Why a sports festival named after Arnold Schwarzenegger is held in Columbus every year

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).

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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.

The 2020 event was canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic and 2021's event was limited to one day and was in September.

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.

From the Columbus Dispatch in 2019:

"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."

The Arnold Schwarzenegger statue collects some snow on Tuesday, February 16, 2021, at the Greater Columbus Convention Center, where the Arnold Sports Festival USA is held.

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.

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.

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