Former California Governor and movie star, Arnold Schwarzenegger, opened the Arnold Classic Brazil body-building competition in Rio de Janeiro on Friday.
The three-day event in Rio’s west zone will gather international body builders, pole dancers, wrestlers, weight lifters and many more, hoping to flex their bronzed muscles in front of the ‘Terminator’ himself.
A panel of judges will preside over several competitions, including the Bodybuilding Pro and the Strongman Pro, which has set out to name the world’s strongest man.
But pay no attention to the critics. And pay no attention to the naysayers. You're going to have a Great Olympics, I know that for sure.
IFBB Fitness Pro Whitney Jones in Rio for the Arnold Classic Brasil! Incredible athletes this year! https://t.co/xaZitizKdg— ArnoldClassicAfrica (@ArnoldClassicAF) April 2, 2016
Schwarzenegger sees the competition as promoting fitness for all, he told a news conference.
“So the bottom line is, I want to make sure that we always stress fitness and strength, and training, and sports for everybody. We’ve got to do some soul searching on this issue. Are we really making an effort so that really everyone can participate. Because only if everyone, young or poor, rich, handicapped or not handicapped. If everyone can participate, that is when I am a happy camper. And I will not stop promoting and talking about that until that happens.”
Up for the title is the Icelandic Hafthor ‘Thor’ Bjornsson, more readily known as “The Mountain that Rides,” Gregor Clegane from Game of Thrones.
Schwarzenegger has been running the event in collaboration with the International Federation of Body Builders throughout the world since 1989.
While in Brazil, the star had words of encouragement for the upcoming Olympic Games in Brazil in August.
“I say good luck with the Brazilians with the Olympics. And we know you’re going to be great. I know there are people talking about it, that it’s going to be challenging. But what the hell is not challenging that is great? Sometimes we do things that are extraordinary and it takes a lot of work, and a lot of obstacles to be overcome and it’s challenging. And (unintelligible) someone has never done before, and you will do it for the first time. But pay no attention to the critics. And pay no attention to the naysayers. You’re going to have a Great Olympics, I know that for sure,” he said.
Organisers hope to surpass last year’s numbers, in which some 82,000 people pass through the conference, and 105 million Brazilian reais (30 million U.S. dollars) were raked in through sales of tickets and nutritional supplements.