Calm comes to troubled Ferguson; protests dwindle in other U.S. cities | Taliban kill five in Kabul in attacks on British embassy car, foreign compound | Saudis block OPEC output cut, sending oil price plunging | EU lawmakers urge regulators to break up Google | Myanmar constitution summit 'impractical': presidential spokesman | Ukraine puts on parliamentary show of unity in message to Russia | Israel says foiled Hamas plans for Jerusalem attacks | South Asia summit salvaged after handshake by leaders of India, Pakistan | Hong Kong student leaders banned from Mong Kok protest site | EU expects stable gas supply even as Russian shipments yet to start | Toyota recalls more cars for dangerous Takata air bags | Yemen rescuers sought U.S., British hostages in raid | West struggles with Russia's 'ambiguous warfare' tactics | Malaysia to retain and prop up Sedition Act, says PM | Thai election pushed back to 2016: deputy PM | U.S. regulator orders national Takata driver-side air bag recall | Exclusive - Japan eyes military aid to spur defense exports, build security ties: sources | Exclusive: Poor and besieged, Myanmar's Rakhine join Rohingya exodus | East Coast storm hampers Thanksgiving travel | Special Report: How China's shadowy agency is working to absorb Taiwan | Suicide attack hits Kabul diplomatic area | 'Scores killed' in northeast Nigeria blast | Syrian government bombards ISIL strongholds | 'Collective punishment' targets Palestinians | Price wars and power-play over oil supply | Burned bodies found in southern Mexico | Australian cricketer dies from head injury | Israel says Hamas attack plot foiled | India police say girls committed suicide |

February 28, 2012: Mansfield Grad Helps Arnold Fitness Event Go Global

Mansfield Grad Helps Arnold Fitness Event Go Global By Jon Spencer Mansfield News Journal

COLUMBUS — For four days, he’ll have a bigger presence in Columbus than Urban Meyer.
His statue, to be unveiled this weekend in the capital city, will dwarf the one of Woody Hayes on Ohio State’s campus.

He’s won more championships — most of them world titles — than Jim Tressel.
In his heyday, bodybuilding icon Arnold Schwarzenegger could make his biceps as plump as footballs. No longer California’s movie star governor, he’s still a giant among the men and women who flex and pose and swim in tanning lotion. He’s still the global celebrity whose name graces the largest multi-sports event in the nation.

This is the week when talk of Urban renewal and spring games and kicking Michigan’s fanny is set aside to welcome The Terminator, The Austrian Oak, the man simply known to devotees as Ah-nuld.

The Arnold Sports Festival, which started modestly as the Arnold Classic bodybuilding show in 1989, has grown to feature 45 sports and events — including 11 Olympic sports — spread out over six Columbus venues Thursday through Sunday.

More than 150,000 fans and 18,000 athletes will converge on the city, with the local economy expected to rake in more than $4 million.

It’s the second biggest convention in Columbus, behind the All-American Quarterhorse Congress at the Ohio State Fairgrounds. That attracts 600,000 attendees — but it takes place over three months, not four days.
“When Arnold walks through a room (at the festival), you can’t describe it,” said Brent LaLonde, the event’s director of communications and marketing. “But as big as he is here, he’s even bigger in Europe. The fans there are just rabid.”

LaLonde, a 1986 Madison Comprehensive High School graduate, would know. He was in Madrid, Spain, last October for the inaugural Arnold Classic Europe. It was a mini-version of the Columbus festival, featuring pro competition in men’s bodybuilding and women’s fitness, along with 10 exhibition events. An estimated 50,000 fans attended, many hoping to catch a glimpse of Schwarzenegger.

“I had never been to Europe. … I’d been to Loudonville,” LaLonde joked. “Now I’m a seasoned
world traveler.”

…To read the full story, visit the Mansfield News Journal website here.

World affairs councils have been one of the nation’s most influential platforms for discussing America’s rightful place in the world.

- Madeleine Albright, Former Secretary of State

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