A lucrative prize awaits whoever can stand on the podium in Columbus.
It’s not exactly on par with the Olympia competition, but the annual Arnold Classic (AC) arguably has more prestige and influence, being considered one of the most important competitions on the bodybuilding calendar. When some of the world’s best bodybuilders travel to Columbus, OH to take the stage March 3-4, 2023 for the latest edition, they can take comfort in knowing one thing. Victory will be rewarded more handsomely than ever before.
On January 12, 2023, the Arnold Sports Festival organizers released a press release on their website and posted to Instagram. The prize for winning the men’s open division at the 2023 AC will be $300,000. That’s a $100,000 increase from reigning AC winner Brandon Curry, who earned $200,000 in 2022. This constitutes a significant increase over previous years. Former champion Nick Walker won $130,000 after the 2021 repeat and Hadi inches closer to the top prize with $400,00. Choopan after winning the 2022 Mr. Olympia.
In a press release, Arnold Schwarzenegger explained the significance of the development of the Arnold Classic.
“In 1976 we hosted the first bodybuilding championship in Columbus, my goal is to raise the prize money to reward these amazing athletes,” Schwarzenegger said. “I’m excited to announce that this year’s Arnold Classic winner will win a record $300,000.”
As for who will travel to Ohio to compete for the new AC title, some past champions, big names and up-and-comers will highlight the Men’s Open. On January 12, 2023, the organization revealed that Nick Walker returns to 2023 AC And the competition that arguably first helped build his sterling reputation in professional bodybuilding. Previous winner (2018, 2020) William Bonack will also return to the Columbus stage. Meanwhile, two-time 212 Olympia winner Shawn Clarida (2020, 2022) will try to challenge both. Other confirmed Men’s Open contenders include Samson Dauda, Kamal Elgarghni, Justin Rodriguez and Akeem Williams.
Notably, a recent cadre of elite bodybuilders have revealed that they have withdrawn or declined their invitations to the 2023 Arnold Classic. At the time of this writing, that group includes runners-up in the 2022 Mr. Olympia, Blessing Awodibu and Michal “Krizo” Krijanek, in 2022 Derek Lunsford.
As the 2023 competitive bodybuilding season unfolds, the 2023 Arnold Classic will undoubtedly be one of the first significant steps in making it a year to remember. Finally, a focused athlete with incredible mass and a ripped physique will have the huge fortune of leaving Columbus, OH, $300,000 richer for his endurance efforts.
Featured Image: @nick_walker39 / Instagram