Sports & Culture Media

Arnold Sports Festival

Media Release via Swanson Communications

COLUMBUS, OHIO – (March 1, 2022) World champion bodybuilder, Hollywood action hero, successful businessman, environmentalist, philanthropist, best-selling author and California’s 38th Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger participated in a virtual press conference Tuesday to discuss The Arnold Sports Festival, which takes place this Thursday, March 3 through Sunday, March 6 from the Greater Columbus Convention Center in Columbus, Ohio.

The virtual press conference also featured world-famous YouTuber and social-media personality Logan Paul and Fanmio CEO Solomon Engel previewing Slap Fighting Championship, which makes its debut on Saturday, March 5 at The Arnold Sports Festival as an epic display of slap fighting superstars go to battle live and free of charge on Fanmio, Logan Paul’s YouTube Channel and Logan Paul’s Facebook Live.

Also participating on the call were professional strongman Martins Licis, professional bodybuilder Brandon Curry and unbeaten Slap Fighting super heavyweight Koa “Da Crazy Hawaiian” Viernes, as they discussed their upcoming competitions at The Arnold Sports Festival.

Fanmio will provide extensive weekend-long coverage of this year’s festival, live for the first time ever to a pay-per-view audience worldwide, for just USD$24.99. While Fanmio will present some events as raw video for fans’ viewing pleasure, the Arnold Strongman events and several of the festival’s other historic, high-profile events will be fully produced segments of the pay-per-view with commentary and rare looks backstage including Friday’s IFBB Pro League Fitness, Figure & Classic Physique Prejudging (12:00 pm – 2:00 pm on the Expo Main Stage) and the Arnold Friday Night Finals (6:00 pm – 10:00 pm in the Battelle Grand); Saturday’s IFBB Pro League Bikini, Wellness & Men’s Physique Prejudging (10:00 am -12:00 pm on the Expo Main Stage) and the Arnold Saturday Night Finals (7:00 pm -10:00 pm in the Battelle Grand). Watch live on Fanmio, available at and via the Fanmio App which is available on Apple App Stores, Google Play Stores and the Amazon App Store and accessible through a number of devices including Apple TV (4th Gen+), Fire TV, iOS and Android TV and mobile. 

There are multiple ways to view Slap Fighting Championship on Saturday, March 5, 2022 (2:00 PM ET/11:00 AM PT) on Fanmio by clicking HERE on Logan Paul’s YouTube Channel by clicking HERE or on Logan Paul’s Facebook Live page by clicking HERE. Slap Fighting Championship, which is sponsored by BetOnline and Lootie, will showcase a main event featuring two of the world’s hardest-slapping super heavyweights, undefeated three-time PunchDown Champion Dawid “Zaleś” Zalewski (16-0) and well-known internet sensation and the first American slap fighter to win a Super Heavyweight Championship, Koa “Da Crazy Hawaiian” Viernes (9-0) from Oahu, Hawaii, for the Slap Fighting Championship Super Heavyweight World Championship.  

To purchase Arnold Sports Festival tickets, click HERE or visit For general information on the Arnold Sports Festival, please visit

Schwarzenegger started the now world-famous Arnold Classic with businessman Jim Lorimer in 1989 to showcase his beloved sport of bodybuilding. It was later renamed The Arnold Sports Festival as more and more competitions and exhibitions were added as the event swelled in size to a full weekend, featuring one of the premier bodybuilding events in the world, as well as the best of strongman, fitness and combat sports.

Here is what the press conference participants had to say Tuesday:


“We started this event in Columbus, Ohio in 1976, but at that time it was called Mr. Olympia, and we’ve had world championship competitions ever since then. The sport really took off in the 70’s and 80’s to such an extent that we had so many sports outside of bodybuilding getting in touch with us asking us to be part of our event. That’s how it turned into the Arnold Sports Festival.

“This year we will have around 18,000 athletes participating from over 60 nations, with over 100,000 attendees coming in throughout the weekend. This is a terrific event and I want to thank everyone who has made this possible again.
“We don’t do anything by ourselves. There’s no such thing as a self-made man. We’ve had huge successes with The Arnold Classic. It’s the largest festival of its kind in the world and this is not because of me alone. There are thousands of people who work throughout the year who put this together. Everyone brings something to the table.

“What makes us unique is that we are an event that doesn’t highlight any particular sport. We say that no matter what you do, if it’s good for your body, we want to use all the different sports to inspire everyone to train and exercise every day.

“We have all kinds of crazy sports during this event, because we don’t judge anything. We love to bring all of these sports together to celebrate fitness.

“Here we are all these years later, still in Columbus, Ohio, and we’re still growing and growing. We’re really announcing that we are back now with this great show taking place this weekend.

