COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – It was a Friday full of fun and friends at the 35th Arnold Sports Festival.
Between competitors and visitors, more than 100,000 people are expected to be in town — and from weightlifting to the other athletic competitions, the Arnold offers a lot to see around the Greater Columbus Convention Center.
“You’re walking by brands you watch online all the time, you’re meeting folks that inspire you every single day. For me, I feel like there’s no other sport where you can come this close to the top athletes in that industry and have a one-on-one with them, talk with them,” Divina Mims said.
Mims, from Nashville came to the Arnold with friends made through the body building community. They are from all over the country, but this year is their first together at the Arnold.
They call themselves, “#Takeover,” and have matching jackets.
“It just became a love of the sport, a love of the sisterhood, and encouraging each other and female empowerment — and it turned in to the takeover crew, wherever we go, we take over,” Shonte Turner said.
Part of the World’s Strongest Firefighter Competition also took place on Friday. Firefighters from around the country and globe took place in various competitions.
“Humbling, there’s not a better word for it. Absolutely, first and foremost, there’s guys here that I don’t even feel like I should be standing beside them,” Lancaster Fire Department firefighter Jake Powell said.
Powell said getting to know the other firefighters is just as great as the competition.
“It’s really cool, it’s a really enlightening experience,” he said. “You actually get to learn how responses, and things like that in their areas may work a little bit different than what we see here in central Ohio.”