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For Immediate Release


More than 18,000 athletes, ranging from a jump-rope contestant achieving six jumps per second to an 85-year-old fencer, will be part of the Arnold Sports Festival from February 28 through March 3 at the SMG-managed Greater Columbus Convention Center (GCCC) and other area venues.

“We began working together in 1976. Now it is the 25th anniversary,” said Arnold Schwarzenegger in regard to his rapport with event co-chairman Jim Lorimer. “It never would have happened without an extraordinary partner like Jim Lorimer and the volunteers and paid staff helping us. That’s why the competition works like clockwork and runs perfectly.”

“This is one of the great events of our city, our state and the world,” added Mayor Michael B. Coleman. “People from all over the country will participate in the Arnold Sports Festival and descend on the great city of Columbus.”

“There will be 175,000 attendees, 100 hotels, 18,000 athletes in 45 sports, a 700-booth EXPO, 12 Olympic sports and 80 nations represented. There’s nothing like that anywhere in the world,” said Jim Lorimer of Classic Productions. “Saturday night will be something new and special with the Party with the Pros at the Hollywood Casino, a fantastic new facility.”

Other new Arnold Sports Festival events in 2013 include:
• The Arnold Scottish Highland Games at Columbus Commons with bagpipers, drummers and dancers, during which athletes compete in the end-over-end caber (a tree trunk weighing more than 100 pounds and measuring 20 feet long) toss, launch 56-pound weights for height and 28-pound weights for distance and throw long-shafted sledgehammers
• The Arnold Survival Race, a family friendly 5K obstacle course at Berliner Sports Park on March 2
• Xtreme Powerlifting Competition (XPC) encompassing the squat, bench press and dead lift at Veterans Memorial on March 2-3
• Hilton Columbus Downtown’s hosting the Arnold, Champions & Legends Sunday Morning Showcase, featuring Schwarzenegger and other champions talking about bodybuilding and physical training
• The Arnold Jump Rope Fitness Competition, including demonstrations by speed jumpers capable of 980 revolutions in three minutes

The first Arnold Classic, named in honor of Schwarzenegger, was held at Franklin County Veterans Memorial in 1989 and won by Rich Gaspari, who will be presented with the 2013 Lifetime Achievement Award and will be among the former champions returning in honor of this year’s event milestone. The 2013 Arnold Classic winner will receive $130,000 and other prizes.

Youth athletes are a major component of the festival in a variety of sports, including fencing, cheerleading and gymnastics. Ten $2,000 college scholarships will be presented to the athletes by the Columbus Rotary and the Arnold Sports Festival.

The incredibly popular 700-booth Arnold Fitness EXPO in GCCC Exhibit Hall D will include nutritional products, sports equipment, apparel and a main stage with continuous entertainment and athletic competitions.

EXPO hours will be:
• Friday, March 1 from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
• Saturday, March 2 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
• Sunday, March 3 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The GCCC will host the following events:

• Friday, March 1: EXPO, Arnold Fencing Classic, Arnold Amateur Strongman Competition, USA Powerlifting Championships, Gymnastics Challenge, Art at the Arnold, Zumba Fitness and More, Crossfit, Kurt Angle Ultimate Teen Challenge Sign Ups, Weightlifting Championships, Table Tennis Challenge, Armwrestling Preliminaries, Ms. International, Fitness International and Figure International prejudging, Strongman (Professional) Classic, Mighty Mitts Contest, Amateur Men’s and Women’s Physique Finals, MMA Workshop, World Jump Rope, Cheerleading and Dance
• Saturday, March 2: EXPO, fencing, Boxing/Martial Arts Festival/Arnold Grappling Championships (Youth & Adult), powerlifting, cheerleading and dance, Youth DanceSport Classic, jump rope, table tennis, gymnastics, Art at the Arnold, Kurt Angle, CrossFit, weightlifting, Armwrestling finals, Amateur Men’s and Women’s Bodybuilding, fitness, figure & Bikini finals, strongman, Mighty Mitts, Scottish Highland Games Demonstration, GNC ProPerformance Amp Pro Deadlift
• Sunday, March 3: EXPO, 5K Pump & Run, 5K Run/Walk, boxing/martial arts grappling (Youth & Adult), fencing, Kurt Angle, gymnastics, table tennis, DanceSport, cheerleading and dance, powerlifting, CrossFit, weightlifting, Art at the Arnold, cheerleading and dance/jump rope/table tennis demonstrations, Irish Dance, strongman (amateur) finals

Daily Arnold Fitness EXPO tickets are available for $10 in advance, plus service charges, via and (800) 745-3000, or at the door for $15 at all festival venues. Children age 10 and under are admitted free. Strollers are not permitted within the exhibit halls. There is an additional admission charge for selected events.

Festival venues in addition to the GCCC serving as event hosts are the Hyatt Regency Columbus, Hilton Columbus Downtown, Columbus Commons, Franklin County Veterans Memorial, Lifestyle Communities Pavilion, The Ohio State University French Field House, Hollywood Casino Columbus and Berliner Sports Park.

For more information about the festival, visit

“The success of the Arnold Sports Festival in Columbus has enabled the organizers to expand the festival to both Brazil and Spain,” said SMG Regional General Manager Craig M. Liston.

The Greater Columbus Convention Center, located in downtown Columbus, hosted an estimated 2.5 million visitors in 2012. The facility is owned by the Franklin County Convention Facilities Authority and is managed by SMG.

Founded in 1977, SMG provides management services to more than 220 public assembly facilities including convention and exhibition centers, arenas, stadiums, theatres, performing arts centers, equestrian facilities, science centers and a variety of other venues. With facilities across the globe, SMG manages more than 14.4 million square feet of exhibition space and over 1.75 million sports and entertainment seats. As the recognized global industry leader, SMG provides venue management, sales, marketing, event booking and programming, construction and design consulting, and pre-opening services for such landmark facilities as McCormick Place and Soldier Field in Chicago, Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco, Houston’s Reliant Park and the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

Visit and for more information.
Jennifer B. Davis
Marketing & Communications Manager
Greater Columbus Convention Center
(614) 827-2538