The Arnold is no stranger to sports; it features 14 Olympic competitions and dozens more that vary from common (MMA fighting) to obscure (Mighty Mitts strong-grip contest). But there’s one sport that hundreds of thousands of festival attendees can all call their own – people-watching. Like a giant mall on, well, steroids, The Arnold offers a wide swath of humans to observe, from the competitors to the other spectators.
In this spirit, Fit has provided our readers with a scoring guide for what has become the official unofficial game of The Arnold – the sport of spectating. Keep track of all the characters you spot throughout the weekend, and remember that the more events you attend, the better your chances for finding them all.
Someone whose head looks Photoshopped onto his body +5 points As seen in the picture to the left (which is not altered), sometimes the competitors go a tad overboard at the tanning salon (or with the bronzer), while also going a tad underboard on the preparation of the, umm, face area. Generally speaking, your skin should not resemble an expensive handbag, however, at least be consistent if that’s your look of choice.
Kids on leashes +15 points There are no strollers allowed at The Arnold, but nobody said anything about leashes for your children. Which, statistically speaking, is the most entertaining thing you can do with a child. Don’t get too close, though, these kids probably bite; treat them like cocker spaniels and you can’t be surprised when they act like them, too.
An *NSYNC member +1 point There will be at least one member of the famous boy band in attendance. If you read this whole issue, you’ll know which one and where to find him.
Other spectators playing this game +10 points
The craze is sweeping the nation! Or at least the Convention Center.
A skinny man curling swag, ironically +5 points Perhaps inspired by the aforementioned muscular man, or perhaps just a comedic genius who knows an opportunity when it lands in the palm of his hand, a skinny man (or, more likely, a teenager) will realize that the bag of swag is indeed getting heavier, and that he may elicit a laugh from others if he pretends to strain while curling it. Ha! This guy! Bonus points if the bag breaks, spilling his supplements everywhere for stronger men to kick down the aisles.
A muscular man curling swag and supplements
+3 points The Arnold Expo has more than 900 booths, many of which sell or give away all sorts of fitness and health products and swag. It doesn’t take long for the bags to grow heavier, and hence, for some gym rat to realize that now is the perfect time to work in a few sets of impromptu curls. Bonus points if he begins doing shrugs with a bag in each hand.
Arnold +12 points The most famous man in the room, no matter which room he’s in. Finding Arnold during the weekend is not particularly difficult actually – he makes appearances at events throughout and always takes time to truly serve as the face of the festival. Actually seeing him is another matter, though, as he tends to attract a throng dozens deep, so that getting a glimpse of the man himself becomes more a matter of timing and luck, or being very, very tall.
Fan asking for Arnold’s autograph on Jingle All the Way poster +1,000 points For those who brave the crowds that gather around him, some will try to get autographs of festival paraphernalia, but the most dedicated fans bring memorabilia with them. Find the one committed enough to attempt to get an authentic Arnold signature on the movie poster from Jingle All the Way – the definitive Schwarzenegger and Sinbad project – and you pretty much win the game outright. Unless someone brings a poster from Twins. Can’t top that.