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2023 Arnold Classic Raises Prize Money, Men’s Open Winner Receives $300,000

It’s not exactly the same as the Olympia competition, but the annual Arnold Classic (AC) arguably carries a lot of prestige and influence, being considered one of the biggest competitions on the bodybuilding calendar. When some of the best bodybuilders in the world travel to Columbus, OH, to take the stage on Mar. 3-4, 2023 for the latest edition, they can take comfort in knowing one thing. A victory will be rewarded better than before.

On January 12, 2023, the Arnold Sports Festival organization released a press release on their website and posted on Instagram announcing the prize for winning the Men’s Open division in 2023 AC will be $300,000. That’s a $100,000 increase from the $200,000 reigning AC winner 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 inches closer to the $400,000 top prize that Hadi earned. Choopan after winning the 2022 Mr. Olympia.

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In the press release, Arnold Schwarzenegger explained the importance of the growth of the Arnold Classic.

“From the first time we hosted a bodybuilding championship in Columbus in 1976, my goal was to increase the prize money to reward these wonderful athletes,” Schwarzenegger said. “I’m excited to announce that the winner of this year’s Arnold Classic will win a record $300,000.”

As for who will be traveling to Ohio to compete for the latest AC title, some past champions, big names, and up-and-comers will headline the Men’s Open. On January 12, 2023, the organization revealed that Nick Walker will return in 2023 AC and the contest that probably first helped him establish his reputation in professional bodybuilding. Past winner (2018, 2020) William Bonac will also return to the Columbus stage. Meanwhile, two-time 212 Olympia winner Shaun Clarida (2020, 2022) will try to challenge both men. Other confirmed competitors in the Men’s Open include Samson Dauda, ​​Kamal Elgargni, Justin Rodriguez, and Akim Williams.

Notably, a recent cadre of elite bodybuilders have revealed that they have withdrawn or declined their invitations to the 2023 Arnold Classic. At the time of writing, that group featured the second place finisher in the 2022 Mr. Olympia by Derek Lunsford, Blessing Awodibu, and Michal “Križo” Križánek.

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As the 2023 bodybuilding competition progresses, the 2023 Arnold Classic will undoubtedly be one of the first important steps to make it a year to remember. In the end, a focused athlete with incredible mass and a ripped body had the great fortune of leaving Columbus, OH, $300,000 richer for their diligent efforts.

Featured Image: @nick_walker39 / Instagram

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