ANDREW OYE'S ARNOLD SPORTS FESTIVAL PREVIEW: SUPER-SIZED IFBB PRO LEAGUE ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER CLASSIC CHAMPIONSHIPS
By Andrew Oye | Thursday, February 27, 2014 11:08:35 AM America/New_York
The Scoop: Just Announced: The 2014 Arnold Sports Festival gathers an international collective of athletes in Columbus, OH, (February 27 to March 2), to celebrate athletic competition, including the 26th Annual IFBB Pro Arnold Schwarzenegger Classic Bodybuilding Championships, at the world's largest multi-sport festival.
The "So What?": The numbers speak volumes. As previously reported in "Andrew Oye's Pro-Muscle Report," the Arnold Fitness Expo houses 800 booths featuring sports and nutrition-related products, exhibitions and entertainment for the 175,000 attendees, while 18,000 athletes participate in 45 sports and events, including: archery, armwrestling, Art At The Arnold, boxing, cheerleading, CrossFit, dancesport, fencing, gymnastics, Highland Games, jump rope, MMA, martial arts, powerlifting, 5K run/walk, strongman, swimming, table tennis, track & field, weightlifting, wrestling, Zumba fitness and more. Also included: Arnold Amateur Bodybuilding and Pro Fitness, Figure, Bikini and Physique.
Open Division Competitors: IFBB Pro Evan Centopani, !FBB Pro Brandon Curry, !FBB Pro Toney Freeman, !FBB Pro Cedric McMillan, !FBB Pro Victor Martinez, !FBB Pro Ed Nunn, !FBB Pro Ben Pakulski, !FBB Pro Shawn Rhoden, !FBB Pro Fred Smalls, !FBB Pro Branch Warren, !FBB Pro Dennis Wolf.
212 Division Competitors: IFBB Pro Aaron Clark, IFBB Pro Charles Dixon, IFBB Pro David Henry, IFBB Pro Tricky Jackson, IFBB Pro Flex Lewis, IFBB Pro Stan McQuay, IFBB Pro Jose Raymond, IFBB Pro Marco Rivera, IFBB Pro Angel Rangel Vargas, IFBB Pro Quincy Winklaar, IFBB Pro Hidetada Yamagishi.
Arnold Classic Strongman Competitors: Hafthor Bjornsson (Iceland), Mike Burke (USA), 2013 Arnold Strongman Challenge Winner Vytautas Lalas (Lithuania), Robert Oberst (USA), Jerry Pritchett (USA), Krzysztof Radzikowski (Poland), Zydrunas Savickas (Lithuania), Dimitar Savatinov (Bulgaria), 2013 World's Strongest Man and America's Strongest Man Winner Brian Shaw (USA), Mikhail Shivlykov (Russia).
2014 ISHOF International Sports Hall of Fame Inductees: Olympic Wrestler Dan Gable; 8-time Mr. Olympia IFBB Pro Lee Haney; Movie Star Martial Artist Jason Statham; 5-time World Karate Champion Cynthia Rothrock; Bodybuilding & Fitness Pioneer Family Joe Weider, Ben Weider and Betty Weider.
Expo Appearances: 8-time Mr. Olympia IFBB Pro Ronnie Coleman, 3-time Mr. Olympia IFBB Pro Phil Heath, 4-time Mr. Olympia IFBB Pro Jay Cutler, Kurt Angle (TNA), Randy Couture (UFC Hall of Fame), Joe Manganiello (Actor), Lynn Swann (NFL Hall Of Fame), IFBB Pro Lou Ferrigno (Incredible Hulk), Mike O'Hearn (American Gladiators), IFBB Pro Rich Gaspari, IFBB Pro Lee Labrada, IFBB Pro Steve Kuclo, IFBB Pro Amanda Latona, IFBB Pro Dallas McCarver, IFBB Pro Guy Cisternino, Larry Fitzgerald (NFL Pro), Marcus Lattimore (NFL Pro), Luke Kuechley (NFL Pro), IFBB Pro Ed Corney, 9-time Ms. Olympia FBB Pro Iris Kyle, Frankie Edgar (UFC).
Andrew Oye's Verdict: As we kick-off the IFBB Pro contest season and continue the IFBB Pro Olympia Qualification Series, my Arnold Classic Pre-Game Analysis consolidates the latest headlines. In the Open Division, without 2013 Arnold Classic Champ IFBB Pro Dexter Jackson returning to defend his title and one of the front-runners IFBB Pro Roelly Winklaar sidelined by a motorcycle crash this month, last year's 2nd place finisher Pakulski will have to fend off a strong lineup of Arnold Classic titleholders: Branch Warren (2x USA), Martinez (USA+Europe), Rhoden (Europe) and Curry (Brazil). In the long-awaited inaugural 212-Division contest (which adds another prestigious title to Joe Weider's Olympia Weekend offering for 212-Class IFBB Pro League athletes), former Open competitor Yamagishi enters a class dominated by Olympia 212 Showdown Champ Lewis, who has been steadily improving. The 2014 Arnold Strongman Classic is dedicated to the memory of 2012 Winner Mike Jenkins, who passed away last November. Want more? All of the above comes on the heels of the new announcement that the Arnold Sports franchise will expand into Australia.
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