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Arnold Sports Festival 2006, which features wrestling, has more events and athletes than ever, March 3-6 in Columbus, Ohio



COLUMBUS, OH -- The 2006 Arnold Sports Festival March 3-6 presents one of the biggest collections of top caliber sporting events in the world, drawing 120,000 fans for 30 separate competitive events including 15 Olympic sports.

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and his local fitness friend, James J. Lorimer have grown the annual weekend here to 15,000 athletes, which is more athletes than compete in the Olympics.

The Arnold Sports Festival's centerpiece is the 650-booth Arnold Fitness EXPO. It brings in thousands of shoppers looking for fitness related clothing, supplements, exercise equipment, and much more. Also, ongoing main stage entertainment demonstrates the amazing array of all the events the Arnold Sports Festival has to offer.

The Arnold Sports Festival includes a strong youth and family focus. About 14,000 of the participants will be youngsters competing in cheerleading, dancesport, gymnastics, fencing, figure & speed skating, martial arts, table tennis, volleyball, weightlifting, and wrestling. Top student athletes have a chance to win one of twelve $1000 college scholarships presented by the Rotary Club of Columbus.

The Arnold Sports Festival provides world-class competition. The 18th Annual Arnold Schwarzenegger Classic, Ms. International, Fitness International and Figure International competitions are among the top international events in bodybuilding and fitness.

"The 2006 Arnold Sports Festival will feature the strongest fitness and bodybuilding lineup in the weekend's history," Lorimer said. "The Arnold Sports Festival is an exceptional opportunity for aspiring champions to witness the talents of world greats in their specific sport. There's something for everyone."

This year, the Arnold Sports Festival builds on its base of Olympic sports, adding boxing, figure & speed skating, hockey, volleyball and wrestling to archery, gymnastics, fencing, judo, running, table tennis, tae kwon do, weightlifting, and wu shu. Also, numerous former and hopeful Olympians from the United States, China, and Russia will make appearances and compete.
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Events making their debut this year are Boxing; ICEtravaganza featuring Figure Skating, Speed Skating and Hockey Skills; Gracie Fighting Championships; Volleyball; and Wrestling.

The Arnold Sports Festival lineup includes:
* 18th Annual Arnold Classic
* Ms. International
* Fitness International
* Figure International
* Arnold Fitness EXPO
* Arnold Martial Arts Festival
* Gracie Worlds Submission Challenge
* Gracie Fighting Championships
* Arnold USA Boxing Invitational Championships
* Arnold Gymnastics Challenge
* Arnold Fitness Fashion Show
* Arnold Cheerleading and Dance Team Championships
* Arnold Strongman Classic
* Arnold 5K Pump and Run
* Arnold Classic Armwrestling Challenge
* World Record Bench Press Challenge
* World Powerlifting Organization Finals
* Arnold Weightlifting Championships
* Arnold Fencing Classic
* Arnold ICEtravagaza
* Arnold Volleyball Championships
* Arnold Wrestling Challenge
* Arnold Fitness Training Seminar
* Arnold Strength Training Summit
* Arnold Table Tennis Challenge
* Arnold Archery Challenge
* Arnold Youth DanceSport Classic

The Arnold Sports Festival is the brainchild of Gov. Schwarzenegger and Lorimer, who have nurtured what began as a world-class bodybuilding competition in Columbus in the 1970s into one of the world's most popular and innovative sports festivals.

The three venues for 2006 include the Greater Columbus Convention Center, nearby Nationwide Arena and Veterans Memorial.

Tickets are available from Ticketmaster (614) 431-3600. EXPO tickets are $10/person/day, are good for all events at the Columbus Convention Center (Fri-Sun), Nationwide Arena (Sat-Sun) and can be purchased at the doors. The VIP ticket package for $350 includes reserved admission to all the events listed above except the Gracie Fighting Championships.
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