Sarah Villegas, who won her first Women’s Physique Olympia last year and repeated in 2021 was disappointed to see that her division and Women’s Bodybuilding are not on the roster for the 2022 Arnold Classic events taking place March 3-6 in Columbus, Ohio.
Offering $20k To Sponsor Women’s Physique Competitors
Villegas has reached out to both Arnold Schwarzenegger and the Arnold Sports Festival offering to put up $20,000 from her own money to sponsor the Women’s Physique division so these athletes can compete at the prestigious show.
“I’m very disappointed to learn that the @arnoldsports has excluded Women’s Physique and Women’s Bodybuilding from the 2022 Arnold Classic roster.”
Neither division was included in the 2021 Arnold Classic although the Women’s Physique International was apparently an event at the Arnold from 2015-2020. Women’s Bodybuilding has a long history of competition at the Ms. International (Arnold Classic) from 1989-2013.
“Let The Girls Compete”
“I’m extending an offer to @schwarzenegger and @arnoldsports where I will personally sponsor all prize money for the Women’s Physique category at the 2022 Arnold Sports Festival if they choose to add the category to the roster. LET THE GIRLS COMPETE.”
Or… Donating $20k To Women’s Physique Pro Show Winners
If her offer is rejected, Sarah still plans to back the Women’s Physique athletes giving $20k for the 2022 Texas Pro champion and winners of two other events she didn’t name.
“My offer stands, however if it is not accepted, here is what I am going to do to support my category:
I’ve decided to spend $20,000 out of my pocket this coming year to support the Women’s Physique division at multiple Pro shows: $10,000 for the 2nd annual “Sarah Villegas Women’s Physique Distinction Award” that will be awarded to the WPD winner at the 2022 Texas Pro, and two additional $5,000 first place checks that will be awarded to the first place WPD winners at 2 other Pro shows (shows TBD).”
Sarah also wanted to make it very clear that she means no disrespect to Arnold or his organization.
“Ps. I respect Arnold for the athlete and the pioneer he has been, so please no negative comments towards Arnold or The Arnold Sports organization. I’m doing this in a positive way to support the Women’s Physique category, the category that I love so much. #WeAreWomensPhysique #WPDstrong ✊“
Competing at The Arnold Classic
The annual Arnold Classic is considered to be the second most prestigious event of the year behind the Olympia. Many legends have competed at this show and it’s always mentioned when discussing the best resumes in the sport.
Thousands gather in Columbus, Ohio every March (with the exception of this year’s event) for this epic competition hosted by the one and only Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Besides a nice payout to athletes, the Arnold comes with bragging rights and it’s a lifetime opportunity to be a part of a massive expo and to compete with the best in the world. It’s truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
We don’t know why the divisions were excluded but it’ll be interesting to see if Sarah Villegas gets a response. Either way, she’ll do what she can to support Women’s Physique.
We’ll be sure to update if and when we learn of any more details on this story.
Related: 2021 EVLS Prague Pro Results