The Arnold Sports Festival – The story so far for 2021.
The Arnold Sports Festival series of event have been hit hard in 2020, due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Arnold Sports Festival has six events in its vast portfolio.
Arnold Sports Festival UK still has no official federation for its bodybuilding event.
The 2020 Arnold Sports Festival USA was the first major contest that had to downsize due to Covid-19.
The event eventually took place, but the expo had to be cancelled for safety measures.
As the Covid-19 pandemic continued to spread at a fast rate all over the world, a number of countries were literally shutdown. With airports closed, nobody could get in or out.
The next Arnold Sports Festival was planned to take place in Australia. The Australian government did not take the Covid-19 threat lightly and literally shutdown the entire country.
Tony Doherty, the promoter of the Arnold Sports Festival Australia had to cancel the event and as well close all his gyms.
Unfortunately a number of athletes had already made the trip to Australia and were stranded there or in neighboring countries due to Covid-19 restrictions.
Doherty eventually went public with his battles against the government, putting pressure on them to remove the lockdown on gyms.
Following Doherty’s lead, the Arnold Sports Festival Brazil also cancelled their event until 2021.
It would have been useless for the NPC/Pro League to promote a pro show when athletes could not even travel.
Many in the industry only know about the events in the USA, Australia and Brazil, but there are another two events that are sanctioned by the IFBB/Elite Pro under the leadership of IFBB President Rafael Santonja.
The Arnold Sports Festival Africa unfortunately also had to cancel its event for the 2020 season, postponing it for 2021.
The final competition was the Arnold Sports Festival Europe, that was scheduled to take place in Seville.
Unfortunately, due to the very strict Covid-19 restrictions in Spain, the event was moved to Santa Susanna, Barcelona.
Santa Susanna was the ideal location for this event, as it was the same location for the 2020 IFBB European Championships.
All the safety precautions were in place to organize such an event as the 2020 Arnold Sports Festival Europe.
The event was also downsized and the IFBB decided to run the Arnold Classic Europe amateur events as planned, but they decided to change the pro event.
The IFBB/Elite Pro replaced the Arnold Classic Europe Elite Pro Show with the 2020 IFBB Elite Pro World championships.
With so many restrictions all over the world, organizing the Arnold Classic Europe amateur event and the IFBB Elite Pro World Championships at the same event was the best decision.
The Arnold Sports Festival Events – The Situation for 2021
Arnold Sports Festival USA (NPC/Pro League)
The situation does not look like it will be improving for 2021. The Covid-19 pandemic does not look like it will be going away anytime soon.
The Arnold Sports Festival – USA, will most probably be postponed to August or September 2021.
The Arnold Classic USA is regarded as the second biggest event next to the Olympia Weekend.
The Arnold Classic USA is regarded as the first major event that NPC/Pro League athletes compete in after the Olympia Weekend.
Unfortunately, athletes will have to wait until the official date is confirmed.
Arnold Sports Festival Australia (NPC/Pro League)
Unfortunately, the Australian version of the Arnold Sports Festival is another event that does not have any dates confirmed.
The event was originally scheduled to take place from 19-21 March, 2021, according to show promoter Tony Doherty.
On 13 January, 2021, Tony Doherty and the Arnold Sports Festival Australia organizing committee released an official statement that the event will also be postponed to another date, hopefully in 2021.
Official statement from Arnold Sports Festival Australia:
In light of the continued implications of COVID-19 and after ongoing discussions with the MCEC, the Victorian Government and the event’s international partners, a decision has been made to postpone the 2021 Arnold Sports Festival Australia.
The event was scheduled to run from March 19th to March 21st, 2021. We are looking at alternative dates later in the year.
The decision was made to ensure the health and safety of the traveling exhibitors, staff, athletes and fans which has remained our primary concern.
Given the fluid nature of the COVID-19 situation both globally and within Australia, it’s been very difficult to predict what the situation will be in Victoria in March. For the sake of our international guests, athletes, exhibitors and commercial partners it has been pertinent to take time to assess the situation and ensure we make the right decision.
Please ensure you monitor the event website for updates
Full press release in pdf format: Click HERE.
Arnold Sports Festival South America (NPC/Pro League)
The only Arnold Sports Festival that has confirmed an official date is the South America version of the event.
The Arnold Sports Festival South America will be taking place from 29-31 October, 2021.
In previous years, this event took place in April, approximately a month after the Arnold Classic USA.
With the event now being scheduled for October, this date might discourage a number of professional athletes from traveling if the Olympia Weekend is again scheduled for December 2021.
Arnold Sports Festival UK (Federation not selected)
The newest addition to the Arnold Sports Festival is the new event that is being organized in the United Kingdom.
The promoter for this new event is Strongman is Eddie Hall.
The event will be taking place from 1-3 October, 2021, in Birmingham.
With this event being built around a number of strongman and related events, the official federation has not been selected for the bodybuilding events.
There is a tug of war between the IFBB/Elite Pro and the NPC/Pro League for the rights to this event.
Arnold Sports Festival Africa (IFBB/Elite Pro)
The www.arnoldclassicafrica.com is another popular event that is organized by former strongman Wayne Price and his team.
The Arnold Sports Festival Africa is one of the biggest events in Africa that caters to the bodybuilding and fitness world.
Unfortunately in 2020, the event had to be cancelled, but the organizers selected 14-16 May, 2021, as tentative dates for the event.
In a recent press release published on 13 January by Wayne Price, it looks like the date for the Arnold Sports Africa will be postponed to another date.
The press release states that all shows organized by IFBB-Africa will be re-scheduled after July 2021.
With the Arnold Sports Festival Africa scheduled for May, unfortunately this event will be rescheduled as well.
Arnold Sports Festival Europe (IFBB/Elite Pro)
The Arnold Sports Festival Europe is one of the most popular events in Europe.
On numerous occasions, Arnold Schwarzenegger has said that he regards the Arnold Sports Festival Europe as one of his favorite events also.
In 2021, the Arnold Sports Festival Europe will be celebrating its eleventh anniversary.
The event has been confirmed to take place from 17-19 September, 2021.
IFBB President Dr. Rafael Santonja was very happy that the event took place in 2020 and has told this website that the event will be bigger and better in 2021.
The IFBB have also announced that the popular expo will return this September after being postponed in 2020.
Since 2016, the Arnold Sports Festival Europe’s home was in Barcelona, but in 2021, the event will be moved to Seville.
Will Arnold Schwarzenegger travel to his events?
Arnold Schwarzenegger is taking the Covid-19 pandemic very seriously, respecting all the laws and safety precautions.
If the Covid-19 virus continues to spread, it is unlikely that Arnold will travel to any of these events, avoiding large crowds.
Arnold is 73 years old, and after having a number of heart operations, Arnold has to be very careful about his health.
Even if the events take place, the fans and athletes must understand that Arnold most probably will not be at the event.
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