He's back: Schwarzenegger welcomed in Ohio

March 3, 2012 at 11:56 PM
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COLUMBUS, Ohio, March 3 (UPI) -- Actor Arnold Schwarzenegger will have a permanent presence in Columbus, Ohio, after unveiling a 600-pound, 8-foot-tall bronze likeness of himself.

Schwarzenegger fans -- lots of them -- took in a bit of art imitating life as city officials Friday revealed the statue in front of the Franklin County Veterans Memorial center, where Schwarzenegger won the Mr. World Contest in 1970, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The unveiling coincided with the annual Arnold Sports Festival at the center. Columbus is teeming with 175,000 visitors this weekend and the festival's expected to generate $42 million in spending.

The event features weightlifting, bodybuilding and 42 other sports events, with a grand prize of cash and a miniature statue of Schwarzenegger.

There's nary a sign of a slide in approval ratings, like the 20 percent decline among California residents after it was revealed last year Schwarzenegger had had an extramarital affair that produced a child.

As the ex-governor walked through a throng of muscular bodies at the center Thursday, he said politics and bodybuilding have a few things in common.

"For both of them, you need one thing, and that is discipline," he said. "And you can't let setbacks interfere with your own wishes."

At a breakfast Friday, Schwarzenegger, who is being divorced by his wife Maria Shriver, with whom he has four children, was asked about his goals for the next five years.

"Most importantly, I want to work on my personal life," he said. "I want to make sure that we have a family that really loves each other."

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