2011 Arnold Sports Festival

On a wet and rainy Friday in Columbus, it’s difficult to find something to do other than watch re-runs of CSI and Law & Order: SVU on television.  So instead of camping out in front of the TV, my roommate and I decided to hit up the Arnolds Sports Festival at the convention center in Downtown Columbus.

The Arnold Fitness Expo is the nation’s largest health and fitness exposition.  It annually showcases the latest in sports equipment, apparel and nutrition as well as the latest trends in the health and wellness industry.  The EXPO stage hosts the Arnold Strongman Classic and the prejudging for the Ms. International, Fitness International and Figure International Competition.  It also held the Arnold Armwrestling competition which was very entertaining to watch.

I was really amazed to see how many people attended this weekend event.  At times, it was difficult to navigate to each booth because of large masses of people who were crowding around certain boothes.  The most interesting booth was MuscleTech.  It reminded me of the old school MTV Spring Break in Cancun episodes – that is, model-esque women with microphones pumping up the small crowd of college-aged men  and throwing out t-shirts and sports nutrition samples.

I defintely had a great time seeing the latest in sports science and nutrition.  I even managed to see Arnold Schwartzenegger HIMSELF, along with Olympic Gold Medal Winner and WWE wrestling personality, Kurt Engle and MMA superstar Randy Couture.  My only regret is that I missed out on seeing Baltimore Ravens Linebacker, Ray Lewis.  I’m a big NFL fan so that would’ve been very cool to get my picture with him.  I guess there is always next year.

With all things considered, the Arnold Sports Festival is a great annual event to attend if you are passionate about sports, nutrition, bodybuilding and even are into swimsuit contests.

Arnold Sports Festival Weekend 2010

This weekend was one of my favorite weekends of the year in Columbus, the Arnold Sports Festival. This year I went with my group from Patricia West’s Integrated Marketing Communications class to do some market research for our project. This quarter we have been working with Columbus After-School All-Stars, which is Arnold Schwarzenegger’s nationwide after school program. If you’re in the Columbus area, please look them up and think about getting involved if you can. It’s an exceptional organization run by some extraordinary people.

We got to the Arnold Fitness Expo just as it was opening on Friday morning. We walked around, took some pictures for our project, and then spent the next couple of hours walking around and experiencing all of the booths. Being a former powerlifter who used to also follow bodybuilding for years, it was great seeing a lot of the guys who I used to idolize when I was in high school. Some of the bigger names I met this weekend included Chris Cormier, Melvin Anthony, Mike O’Hearn, Timea Majorova, and one of the greatest bodybuilders of all time, Lee Haney. After coming off of losing twenty pounds in February I did feel a little scrawny though. I guess the grass is always greener on the other side.

After the expo, we went back home to get into our cocktail attire for the Arnold Sports Festival VIP Reception. It was a fundraiser to support the local After-School All-Stars chapter, so we felt that we should attend after working with them all quarter. Special guests for the evening included Mayor Michael Coleman, Sylvester Stallone, and Arnold Schwarzenegger himself. It was a fantastic evening of networking capped off by a moving speech by the governor. One of the more interesting people who I met at the event was Kelly Olexa, a social media strategist, who was one of the 100 people chosen to be a Ford Fiesta Movement agent (which is totally ironic since we talked about the Ford Fiesta Movement in our IMC class about a week prior). Anyway, she encouraged me to beef up my online presence and schooled me on some Twitter 101 basics.

Now I’m getting mentally prepared for the final stretch of the quarter, we have only one week of classes and then finals left. Then I’m off to Brazil with our Emerging Market Field Studies program. Yes, as in BRAZIL!!

I’ve spent the past quarter learning all about the country in class while working on a project for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio. The culmination of the trip is a week in Brazil with Professor Neil Drobny and twenty other classmates which will be around half business and half pleasure. It’s my first trip to South America and I can’t wait! Now that the sun has finally come back to Ohio, I hope to get a little color back before I go so I don’t scare the local citizens of Brazil with my pastiness.

In other news, I have three months and four days until I graduate. And I plan on making the most of each and every day and taking in all that is the Fisher MBA experience.

Mike ^_^

“For me life is continuously being hungry. The meaning of life is not simply to exist, to survive, but to move ahead, to go up, to achieve, to conquer.” – Arnold Schwarzenegger