Franklin County Veterans Memorial, home of the Arnold Sports Festival since 1989 and host of bodybuilding shows involving Gov. Arnold Schwarzeneggersince1970, will dedicate an 8-foot, 600-pound bronze statue of Schwarzenegger that will be placed in the famed auditorium’s front lawn during the 2012 Arnold Sports Festival.
The statue – featuring Schwarzenegger is a competitive pose from his bodybuilding days and an exact replica of one placed at an Austrian museum dedicated to Schwarzenegger that opened in October 2011 – was bequeathed to City of Columbus, Franklin County and Veterans Memorial by Dr. Robert Goldman on behalf of the International Sports Hall of Fame. Schwarzenegger will be among the Hall of Fame’s first class that is inducted at the 2012 Arnold Sports Festival.
“Veterans Memorial has been hosting the Arnold Classic and the Arnold Sports Festival since its inception, and our relationship with Gov. Schwarzenegger goes back more than 40 years,” said John Raphael, chairman of the Veterans Memorial Board of Trustees. “It has been a long, positive relationship and we look forward to continuing to host the Arnold Sports Festival for many years to come.”
The statue will be dedicated in a ceremony at 11:30 a.m. on Friday, March 2, an event that will help kick off the 24th annual sports festival, which has grown to feature 18,000 athletes competing in 45 sports and events. More than 175,000 fans are expected to attend over four days.
“Arnold has been coming to Columbus since 1970, and this generous tribute will really cement our future in Columbus,” said Jim Lorimer, who has been promoting bodybuilding shows with Schwarzenegger since 1975. “There has been nobody who has been using Veterans Memorial longer than we have.”
The sculpture is based on a 22-inch prototype created in 1980 by Idaho artist Ralph Crawford that is also used as the trophy for the Arnold Classic, the marquee event of the Arnold Sports Festival that was first held in Columbus in 1989.
The statue dedication will be open to the public. The statue will feature the following:
“Arnold Schwarzenegger – the Austrian Oak won the Mr. World professional bodybuilding contest at Veterans Memorial Auditorium in September 1970. He also won another 13 world bodybuilding championships. Gaining worldwide fame as an action film star, he was a businessman, investor, and author and served as Chairman of the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports. He was elected the 38th Governor of the Great State of California serving from 2003 until 2011. IN 1976 he founded what would become the Arnold Sports Festival in Columbus, Ohio.”
Last modified: 2012-02-01 @ 12:00 am