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2008 Arnold Sports Festival Highlights: A Weekend Of Sports!

Another amazing weekend in Columbus, Ohio is upon us. The 2008 Arnold Sports Festival returns to celebrate its 20th anniversary with many great events! See what they are right here!

2008 Arnold Sports Festival Highlights
A Weekend Of Sports, A Lifetime Of Fitness
Friday, Saturday and Sunday, February 29, March 1 & 2 Covering Events Listed In Yellow.

Greater Columbus Convention Center - 24 events
Arnold Fitness EXPO - 650 booths
  • Active Aging Festival
  • Arnold Amateur IFBB Figure (finals)
  • Arnold Amateur IFBB Fitness (finals)
  • Arnold Amateur IFBB Men's and Women's Bodybuilding (finals)
  • Arnold Armwrestling Challenge
  • Arnold Cheerleading & Dance Team Championships
  • Arnold Fencing Classic
  • Arnold Fitness Fashion Show
  • Arnold Gymnastics Challenge
  • Arnold Martial Arts Festival / Grappling

  • Arnold Strength Training Summit
  • Arnold Strong Man Classic (5 events)
  • Arnold Table Tennis Challenge
  • Arnold USA Boxing Championship
  • Arnold Youth DanceSport Classic
  • Arnold 5K Pump and Run
  • Figure International (pre-judging)
  • Fitness International (pre-judging)
  • Ms. International (pre-judging)
  • Arnold Weightlifting Championships
  • USA Powerlifting Championships
Veterans Memorial - 14 events
  • 20th Arnold Classic (pre-judging)
  • 20th Arnold Classic (finals)
  • Arnold Archery Competition--North Hall
  • Arnold Cycling Challenge
  • Arnold Fitness Training Seminar
  • Arnold Strong Man Classic (final event)
  • Amateur Men's Bodybuilding (pre-judging)
  • Amateur Women's Bodybuilding (pre-judging)
  • Amateur Fitness (pre-judging)
  • Amateur Figure (pre-judging)
  • VIP Banquet
  • Fitness International (finals)
  • Figure International (finals)
  • Ms. International (finals)
Nationwide Arena
Arnold Wrestling Challenge.
Free Shuttle Buses
FREE shuttle buses will run regularly between the three venues and major downtown hotels.

arrow ACTIVE AGING Festival

  • 2nd year event features Archie Griffin, Ohio State University alumni leader and only 2-time winner of the Heisman Trophy
  • Festival includes presentations on prehabilitation, ageless mobility, exercise is medicine with no co pay, and doing "frame work" to keep your core structure stronger longer
  • Exhibits to provide informational material and products
  • Feb. 29, in Hyatt Regency Ballroom adjacent to Arnold Fitness EXPO


  • Four amateur contests will include men's and women's bodybuilding, women's fitness and figure that correspond to the professional events
  • More than 300 athletes from more than 40 states in the US, as well as 21 other nations are expected to compete
  • The events promise aspiring athletes who are aiming for the future
  • Fitness and Figure Pre-judging 7pm Thursday, February 28 at Veterans Memorial
  • Men's and Women's bodybuilding pre-judging at 9am Friday, February 29 at Veterans Memorial
  • All final competitions 9am-noon Saturday on the EXPO Stage at GCCC

arrow Arnold ARCHERY Competition & NASP State Tournament

  • 2nd annual Ohio National Archery in Schools Program (NASP) Tournament
  • Friday, February 29, in North Hall of Veterans Memorial
  • 136 schools participate in four-year-old NASP program in Ohio
  • More than 700 youth from around Ohio will compete in three age divisions
  • Winners advance to National Archery in Schools National Tournament
  • Demonstrations by four-time US Olympian Gold Medalist Darrell Owen Pace

arrow Arnold ARMWRESTLING Challenge

  • 88 top male and female armwrestlers expected
  • All six men and women winners from last year return to defend titles
  • Competitors had to place 1st, 2nd or 3rd in a 2006 national or world contest
  • Preliminary matches Friday, February 29, 11am on EXPO stage of GCCC
  • Finals Saturday, March 3, 9am on EXPO stage
  • Requires combination of techniques and strength of hand, wrist, forearm, bicep and shoulder

arrow Arnold USA BOXING Invitational Championships

  • 700 amateurs square off during 2 days of bouts at Greater Columbus Convention Center
  • Male and female, youth and adult
  • Divisions: Bantam: ages 8, 9, and 10, Intermediate: 11 and 12, Junior: 13 and 14, Seniors: 15 and 16, and Open: 17-35
  • Saturday, March 1 and Sunday, March 2 bouts for all divisions and weights
  • Former Heavyweight Champion, James "Buster" Douglas and current Middleweight Champion, Kelly "Ghost" Pavlik will make guest appearances

arrow Arnold CHEERLEADING and DANCE Nationals

  • 4,000 amateur competitors, individuals and teams at GCCC Battelle Hall
  • Divisions: elementary, middle and high schools; studio, rec league, college and all stars
  • Friday, February 29, individuals and stunt teams
  • Saturday and Sunday, March 1 and 2: team competitions
  • Sunday, March 2, afternoon: Top dance teams compete on EXPO stage at GCCC

arrow Arnold CYCLING Challenge

  • First annual Arnold Cycling Challenge Sunday, March 2
  • Short distance criterium (1 mile) over downtown Columbus streets
  • Course begins and ends at Veterans Memorial Auditorium
  • $10,000 in prize money for Category 1, 2 and 3 riders


