Arnold says, "I'll be back!"
Much like waiting for Santa to come at Christmas time so did Arnold himself at the 19th annual Arnold Classic/Sports Festival weekend. Instead of leaving cookies and milk for the children, he gifted fitness enthusiasts across the world with his live interview backstage held by Bob Cicherillo and Nancy Di Nino provided by Bodybuilding.com. What a memorable experience!
Our Interview With Arnold Schwarzenegger!
We were so fortunate that Arnold; 'the governor' took the time to speak with us backstage. In our webcast closing backstage, Arnold was more then willing to say a few words on behalf of 'his show'.
I felt so honored to have the opportunity to interview Arnold, the Governor. Was I nervous, people asked? No, not nervous, perhaps, if I can describe the moment, I felt so blessed and fortunate to be standing beside the person who was ultimately responsible for such remarkable movements in our sport, for his contributions and for his creation of The Arnold Classic itself. It was a moment of "awe"... a state of respectful bliss I would call it... one I will reflect upon even years from now.
For those of you who didn't have a chance to view the webcast, in sum, Arnold made mentions to the remarkable growth that the sport has made over the years, and how he and his partner Jim Lorimer were able to create this Sports Festival weekend, now, with a record of 39 sports, 17,000 athletes and in attendance by over 130,000 people!
What I most admired were his thoughts advocating a lifestyle of health and fitness for all people, all ages including the young children and seniors. His mention also noted the need for the increased coverage and attention to women athletes which theoretically speaking was the whole purpose of the webcast. In closing we said we look forward to seeing him once again in 2008, Arnold responded, "I'LL BE BACK!"
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger Interview!
Watch the webcast replay for the Live Arnold Schwarzenegger Interview now!
The expo itself was like a 'fitness wonderland', with tons of fitness fanatics eager to grab their free giveaways, meet their favorite icons, and watch their favorite competitors on stage. I had to silently chuckle as girls in short skirts, booty shorts, heals or tight fitted workout wear was what you were most apt to see, raising the interests of many spectators and making camera phones and video cameras a hot commodity alright. More like hot bods for sale! LOL!
The expo kicked off on Friday and was found to be at least 'crowd bearable', meaning at least you had some elbow space to move around compared to the Saturday stampede which was most anticipated. And yes Saturday was more like a pandemonium breaking out at a rock concert! Just going to the bathroom or trying to get anywhere was an expected 20-30 minute journey trying to fight through the crowds.
Much like Christmas shoppers on Christmas Eve scrambling to get final gifts, fitness enthusiasts were scrambling for any freebies, give aways and to get to fan participation events. Just going to the bathroom was a chore itself and a 20-30 minute journey. Almost better to just hold it! LOL!
This year there were 39 sports totally 17,000 athletes. Friday's classic started with the Women's prejudging segment at the expo. Bob and I took our seats to view what was in store for the evening webcast. We awaited for these beautiful competitors to unveil their stellar physiques, and let me tell you, what a line up.
The figure line-up was quickly dominated by our reigning champ Mary Lado, followed closely by Amanda Savell, Sonia Adcock and Latisha Wilder. In fitness, well the moment Kim Klein graced the stage; I knew she was the one to beat, or more so the one taking the Fitness International title.
Click To Enlarge. Kim Klein.
View More Pics Of Kim At The 2007 Arnold: Finals
Kim's physique was near perfection. It depicted the perfect mold of what beauty and athleticism is about. Following the heels of Kim, was of course the hometown favorite Jen Hendershott and then our 'chica' Latina Adela Garcia.
Click Image To Enlarge.
Jen Hendershott & Adela Garcia.
View More Pics Of Jen At The 2007 Arnold: Finals
View More Pics Of Adela At The 2007 Arnold: Finals
Bodybuilding took the stage with the obvious one to beat being Iris Kyle. I swear, I think every other competitor on stage wished they were blessed with her genetically gifted X frame.
Click Image To Enlarge.
View More Pics Of Iris At The 2007 Arnold: Finals
Second to Iris was Yaxeni Oriquen. And finally third was the highly anticipated Pro debut of Heather Policky.
Click Image To Enlarge.
Yaxeni Oriquen & Heather Policky.
View More Pics Of Yaxeni At The 2007 Arnold: Finals
View More Pics Of Heather At The 2007 Arnold: Finals
We then headed back to the Bodybuiding.com booth, which became increasingly busy as the hours passed. Fitness gurus waited to see our team which included Bob Cicherillo, Timea Majorova, Jamie Eason, Jerome Ferguson, Idrise Wardel and myself, just to name a few. We were so pleased by the overwhelming amount of fans and supporters wanting autographed pictures.
The 5 pm hour quickly approached and Bob and I headed over to the Veterans Memorial Auditorium to prep for the pre show for the women's webcast. We were so excited to kick things off and for the first time ever being able to provide the webcast for viewers to watch at home, no matter what part of the world they were in.
The Backstage Experience
Although I am very familiar with it being on both ends as a competitor and hosting correspondent, I can't entirely explain it, but the feeling is like no other, seeing and living the moment is such a surreal experience.
Imagine... Watching the candid moments as the competitors await the stage, the scent of posing lotion and tanning products that caress the room, the sounds of weights echoing from a distance in the pump up room, and the echoed chattered among different industry professionals. If you were to actually sit back and observe it would be like watching different scenes from a movie all happening at the same time. What a rush!
Showtime it is! Bob and I were so pumped to begin the pre show at 6:30pm launching the first ever official woman's finals webcast provided by Bodybuilding.com!
These women have been calling for increased coverage for the longest time and we were so happy to fulfill the segment and showcase these beautiful women. Having said that, the night ran very smoothly and we provided a great backstage commentary that left the competitors, friends and family with memorable footage for their keep safe.
Women's Internationals Finals Replay
Watch the webcast replay for the Ms. International, Fitness International, and Figure International championships now!
The Saturday men's finals webcast was led by the double trouble team of Dan Soloman and Bob Cicherillo, with some backstage interviews held by the beautiful Jamie Eason. (She is such a cool girl!)
Men's Finals Replay
Watch the webcast replay for the Arnold Classic Men's championships now!
In any case, the Arnold Classic weekend, once again was a great success. I would like to thank the entire Bodybuilding.com team for a job well done. All of our combined efforts in making things happen evidently showcased... on location and to viewers and fans across the world!
Nancy Di Nino
Your Co-host - Women's Webcast For Bodybuilding.com