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Arnold Unveils His Statue in Columbus (again)!

There was a feeling of deja vu as I was standing outside on a cool cloudy day in Columbus with a gathering of local journalists, politicians, and fans near a giant black shrouded statue. It was just in 2012 that I was watching almost the same event, only at a different location. But seeing Arnold give another rousing speech is always a good thing! To bring you up to speed, back in 2012, there were several 8 foot tall Arnold statues commissioned of him in his iconic 3/4 pose. One went to his childhood home and now Schwarzeneegger Museum in Thal, Austria, one went to L.A., and one went to Columbus, home of the Arnold Classic and Sports Festival. It was placed outside of Vets Memorial auditorium, which is the venue that Arnold competed in for Mr. World back in the 70s, and has been the site of the Arnold Classic Finals every year since it started.

Sadly though, as we learned back at this year's Classic from Arnold's friend and business partner Jim Lorimer (who was also at this day's event), Vets was scheduled to be demolished as it hasn't been in enough use other than during the Classic. This took place this summer, so the question that came up (among many others) was "What about the Arnold statue?" Well, don't worry, nobody demolished Arnold (not that it's possible)! The statue was moved to a new location, in an outdoor courtyard on High Street, right alongside the Columbus Convention Center. This is where the bulk of Arnold Sports Festival events, including the humongous expo hall, has moved too over the years, and even the Finals will be there next year, so this location made the most sense. Another bonus is that it will be in a much more heavily trafficed area, so Columbus locals and out-of-town guests will see it all the time and will no doubt take pictures and pose with it, as anyone who sees it is compelled to do.

So back to the event! Arnold was joined by local politicians like Columbus mayor Michael Coleman and Ohio governor John Kasich, who both gave good introductory speeches about how Arnold is fantastic and the best thing ever to happen to Columbus, bringing in buttloads of tourist dollars with the Arnold Sports Festival, but also how they consider him a great person and friend. Kasich expressed great enthusiasm about Arnold having wrapped filming of Terminator: Genisys. Then Arnold came up and gave a brief but great speech about how he loves Columbus and he promised that the Classic and ASF will always stay in Columbus. He also quoted a classic Apple ad slogan, saying that like Steve Jobs and Apple, he prefers to "Think Different."

He ended it by pulling the rope to dramatically re-unveil the awesome statue in its new digs. There was much applauding, and then Arnold was off to a private luncheon and meetings with other groups in town. He did stop to sign one fan's poster, and I got a little nod of acknowledgment, but unfortunately could not speak with him this time. But of course, I took the obligatory selfie with the statue which was still looking as great as ever.

Oh yeah, and if you want to hear Arnold's full speech from this event, plus fan commentary about it, listen to the next Arnold Radio News, coming in the next week!

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