  • Latest trends in sports apparel
  • 40 apparel companies, 60 models, many celebrity models
  • Sunday, March 2 at noon on the EXPO stage, Hall D, Greater Columbus Convention Center

arrow Arnold FENCING Classic

  • Ancient Olympic sport that requires speed, timing, tactics and lightning fast reflexes
  • Foil, epee, and sabre
  • Junior Open and Regional Youth Circuit divisions are for school-age youth
  • International Sabre Elite Competition will draw world's best
  • Epee Men's Open; one of best elite competitions in US
  • Sunday, March 2: Hyatt Regency Franklin, Delaware, Hayes and Union Rooms
  • Special Guests: Peter Westbrook, six-time Olympian; Donald Anthony, US National Squad member 1982-1996; and, Mika'il Sankofa, three-time Olympian

Click Image To Enlarge.
Arnold Classic Fencing Competitors.

arrow Arnold GYMNASTICS Challenge

  • The largest mixed (boys and girls) gymnastics competition in United States
  • 3,500 male and female gymnasts from clubs across the United States
  • Demonstrations by three-time US Olympian and five-time National Champion Blaine Wilson, two-time US Olympian and World Champion team member Morgan Hamm, and world-class elite gymnast, Chellsie Memmel, a 2005 All-Around Gold Medalist
  • Compulsory and options competitions to be held February 29 and March 1, with finals set for March 2
  • All competitions in Hall E at Greater Columbus Convention Center

arrow TABLE TENNIS Challenge

  • World champion Biba Golic, winner of the 2007 "Battle of the Sexes" Championship scheduled to appear
  • Friday, Feb. 29, seniors competitions presented in partnership with Columbus Recreation and Parks Department 50+ program, at Greater Columbus Convention Center (GCCC)
  • Saturday, March 1: ESPN TV shows and sanctioned USATT tournament at GCCC
  • Sunday, March 2: collegiate team championships, clinic and open play at GCCC

arrow Arnold WRESTLING Challenge

  • 1,500 wrestlers expected in two events
  • State Championships for Ohio United Regional Wrestling Association for Youth (OURWAY)
  • 24 college teams will compete in the National Collegiate Wrestling Association's Midwest regional tournament. This is a qualifier for NCWA's national championships later in March 2008
  • All matches are in Nationwide Arena, beginning at 9 am, Sunday, March 2

arrow Arnold STRENGTH TRAINING Summit

  • Scientific and practical forum open to public
  • Of particular benefit for strength coaches and personal trainers
  • Twenty power-packed lectures focus on topics like endurance, strength development, nutrition and supplements, mixed training methods, and more
  • Special registration packages for students, professionals, speed power specialists; three days, 1 day, and half days

arrow Arnold STRONGMAN Classic

  • Features 10 of world's strongest men competing in six events
  • Competitors include Phil Pfister of Charleston, W.Va., who won the World's Strongest Man competition in September and is the first American since 1982 to carry title of "World's Strongest Man"
  • Events include Timber Lift (also known as Farmer's Carry), Manhood Stones, Apollon's Wheel, Tire Deadlift, The Yoke, and Circus Dumbbell
  • March 2, 3pm - 6pm on the EXPO stage, March 3, 1pm and 3pm on EXPO stage of the Greater Columbus Convention Center
  • March 3, final event during Arnold Classic at Veterans Memorial

arrow Arnold WEIGHTLIFTING Championships

  • USA Weightlifting will hold its National Championships which is also a Team Trial event for the 2008 Olympics
  • The two classic Olympic lifts are snatch and clean-and-jerk
  • Snatch: lift from floor to overhead in one continuous movement
  • Clean & jerk: two-part lift, from floor to shoulders, then jerked overhead
  • Feb.29, March 1 and 2, at Greater Columbus Convention Center

arrow Columbus Rotary Annual SCHOLARSHIPS

  • Ten $1,000 College Scholarships to be presented to deserving youth participants at the 2008 Arnold Sports Festival
  • California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and a Columbus Rotarian join in the presentation to each scholarship winner
  • The Columbus Rotary and Arnold Sports Festival joint scholarship provides the opportunity further the Rotarian message of commitment to youth and the Arnold Sports Festival dedication to the celebration of excellence through sports performance

arrow Arnold 5K PUMP AND RUN

  • 600 athletes compete in unique combination of bench press and 5K run at the GCCC Largest "pump and run" competition in the United States
  • Competitors come from 25 states, Washington, D.C., and Canada competing in 10 age and gender divisions
  • Run times are reduced by 30 seconds for each time they bench press a pre-determined percentage of their body weight
  • Sunday, March 2, 7am weigh-in and bench press competition, at north entrance to Greater Columbus Convention Center. The bench press segment is supervised by U.S. Marine Corps drill instructors, and is followed by 5K run set for 10am
  • The 5K only run, (no bench press) starts at 9:30am

arrow Arnold USA POWERLIFTING Championships

  • Four World level competitions:
  • USA Powerlifting Raw Challenge
  • Quest American Invitational
  • GNC Pro Performance IPF International Deadlift Championship
  • IPF Titan Pro Bench Bash
  • 120 of America's elite junior and adult lifters
  • Lifters compete in bench press, deadlift and squat

