Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced that most events of the Arnold Sports Festival in Columbus, Ohio, will be held without spectators this weekend based on guidance from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on preventing the spread of coronavirus.
The Arnold Sports Festival is an annual multi-sport festival held in Columbus that includes the Arnold Classic, a bodybuilding competition named for Arnold Schwarzenegger.
“Today we had new guidance from the CDC about mass public gatherings,” DeWine told reporters. “We have all decided to move forward with the athlete competition at the Arnold Classic, but not to allow spectators or the trade show to continue with the exception of the Arnold Classic Finals on Saturday night at the convention center.”
Schwarzenegger called the decision a "very sad moment for us, for my partners Jim Lorimer and Bob Lorimer, because we have been doing this now since 1976 when we held the first Mr. Olympia and Mr. Universe competition in Columbus, Ohio, and ever since we have been doing this without any interruption whatsoever.”
The former California governor added, “Let me be very clear that we have the biggest and the best health and fitness festival in the world, but we would never choose making money over people’s health.”