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Arnold Sports Festival to stay rooted in Columbus

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Members of World Jump Rope Jenna Bica (left) and Leah Turner, both of Seattle, perform before the jump roping competition at the 2014 Arnold Sports Festival, which ran from Feb. 27 to March 2 in various venues throughout Columbus. Credit: Melissa Prax / Lantern photographer

Members of World Jump Rope Jenna Bica (left) and Leah Turner, both of Seattle, perform before the jump roping competition at the 2014 Arnold Sports Festival, which ran from Feb. 27 to March 2 in various venues throughout Columbus.
Credit: Melissa Prax / Lantern photographer

Since 1989, hundreds of thousands of people — bulky or not — have convened in Columbus for the annual Arnold Sports Festival. And now, Columbus will “always” be the official home for body building fanatics, said actor, former bodybuilder and California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

The festival has been located at the Franklin County Veterans Memorial since its launch, but the planned demolition of the building initiated the festival’s move to the front of the Greater Columbus Convention Center.

The ceremony for the re-unveiling of an Arnold Schwarzenegger statue was held Monday. Government officials, including Gov. John Kasich and Mayor Michael Coleman, attended the ceremony, along with “The Governator” himself.

When Coleman praised Schwarzenegger for not moving the festival to another city, Schwarzenegger asked, “Why would we move it?” and said it will remain in Columbus, according to Columbus Business First.

The next festival is scheduled to take place from March 5-8, 2015.

The Arnold Sports Festival is a major tourist attraction in Columbus, drawing in 18,000 athletes and 175,000 spectators each year, according Columbus Business First.

 Correction: A prior version of this article named Sarai Exil as the author of this story. In fact, the author is Sarah Mikati. 

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