The 2023 Arnold Basic will increase the prize cash, with the winner of the boys’s Open receiving $300,000
A lucrative reward awaits those who can stand at the top of the podium in Columbus.
It’s not exactly on par with the Olympic competition, but the annual Arnold Classic (AC) arguably carries just as much prestige and influence, being considered one of the most important competitions on the bodybuilding calendar. When some of the world’s top bodybuilders travel to Columbus, OH to take the stage for the latest installment on March 3rd and 4th, 2023, they can rest easy knowing one thing. A win is rewarded better than ever.
On January 12, 2023, the organization of the Arnold Sports Festival published a press release on their website and posted an announcement on Instagram The prize for winning the Men’s Open Division at AC 2023 is $300,000. That’s an increase of $100,000 over the reigning AC winner of $200,000 that Brandon Curry took home in 2022. It builds on a significant increase from previous years when former champion Nick Walker won $130,000 after the 2021 iteration, and is getting closer to the $400,000 top prize earned by Hadi Choopan after winning the 2022 Mr. Olympia.
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In the press release, Arnold Schwarzenegger addressed the importance of growing the Arnold Classic.
“Ever since we first hosted a bodybuilding championship in Columbus in 1976, my goal has been to increase the prize money to reward these amazing athletes,” Schwarzenegger said. “I am pleased to announce that this year’s winner of the Arnold Classic will win a record-breaking $300,000.”
As for who will travel to Ohio to compete for the latest AC title, a few past champions, big names and up-and-comings are highlighting the Men’s Open. On January 12, 2023, the organization announced this Nick Walker would return to AC 2023 and the competition that arguably first helped him build his stellar reputation in professional bodybuilding. Previous winner (2018, 2020) William Bonac will also return to the Columbus stage. Meanwhile, two-time 212 Olympic gold medalist Shaun Clarida (2020, 2022) will be looking to challenge both men. Other confirmed Men’s Open entrants include Samson Dauda, Kamal Elgargni, Justin Rodriguez and Akim Williams.
Notably, a cadre of elite bodybuilders recently announced that they had either withdrawn or declined their invitations to the 2023 Arnold Classic. As of this writing, this group consists of 2022 Mr. Olympia runner-up Derek Lunsford, Blessing Awodibu, and Michal “Križo” Križánek.
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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 size and a toned physique will be very fortunate to leave Columbus, OH $300,000 richer for his diligent efforts.
Featured Image: @nick_walker39 / Instagram