The YMCA of Central Ohio & The Arnold

If you live in Central Ohio, whether you are a loyal attendee or have never been before, you know what “The Arnold” is. With a rich history in Central Ohio, every year since 1989 people from all around the world flock to Columbus for the weekend in late February or early March to attend The IFBB Arnold Sports Festival.

Whether competing in one of the multiple sporting events like Professional Bodybuilding or Strongman, or just walking around the expo for the freebIes, there is something for everyone at the Arnold.

Before The Arnold became the event it is today, it started much more simply: with an ask in 1970 from then Worthington, Ohio Mayor Jim Lorimer to Arnold Schwarzenegger to be a part of a Mr. World bodybuilding competition that he organized, in an effort to promote world weightlifting in Worthington. Lorimer wanted Arnold, a 23 year old rising star in the fitness world, to be the headline of this competition and attract a crowd. Originally, Arnold said no, but with some persuasion, he agreed to come to Columbus for the event. In the years since it began, Arnolds popularity grew both in the bodybuilding world and in Hollywood. By the time The Arnold was born in 1989, Arnold Schwarzenegger was one of the most recognizable names in the world.

Now in it’s 29th year, more than ten thousand athletes participated in over 45 events, 12 being Olympic sports. 75,000 people attended the Arnold Fitness Expo each year and more than 600 vendors come to the event to promote their goods and services. What you may be surprised to know is that since 2016, the YMCA of Central Ohio has partnered with the Arnold to participate in the Arnold SportsWorld Youth & Teen Expo!

The YMCA of Central Ohio first participated at the Arnold SportsWorld Youth & Teen Expo in 2016. In 2017, we expanded our partnership with the expo to bring an even ​larger YMCA experience to the community. Now, we are in our third year and we couldn't be more excited. We are proud to continue the YMCA Experience this year at the Arnold SportsWorld Youth & Teen Expo and look forward to deepening our cause-driven impact in the community. We continue to bring our mission forward this year with great intentionality in making sure we are inclusive for all children. Like we said, there is something for everyone at this event. The Arnold runs from Friday, March 2nd- Sunday, March 4th. Come and see what the event is all about and what The Y has to offer!

Please join us for some fun and unique family time this year!