
After a few years, the two realized they could hold a show specifically based in Columbus, and the Arnold Classic was born.
"But we never intended to have a sports festival and an exposition," Schwarzenegger said. "Columbus can take a lot of credit for this, for nurturing this."
Where is the Arnold Sports Festival held in Columbus?
The event is held at the Columbus Convention Center.
How has Arnold Schwarzenegger not played Jim Lorimer in a movie?
Lorimer has been a long proponent of health and fitness along with being a local politician. But he was also an FBI agent. The now 95-year-old detailed his made-for-the-movies story in 2017:
Arnold Schwarzenegger will be at the Arnold Sports Festival 2022
When an entire multi-sport competition is named after Arnold Schwarzenegger, you better believe the star of "Conan The Barbarian" will be there.
The Stage is set, the athlete lists are out, and the clock is ticking down to March 5th. Who will reign victorious in the 2022 Arnold Classic?
Visit https://t.co/oPcdY73AW4 to get your tickets TODAY!#Asf2021 #arnoldclassic pic.twitter.com/ecESEBoHan
— Arnold Sports Festival (@ArnoldSports) December 29, 2021
Logan Paul will be there too
Yes. Logan Paul will be at the Arnold Sports Festival. He and Schwarzenegger are judging a slapping competition.
Yes, you read that right. No word yet if Michigan basketball coach Juwan Howard is competing.
Prepare to watch some serious slaps March 5th with Arnold and Logan Paul live and free on Logan’s YouTube and on Fanmio.
Live stream links below:https://t.co/W4cumeS1rb https://t.co/v6DkwzOFJKhttps://t.co/0MjkM4nhr3
DON’T MISS IT!!!!#SFC #SlapFightingChampionship #Asf2022 pic.twitter.com/Yar7DhiYXN
— Arnold Sports Festival (@ArnoldSports) February 22, 2022
What is the Arnold Classic?
The Arnold Classic was the original event and one of bodybuilding's most prestigious competitions.
However, the Arnold Classic is just one of the events at the Arnold Sports Festival. In 2019, there were 80 different events.
This year there are athletes from 64 countries and more than 1,000 vendor booths at the Arnold Expo.
Who has won the Arnold Classic
Here's a list of all the past champions.
1989: Rich Gaspari
1990: Mike Ashley
1991: Shawn Ray
1992: Vince Taylor
1993: Flex Wheeler
1994: Kevin Levrone
1995: Michael Francois
1996: Kevin Levrone
1997: Flex Wheeler
1998: Flex Wheeler
1999: Nasser El Sonbaty
2000: Flex Wheeler
2001: Ronnie Coleman
2002: Jay Cutler
2003: Jay Cutler
2004: Jay Cutler
2005: Dexter Jackson
2006: Dexter Jackson
2007: Victor Martinez
2008: Dexter Jackson
2009: Kai Greene
2010: Kai Greene
2011: Branch Warren
2012: Branch Warren
2013: Dexter Jackson
2014: Dennis Wolf
2015: Dexter Jackson
2016: Kai Greene
2017: Cedric McMillan
2018: William Bonac
2019: Brandon Curry
2020: William Bonac
2021: Nick Walker
This article originally appeared on The Columbus Dispatch: Why the Arnold Classic, Arnold Sports Festival is in Columbus