Seven-time Mr. Olympia and Arnold Sports Festival (ASF) co-founder Arnold Schwarzenegger announced that the prize money awarded to the 2023 Arnold Classic champion will be $300,000. That is a 50 percent increase from the $200,000 prize awarded to 2022 champion Brandon Curry.
This is the second year in a row that the prize money has significantly increased. In 2021, champion Nick Walker won $130,000. That was the standard prize money for several years prior. The prizing announcement was made on the Arnold Sports Instagram page and via press release. Part of the quote that Schwarzenegger shared in the press release can be seen below:
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“From the first time we hosted a bodybuilding championship in Columbus in 1976, my goal has been increasing the prize money to reward these fantastic athletes,” Schwarzenegger said in part of the announcement. “I am excited to announce that this year’s winner of the Arnold Classic will win a record $300,000.”
Eight men were originally invited to compete in the 2023 Arnold Classic — the 35th edition of bodybuilding’s second-biggest yearly contest (behind the Olympia). However, Charles Griffen and Blessing Awodibu have dropped out since the announcement was originally made. That leaves six men to compete for the 2023 title. Promoters have not said if other athletes will be invited to compete in the contest as replacements at of the time of this article’s publication.
The six men competing in the Men’s Open division at the 2023 Arnold Classic are listed below. They include two-time Arnold Classic winner William Bonac, former 212 Olympia champion Kamal Elgargni, and two-time reigning 212 Olympia champion Shaun Clarida. Should Bonac win the contest, he will join Dexter Jackson, Flex Wheeler, Jay Cutler, and Kai Greene as three-time winners. Bonac won in 2018 and 2020.
2023 Arnold Classic Roster | Men’s Open
- William Bonac
- Shaun Clarida
- Samson Dauda
- Kamal Elgargni
- Justin Rodriguez
- Akim Williams
The only bodybuilding contest that offers a bigger cash prize to a Men’s Open champion is the Mr. Olympia, which awards $400,000 to the winner. Clarida won $50,000 for winning the 2023 212 Olympia title.
The 2023 Arnold Classic will take place at the Greater Columbus Convention Center on the weekend of March 2-5, 2023, in Columbus, Ohio. Fans can purchase tickets at the Arnold Sports website. Fans can also watch at home by purchasing the Arnold Classic pay-per-view, courtesy of Fanmio.
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