For one weekend each year, Arnold can immerse himself in a world that genuinely defines who Arnold is... and where he began his journey toward unimaginable stardom and influence as a 7-time Olympia champion.
Over the past 3 years, Jay Cutler has left Columbus the victor, complete with three new Hummers and a cool $300,000. Last year's Arnold Classic wasn't without its share of controversy as Jay fended off a furious charge by a field that included a ripped Dexter Jackson and a chiseled Chris Cormier. For this year's event, the defending champ will be in the audience, counting his money and enjoying a well-deserved respite.
Despite the absence of Iron Jay, fans who journeyed to Columbus will be treated to a lineup of champions that include the winners of last years Ironman Pro (Dexter Jackson), last years Show of Strength (Victor Martinez), last years Toronto Pro (Darrem Charles), last years Night of Champions (Melvin Anthony) and last weeks Ironman Pro (Gustavo Badell).
A Look At The Contenders...
No longer sneaking up on anyone, Gustavo is now a threat to win any show he enters. His physique is loaded with generous portions of thick, well conditioned muscle. He proved in Las Vegas that he can go pose for pose with anyone and he removed any "one hit wonder" questions last weekend when he secured his first pro victory at the Ironman.
Excluding the Olympia, Darrem has finished no lower than 2nd place in 6 out of the past 7 shows he's entered and he has not missed a final posedown since 2001. Darrem has boldly indicated that he considers himself a contender to win this event after adding a few more quality pounds to his shredded frame. (Darrem's Pre-Arnold Interview)
Genetics and structure have taken Victor a long way. We have yet to see Victor nail his conditioning, but he seems to be a favorite of the judges. His victory at the Show of Strength was debatable, but it is clear that Victor has emerged as a top tier pro... and a contender in Columbus.
1st - Gustavo Badell
2nd - Dexter Jackson
3rd - Chris Cormier
4th - Darrem Charles
5th - Victor Martinez
6th - Lee Priest
As always, Pro Muscle Online and Bodybuilding.com will be on hand to cover all the action from Columbus!