Only a few days left until the Arnold Classic will have its 25th anniversary. The idea for this event was created by Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jim Lorimer. But this wasnt the first time for both, promoting an event together.
Back in 1976 Arnie and Jim promoted the Mr. Olympia in Columbus/Ohio, which was won by Franco Columbo. They were promoting the the Mr. Olympia until 1979 when it obviously got too boring for Arnie and he stepped back on stage at the 1980 Mr. O in Australia.
In 1989 the "dynamic duo" Schwarzenegger/Lorimer launched the Arnold Classic. Back then Lee Haney did win one Mr Olympia after the other and the bodybuilding world was eager to have another big and exciting event.
While Rich Gaspary got second after Haney for several times, he was able to win the new Arnold Classic 1989 at the first try.
Contrary to the Mr. Olympia, at the Arnolds there is no "champion bonus" for last years winner, resulting in a frequent change of champions. But this was also due to the fact, that often several top athletes were focussing on the Mr. Olympia and did not compete at the Arnold.
The longest series of continuous victories is beeing held by Jay Cutler with 3 title (2002-2004) in a row, after which he did compete at the Mr. Olympia only.
The highest numbers of Arnold Classic titles went to Flex Wheeler who won the Arnolds Classic in 1993, 1997, 1998 and 2000.
Closely behind comes Dexter Jackson with 3 title. He could catch up with Flex if he should win this year.
Another first also took place in Columbus: 2001 Ronnie Coleman became Mr. Olympia for the 3rd time and instead of the tradition to concentrate on the defense of that title, he also competed as reigning Mr. Olympia at the Arnold Classic - and won it too.
Next to the Arnold Classic Jim Lorimer and Arnold Schwarzenegger also established a huge EXPO starting back in 1993. Today there is the unbelievable number of 37 different sports competitions at that weekend. Besides power sports like strongman, powerlifting, weightlifting, bench press and arm wrestling there are also sports like table tennis, cheerleading and many more.
What is also special about such a huge event is, that even after 25 years a contract between Arnold and Jim Lorimer was never necessary. Its beeing said, just a handshake 25 years ago was enough.
PS: Every year there is at least one guy trying to get to the EXPO with a terminator costume and a pump gun dummy. As far as we know, none of them ever made more than 30 meters into the entrance area before being tackled by the security staff...