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The Item: IFBB Pro League Contest, Sports Festival, Special Event, Andrew Oye's IFBB Pro Athletes Roundup

The Scoop: Just Announced: The world's largest multi-sport festival, the 2013 Arnold Sports Festival hosts the international sports community in Columbus, Ohio, (February 28 - March 3) in the spirit of athletic competition, including the 25th Anniversary of the IFBB Pro Arnold Schwarzenegger Classic Bodybuilding Championships.

The "So What?": Athletes participate in 45 sports and events, including the newly added Highland Games. The Arnold Expo features: archery, armwrestling, Art At The Arnold, boxing, cheerleading, CrossFit, dancesport, fencing, gymnastics, jump rope, MMA, martial arts, powerlifting, 5K run/walk, strongman, table tennis, track-and-field, weightlifting, and, of course, the Arnold Amateur Bodybuilding contest and the professional-level Fitness, Figure, Bikini and Physique Championships for IFBB Pro League athletes.

As previously reported in "Andrew Oye's Pro-Muscle Report," inaugural 1989 Arnold Classic Champion IFBB Pro Rich Gaspari will receive the Arnold Classic Lifetime Achievement Award. In honor of the 25th Anniversary, Gaspari joins in a celebration of all previous champions: 4-time champion IFBB Pro Flex Wheeler, 3-time winners IFBB Pro Dexter Jackson and IFBB Pro Jay Cutler, 2-time winners IFBB Pro Kevin Levrone, IFBB Pro K. Greene and IFBB Pro Branch Warren; as well as, IFBB Pro Ronnie Coleman, IFBB Pro Mike Ashley, IFBB Pro Shawn Ray, IFBB Pro Vince Taylor, IFBB Pro Michael Francois, IFBB Pro Victor Martinez, and IFBB Pro Nasser El Sonbaty (who was the only athlete absent from the 20th Anniversary Arnold Classic celebration).
Andrew Oye's Verdict: It is impressive that the Arnold Classic (an IFBB Pro Olympia Qualification Series contest) has grown from merely a bodybuilding contest to a huge sports-and-fitness festival that includes five IFBB Professional League Divisions. The 25th Anniversary is an exciting milestone capped off with the Arnold Champions & Legends Sunday Morning Showcase, where the newly crowned and past Arnold Classic champions will attend. This colossal event, which is expanding into international franchises, is certainly among the greatest accomplishments of the man known as "The Austrian Oak" and "The Governator" -- in addition to starring in Hollywood action movies (such as "The Terminator" and "Conan the Barbarian"); appearing in "Pumping Iron," bodybuilding's iconic documentary film; being honored with statues and museums; serving as the Governor of California; and winning Joe Weider's Olympia Weekend (the "Super Bowl of bodybuilding") a whopping seven times.    

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