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Sports Hall of Fame 2013 - A Classy Affair!

Saturday is by far the busiest day of The Arnold Classic weekend-- the expo is packed, competitions are happening all day and night, and there's just a palpable buzz of excitement and energy (especially when Arnold is nearby). In the middle of this crazy day, however, is an invite-only event that Dr. Robert Goldman (or Dr. Bob as he is often called) was gracious enough to get us on the list for: The International Sports Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony! 

It took place in a smaller room at the convention center, away from the chaos, and everything about this event can be summed up with one word: classy. The crowd consisted of a handful of press and then some VIPs, friends & family of the inductees. First, we just got to mingle and enjoy hors d'oerves while everyone gathered and set up. The biggest hit were the meatballs- I wish I had gotten more before they were gone! Then, TheArnoldFans were treated to front row spots while Dr. Bob, Arnold, Jim Lorimer, and the inductees gave speeches. Here's Arnold as he schmoozed while making his way to the stage- listen for a trademark "Fantahstic!" as he goes by.

This year's recipients were: Dr. Franco Columbu, Earl "The Pearl" Monroe, Bruno Sammartino, Archie Griffin, and Blaine Wilson. Let me tell you, watching these legends accept their giant gold medals and give the most humble and gracious speeches was one of the highlights of the whole weekend for me. What makes this special is that it's not done for spectacle, or for big sponsorships and cash prizes or anything like that- each one of these people have achieved great things in their careers and are deserving of the recognition. As Dr. Bob describes it, "This is a global organization that believes recognition of these remarkable sports people should endure and be recognized long after their careers have ended. Just as important is what Hall of Fame candidates do later in life, in giving back to others and society, with charity work, and mentoring young people."

Arnold himself was inducted last year, and you could tell it was very special for him to see his best friend Franco getting it this year. Here is the video of Franco's speech:

Arnold and Jim Lorimer also received new silver medallions to commemorate the silver anniversary of The Arnold Classic! Here is Arnold's speech:

Each one of these athletes had amazing stories and are worth learning more about even if you're not into their particular sport. Check out more about them (along with many classic photos and video clips) here:

There were also some other celebrities and past inductees in attendance, including Triple H, Randy Couture, and 

I'd like to thank Dr. Bob for organizing this intimate event and pulling it off so well on the busiest day of The Classic. We were honored to be invited to it and see these legends get this great recognition. He told us he's already figuring out how they'll top this one next year. Well, we can't wait- we'll be back! Check out our collection of photos from the event.


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