“I figured out when I came to America that the reason bodybuilding was unknown or why there were misconceptions about it, is because no one really communicated well to the masses and to the press about it. I felt very strongly that I needed to take charge of this and really explain the sport of bodybuilding.

“It was important for me to inspire others. I had inspirations that led me to the sport, so I wanted to make sure I did that too. The idea was to create not just millions of followers, but to create millions of champions.

“We always have sports come to us about joining the festival and we watch the reactions that the fans have to them. Most of the time, the fans stay, because these are entertaining events. I have found slap fighting very interesting, especially considering how guys can face each other from such a short distance. It sounded odd to me, but also very interesting. I’m really looking forward to watching it live this weekend and having a great time.

“It was great to hear that Logan was inspired by the Arnold Classic when he was a kid. Because I was inspired by watching Logan get in the ring and fight. We were inspired by each other, so it’s just natural for us to work together. I’m very interested to see how this works out with slap fighting and hopefully we can take this all over the world. We don’t know where this is going to go, but I’m really looking forward to this event.

“I’m really excited for this coming weekend. I can’t wait to get to Ohio and see all of these incredible men and women compete. There’s going to be so much action. No matter where you look, there will be action on every level. Let’s celebrate fitness, shape and all of those things together.”


“This is honestly a dream come true for me. Arnold talked about how the spine of this event is about motivating others. Well, you’re talking to someone who was inspired by Arnold at The Arnold Classic 13 years ago. My dad took me there and I got to be within three feet of Arnold. I was inspired by the strongmen and strongwomen who were pushing their bodies. That inspired me to go on this fitness journey.

“I’ve been able to use that athletic background in my adult life and pivot it into boxing. It just goes to show that you never know what kind of future you’ll be able to create thanks to events like these.

“To be able to legitimize a sport like slap fighting, that I think is up and coming, is awesome. We have amazing athletes coming in from all over the world looking to put on a show.

“I absolutely think people from other combat sports could join slap fighting. Everyone knows how to slap. It’s an easy way for MMA fighters, influencers, celebrities, and basically anyone who has an online beef, to go settle these disputes without months of training. It might be crazy, but I really think there is something here.”

SOLOMON ENGEL, Fanmio Founder and CEO

“It’s an honor to be working with the one-and-only Arnold Schwarzenegger and Logan Paul, both supporting the Arnold Sports Festival and Slap Fighting Championship.

“This is the first time that the Arnold Sports Festival is on PPV and we’re very excited to bring this event to a greater audience around the world. We have significant reach and we believe that everything that takes place at the festival provides an opportunity for people all over the world to get a glimpse of what this wonderful show is like.

“We’re doing everything we can to spread awareness and present everything in the best package possible throughout the weekend.

“Working with everyone to present Slap Fighting Championship is incredible. This is a sport that’s been validated. We’re very excited about this live stream so that we can really show the world what this sport is all about.

“Make sure to tune-in to the Arnold Sports Festival on PPV. It has all the coverage you could imagine. Plus, on March 5 you can stream the Slap Fighting Championship live on Fanmio and on Logan’s Facebook and YouTube.”

MARTIN LICIS, Professional Strongman

“This festival is several days away and I’m in full battle mode. I’ve won worlds and placed first in a couple of the Arnolds competitions, but never in the final. This is my favorite competition and I can’t wait.

“I’ve looked up to Arnold ever since I was a kid when I was reading his encyclopedia on bodybuilding. To be at this competition again, it’s all full steam ahead. This is very special to me and to be a part of it is just phenomenal.”

BRANDON CURRY, Professional Bodybuilder

“It’s been a few years and it’s a pleasure to be back with the Arnold Sports Festival at full action. I didn’t know if I’d ever compete again, but fate would have it that I’m here. I’m ready to step on the stage again.

“It’s going to be really exciting to see my results at this show. Hopefully this is going to be the boost toward me getting the Mr. Olympia title. I’m looking forward to getting that interview on stage with Arnold and walking away with that trophy.

“I have three Arnold trophies but the one for the Arnold Classic is of Arnold posing and that’s the one I’m looking to win. I’m looking to continue building my legacy and I’m looking forward to seeing all the fans come out. This is an awesome opportunity for me and I appreciate that I can come back and perform.”

KOA “DA CRAZY HAWAIIAN” VIERNES, Unbeaten Slap Fighting Super Heavyweight

“I’m happy and I’m going to put on a show. I’m facing a formidable opponent in Zalewski. I have to be level-headed about it. I have to make sure that people know that this is a serious sport. It can be viewed as a spectacle, but at the end of the day, there’s a winner and a loser.

“I’m an island boy who came from nothing. I went to food banks just to get fed. I’m not supposed to be here. I could cry right now. It’s humbling just to be on this call.

“Don’t blink. Someone is getting put to bed on Saturday. It’s going to be a fun ride.”

Tyler Butler