Click Image To Enlarge.
Arnold Classic Powerlifting Competitor.

arrow Youth DANCESPORT

  • Athletic dance competition including American/Canadian faceoff at GCCC
  • Youngsters perform ballroom dance, dancesport, cha cha, rumba, samba, paso doble, and jive
  • Directed by Columbus residents Sam Sodano and Bill Sparks, organizers of Ohio Star Ball

arrow MARTIAL ARTS Festival

  • Nearly 3,000 martial artists will compete in 25 different disciplines in Hall C of the GCCC
  • Will include gold medalists, beginners, police academy instructors, adults with physical and mental challenges, and the UFC president
  • Workshops on Friday, February 29, taught by martial art legends Dana White, Fumio Demura, Joe Lewis, Tony Blauer, Laura Clements, Jason David Frank, Master Chang, Chris Lytle, Eddie Bravo, Kevin Randleman, Kenny Florian, Kenny Kearns, Kevin Cullen, Shonie Carter and Master Doug Grant
  • Martial arts competitions on Saturday, March 1 and Sunday, March 2 in Hall C of GCCC
  • All grappling competitions on Saturday, March 1 in Hall C of GCCC

arrow Arnold FITNESS EXPO

  • 650 exhibitor booths for professionals and fans that want the latest in fitness apparel, footwear, training tools, and nutritional supplements
  • The centerpiece of more than 30 events that comprise the Arnold Sports Festival, the nation's largest multi-sports festival
  • Exhibit hall stage entertainment includes sports demonstrations and competitions that will give audiences a taste of the high caliber competitions available throughout the weekend
  • Personal appearances by California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, and many international and national champions
  • Top performers in several youth-oriented sports will be awarded a total of $10,000 in scholarships from Columbus Rotary
  • February 29, March 1 and 2, in Hall D of the Greater Columbus Convention Center

arrow Arnold Classic MEN'S BODYBUILDING

  • 15 of the world's best male bodybuilders
  • Richest and most prestigious crown in bodybuilding: $130,000 check, a $20,000 watch, and a trophy go to the winner $10,000 prize for best poser
  • Additional $194,000 in prize money to 2nd through 15th place finishers
  • Pre-judging is Saturday, March 1, at noon at the Veterans Memorial Auditorium
  • Finals are Saturday, March 1, 7:00pm at the Veterans Memorial Auditorium
  • Men and women winners since 1989 of the Arnold Classic and Ms. International will be honored on the stage during the Arnold Classic
  • The Arnold Classic Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented to Ben Weider, co-founder and longtime president of the International Federation of Bodybuilders (IFBB)

Colonel Weider
Click Image To Enlarge.
Ben Weider.

arrow FITNESS International

  • 12 of the world's best fitness competitors vie for $55,500 in prize money
  • Winners from last three years return: 2006 and 2004 Adelina Garcia, 2005 Jen Hendershott
  • A $25,000 check, and a trophy go to the winner
  • Pre-judging is Friday, March 2, 12noon on the EXPO stage, Hall D, GCCC
  • Finals are Friday, March 2, 7:00pm at Franklin County Veterans Memorial Auditorium
  • Local competitors include Jennifer Hendershott and Julie Palmer.

Jennifer Hendershott Julie Palmer
+ Click To Enlarge.
Jennifer Hendershott & Julie Palmer.

arrow FIGURE International

  • 16 of the world's fittest and most shapely female physiques will contend for a share of $43,500 in prize money
  • A $15,000 check and a trophy go to the winner
  • Pre-judging is Friday, March 2, 12noon EXPO stage Greater Columbus Convention Center
  • Finals are Friday, March 2, 7:00pm Franklin County Veterans Memorial Auditorium
  • Ohio competitors include Briana Tindall, Latisha Wilder, and Chastity Slone.

Briana Latisha Wilder
+ Click To Enlarge.
Briana Tindall & Latisha Wilder.

arrow Ms. International WOMEN'S BODYBUILDING

Yaxeni Iris
+ Click To Enlarge.
Yaxeni Oriquen-Garcia & Iris Kyle-Floyd.

  • A $25,000 check and a trophy go to the overall winner
  • Pre-judging is Friday, February 29, 12noon on the EXPO stage Greater Columbus Convention Center
  • Finals are Friday, February 29, 7pm at the Veterans Memorial Auditorium

For more information see our website:

2008 Arnold Sports Festival: What Do You Want To See? 2008 Arnold Sports Festival: What Do You Want To See? is sending our largest team yet to the Arnold this year to provide the best coverage possible. Out of the all the events taking place, what would you most like to see us cover?
[ Click here to learn more. ]

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