The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have been felt across the globe. As a result sporting and fitness events worldwide have been getting either postponed to a date to be determined or cancelled entirely.
Among the first major event to feel the impact of the coronavirus was the Arnold Sports Festival earlier in March. Less than a week before the Columbus festival was to begin, the governor of Ohio announced the Expo would be canceled and that spectators of the events would be highly restricted. The latest two festivals on the Arnold calendar to be affected are the Arnold events scheduled to take place in both Australia and South America later this year.
Author’s Note: On Sunday, March 15, the promoters of the Arnold Africa also announced they would postpone their festivities from their original dates of May 15th through 17th until later in the year. Their statement is below.
“Dear sport, event organizers, sponsors and exhibitors;
After extensive meetings with authorities, relating to the Presidents speech and discussions with Arnold and the global partners, the safety of participants and spectators are priority thus we do not have a choice to postpone the ACA till later in the year. We will announce a new date in this week and will be in contact with you to manage this process.
Please take care and look after yourself. In sport we stand together.”
The Arnold South America was originally scheduled to take place April 24-26 in São Paulo, Brazil. The news of their postponement was announced on March 14 on their website. The statement below was translated for the purpose of sharing it here.
“Arnold Sports Festival South America, the largest multisport event in South America, informs that the edition scheduled for the period from April 24 to 26, in São Paulo, will be postponed. The new date, still in 2020, will be announced soon. The recommendation of the Ministry of Health and the Government of São Paulo, today, for the cancellation or postponement of major events to minimize the transmission of the COVID-19 virus and the declaration by the World Health Organization that it is a pandemic, takes the organization of the event to postpone its realization. ASFSA, which brings together approximately 85 thousand people in each edition, has as main objective to bring content and activities focused on health, sport and quality of life to its participants and reiterates its commitment to the well-being of all those involved, following the recommendations of the authorities. In order to minimize possible doubts and ensure convenience for the public, all customers who have already purchased tickets have a guaranteed place at the event! A new purchase will not be necessary, tickets already purchased will be valid for the new dates. Save your ticket and wait for the announcement of the new days.”
As for the Australia event, their announcement came later that same day. Promoter Tony Doherty confirmed that the pro events, scheduled to take place March 20th through 22nd would no longer take place but that they were waiting on further developments before making any other announcements about their expo or other contests.
“It is with regret that we have to announce the cancellation of the Pro classes at the Arnold Classic Australia this coming week. The severe travel restrictions being imposed in many countries make it impossible to guarantee that we can get our athletes here to Australia, or to be able to return safely home. The health and safety of all involved is what has made this decision our only possible and responsible course of action with our international athletes. We await further advice regarding the expo, the amateur pro qualifier and the other many events we have planned. Things are changing every hour. At this moment, we have no official direction, guidance or correspondence from our state government. This is uncharted territory and we will do whatever possible to safeguard the health and best interests of all concerned. More to come.”
The pro bodybuilding contest that is a part of this annual event has been a favorite among fans and athletes. This year, fans were hoping to see Dexter Jackson compete for the final time in Australia and potentially score his 30th pro victory. He had also planned to compete in Brazil if the show was to go on.
As of this writing there had been no statement from Arnold Schwarzenegger about either event being postponed. Stay tuned to BarBend for further news as they develop.
Featured Image: Instagram/arnoldsportsau