“One of the big news items on our end is the continued emergence of the amateur competition,” says ASF co-promoter Jim Lorimer who, along with teammate named Arnold Schwarzenegger, created the event in 1989.
“A big change is that NPC competitors who win the overall titles can now petition for pro cards. It’s not guaranteed, but we feel that if deserving NPC athletes win an overall at our amateur event, they will be rewarded. The Arnold Amateur continues to be a breeding ground for the sport’s next big stars….Roelly Winklaar, our 2009 champion, and Issa Obaid, who won the show last year, have already been victorious in IFBB pro events.”
Of course, that’s not all that’s new. Pro bikini will make its debut in 2011, and “Classic Bodybuilding” will be another addition to the Arnold Amateur. “We will have seven categories (there are different weight allotments, based on height), with the competitors competing for the same title.”
All overall winners in the amateur competition will be given an automatic invitation to the Arnold Classic the following year, if they have obtained pro status.
I’ll also be at the podium for much of the weekend, starting Thursday night at Vets Memorial Auditorium with the amateur fitness, figure and bikini prejudging, and ending with the Arnold Classic on Saturday night. For more info in the exciting weekend, set for March 3-6, log on to arnoldsportsfestival.com.