From Ohio History Central
Each year, thousands of bodybuilders, martial artists, and fitness enthusiasts from around the world converge upon Columbus, Ohio for a weekend exposition bearing the name of bodybuilding legend Arnold Schwarzenegger.
The Arnold Sports Festival began in Columbus as the Arnold Classic in 1989.Arnold Schwarzenegger was one of the most famous body builders in the world during the 1970s and 1980s.He created the Arnold Classic to showcase bodybuilding. The Arnold Classic has evolved into one of the premiere bodybuilding events in the world. This competition continues to take place at the Columbus Convention Center.
Over the years, Schwarzenegger has added other events. The Arnold Classic continues to crown a male bodybuilder as its winner, but now Ms. International, a woman's bodybuilding event, also takes place, as well as the Arnold Fitness Training Seminar, the Fitness International Competition, the Arnold Cheerleading and Dance Team Championships, the Arnold Strongest Man Competition, the World Powerlifting Organization World Championship, the Arnold Fitness Fashion Show, the Arnold Classic Armwrestling Challenge, the World Record Bench Press Challenge, the Arnold World Gracie Submission Championships, and the Arnold Traditional Karate World Cup Championship, among other events. With the addition of other competitions to the Arnold Classic, the combined event became known as the Arnold Fitness Expo in 1993. It is now named the Arnold Sports Festival.
In 2005, more than ten thousand athletes participated in the various competitions, competing for more than 400,000 dollars in prize money. Seventy-five thousand people attended the Arnold Fitness Expo. Six hundred vendors also sold their wares at the show.