Columbus plays host every year to the USA Arnold Sports Festival, because Arnold Schwarzenegger loves our town. The last couple of years we have attended at least one day of the event, and this year we got weekend passes. The passes get you into the expo and into a majority of the days events. There is a common misconception that the Arnold is only for bodybuilders, and that is just categorically untrue. In the past several years we have watched/ experienced jiu jitsu, fencing, cheerleading, pole fitness, art, gymnastics, highland games, crossfit, strongest man/woman and more. I have yet to locate the ballroom dancing, though I know it is an event there.
This year on Saturday we wandered the expo floor to hit a couple of booths. I got some protein powder to make my morning shakes and a couple of other supplements from NLA for her. We wandered the floor trying supplements and protein bars. We saw Eddie “The Beast” Hall in one of the booths and several pro body builders.
We spent quite a while watching Jiu Jitsu competitions ranging from children of I would say five or six to competitors of eighteen or so. There were so many amazing bouts, and kids showing off their amazing skills. There was this tiny girl of eight or so in pigtails who was absolutely there to win. She competed against boys and girls alike and won soundly every time. At one point she made a girl cry with a perfectly executed arm bar and she handled the whole situation with such grace.
We eventually wandered on and watched the professional and amateur highland games. I am a sucker for the highland games, and it is so exciting to see new people are taking an interest. We arrived just in time for the pros to be doing the caber toss. Then there was a break between events which featured Irish step dancing. Then the amateur competition began which started with the stone put. We also watched some double dutch and some power lifting.
On Sunday we started by watching some more jump rope. Then we claimed places by the main stage in the expo to watch the finals for dead-lift followed by the strongman record breakers. We watched strong woman Donna Moore hit the world record for valkyrie spheres and Hafthor (Thor) “The Mountain” Bjornsson set the new world record for height on the bell toss. We then moved on to the pole fitness finals. We watched the men and the youth categories, before calling it a day.
So if you happen to be in Columbus next march, check out the Arnold. There is truly a little something for everyone.