The earliest roots of the Arnold Classic date back to 1970, when former FBI agent Jim Lorimer was organizing the 1970 Mr. World in Columbus, Ohio. While courting the top six bodybuilders in the world, he struck up a friendship with an Austrian upstart by the name of Arnold Schwarzenegger. The rest, as they say, is history.
The two friends began promoting international contests, and in 1989, 19 years after first meeting, they held the inaugural Arnold Classic. Now called the Arnold Sports Festival, the event has evolved into one of the largest fitness expos in the world. Featuring nearly 50 events, including 12 Olympic sports, the festival annually welcomes more than 175,000 fitness buffs.