COLUMBUS, OHIO â€“ When all they come back to Columbus March 1 for the first reunion of male and female champion bodybuilders in history, the 12 previous winners of the Arnold Classic and the 8 past winners of the Ms. International Contest will be in a class of their own.
â€œThis will be the greatest gathering of male and female champion bodybuilders in history,â€ said Lonnie Teper, editor-at-large and columnist for Ironman magazine, and longtime emcee of bodybuilding competitions during the Arnold Sports Festival.
â€œI tip my cap to Jim and Arnold for finding yet another way to improve this fantastic weekend,â€ Teper said. â€œArnold and Jim made history when they launched these competitions in 1989, and theyâ€™re doing it again by bringing back previous winners for a tribute to their victories.â€
â€œArnold and I are honored that these men and women have competed here, and have helped focus worldwide attention on Columbus,â€ Lorimer said. â€œWe will recognize and honor these legends during the 20th Anniversary Arnold Classic, and weâ€™ll give Columbus fans the unprecedented opportunity to meet all the winners at the same time.â€
All 12 winners of the Arnold Classic since 1989 have confirmed they will return to the Veterans Memorial Auditorium stage on Saturday, March 1.
Winners in multiple years include Flex Wheeler, 1993, 1997, 1998, and 2000; Jay Cutler, 2002, 2003, 2004; Kevin Levrone, 1994, 1996; and Dexter Jackson, 2005, 2006. Other winners are Rich Gaspari, 1989; Mike Ashley, 1990; Shawn Ray, 1991; Vince Taylor, 1992; Michael Francois, 1995; Nasser El Sonbaty, 1999; Ronnie Coleman, 2001; and, Victor Martinez, 2007.
Four women who have each been three-time winners of the Ms. International have confirmed they will return for the reunion, including Laura Creavalle, 1990, 1994, 1995; Vicki Gates, 1999, 2000, 2001; Yaxeni Oriquen, 2002, 2003, 2005; and Iris Kyle, 2004, 2006, 2007. Other women champions expected to attend are Kim Chizevsky, 1993, 1996, Yolanda Hughes, 1997, 1998; Jackie Paisley, 1989; and Anja Schreiner, 1992.
Prejudging for the Arnold Classic is noon Saturday, March 1, followed by the menâ€™s finals at 7pm, on the main stage in Veterans Memorial Auditorium. Prejudging for Ms International, as well as the Fitness International and Figure International womenâ€™s contests will be at noon Friday, February 29, on the EXPO Stage in Hall D, Greater Columbus Convention Center. Finals for all three womenâ€™s contests will be at 7 p.m. at Veterans Memorial.
Tickets for the menâ€™s prejudging and menâ€™s and womenâ€™s finals are $50 and $75. A $10 daily ticket to the Arnold Fitness EXPO includes access to the womenâ€™s events prejudging and many other competitions and events. A VIP ticket package is available for $350, which includes all menâ€™s and womenâ€™s competitions, a buffet dinner party, a fitness training seminar with Arnold and the 2008 winners, and three-day admission to the Arnold Fitness EXPO. Tickets are available at the doors or from Ticketmaster, (614) 431-3600, or at www.ticketmaster.com/arnold.
For more information see our website: www.arnoldsportsfestival .com