The nation’s largest multi-sport festival, which began in1989 with 39 male and female bodybuilders, will feature more than 18,000 athletes from 80 nations competing in 45 sports and events – including 12 Olympic sports – when the Arnold Sports Festival celebrates its 25th Anniversary in 2013.
The inaugural Arnold Classic, named for co-promoter and bodybuilding legend Arnold Schwarzenegger, and women’s bodybuilding contests were held at Veterans Memorial in 1989. Inaugural champion Rich Gaspari will be among the previous winners who will return in 2013 to celebrate its 25th Anniversary.
The 2013 Arnold Sports Festival will draw 175,000 health and fitness enthusiasts and sports fans to Columbus when it is held Feb. 28-March 3. GNC, the nation’s largest specialty retailer of sports nutrition products, returns as the lead sponsor for the 13th straight year.
The Arnold Sports Festival prides itself on bringing new and interesting competitions to the largest multi-sport event in the nation.
New in 2013 is the Scottish Highland Games, which will feature men in kilts performing feats of strength such as the caber toss and hammer throw. The Scottish Highland Games and accompanying Scottish Highland Dance Competition will be held at 10 a.m. on March 3 at Columbus Commons.
Also new will be the Arnold Survival Race, an extreme 5K race at Lou Berliner Park on March 2, K-1 (professional kick boxing) in Battelle Grande Feb. 28, and XPC Powerlifting at Veterans Memorial March 2-3.
The 2013 Arnold Fitness EXPO will again feature 700 booths of the latest in sports equipment, apparel and nutrition and a stage that hosts unique, non-stop competitions and entertainment that combine to make the Arnold Fitness EXPO the heart of the Arnold Sports Festival.
Many Arnold Sports Festival participants are youth competing in events such as archery, boxing, cheerleading, dance, fencing, gymnastics, martial arts and table tennis. The top student-athletes compete for ten $2,000 college scholarships presented annually by the Columbus Rotary and the Arnold Sports Festival.
“A Daily EXPO ticket affords a great entertainment value and allows our attendees to experience a great variety of sports and events,” co-promoter Jim Lorimer said. “We are very proud to provide the opportunity for athletes, a majority of them youth, to compete at the largest multi-sport festival in the U.S.”