The Arnold Classic UK was founded by the organizers of the Arnold Sports Festival in 2021 after the Columbus, Ohio event got pushed back due to COVID-19 pandemic-related restrictions. In a recent post made on Instagram, the organizers of ASF announced the relaunch of Arnold Classic UK with the management of the US-based team under the ownership of Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Legendary bodybuilder Arnold Schwarzenegger dominated the IFBB Pro League Men’s Open division with his insane muscle mass, size, and symmetry in the 1970s. He triumphed at the Mr. Olympia contest in 1970 to secure his first Sandow trophy and went on to become a seven-time champion. He reached new heights in the sport and was the first competitor to break into the mainstream with his leading role in the bodybuilding docudrama Pumping Iron (1977) alongside fellow icon Franco Columbu.
Following a decorated career at the highest level, Schwarzenegger turned into a revered figure in the community. He teamed up with the late Jim Lorimer to found the Arnold Sports Festival, widely regarded as the second most prestigious fitness showcase in the world next to only the Mr. Olympia competition. Since the show’s inception in 1989, it has provided a platform for budding talent across bodybuilding, strongman, powerlifting, and more.
Bodybuilding veteran Rich Gaspari created history by winning the inaugural edition. The show often features athletes who go on to contend for the Mr. Olympia title. Legendary bodybuilder Jay Cutler and Dexter Jackson made a name for themselves with wins at the Arnold Classic before finding glory at Mr. Olympia.
Arnold Classic UK was held for the first time after the original event got delayed in the US in Oct. 2021. Men’s Open standout Nathan De Asha emerged as the first champion of the event and punched his ticket to the Mr. Olympia contest ahead of Samson Dauda.
For the second edition of the show, the organizers disclosed that Arnold Schwarzenegger would not be in attendance to crown the champion due to financial challenges related to prize money and his attendance fee in Sep. 2022. Without the man himself, the event was rebranded to Experience With Sports Festival UK.
ASF’s Brian Powers vocalized Schwarzenegger’s disappointment in the change of plans and pinned the blame on promoters failing to meet their financial commitments. Eventually, the IFBB Pro League and organization president Jim Manion stepped in to guarantee the prize money for the winners. Andrew Jacked came out on top of the 2022 Arnold Classic UK with Patrick Johnson taking silver and James Hollingshead rounding up the top three.
Arnold Classic UK set for a relaunch under US-based management of Arnold Schwarzenegger
In a recent Instagram post, the organizers of the Arnold Sports Festival announced the Arnold Classic UK is set to relaunch next year under the US-based management team of Arnold Schwarzenegger.
The 2024 Arnold Sports Festival UK is scheduled for Mar. 15-17 in Birmingham, England.
“The US-based management team is happy to announce the relaunch of the 2024 Arnold Sports Festival UK,” wrote the organizers. “Join us in Birmingham, England, March 15-17, 2024 as next years Arnold will boast the biggest names, brands and prize money in Europe — EVER.
“Having now said ‘hasta la vista’ to the event’s former ownership, brands can now expect reliable and responsible leadership from the US management team under the ownership of the man himself, Arnold Schwarzenegger. Act swiftly to secure your spot now. It’s a chance to elevate your brand to new heights and leave an indelible impression on the fitness world.”
The 2023 Arnold Classic wrapped up with Samson Dauda taking home the top prize in Columbus three months ago.
With the Arnold Classic UK set to head in a new direction under the original team, regional fans will be excited to witness some of their favorite bodybuilders battle it out on stage in hopes of securing qualification for the Mr. Olympia show. Meanwhile, competitors might be better placed and not have to worry about the issues that plagued the previous edition.