COLUMBUS, Ohio—Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger made an already very special awards ceremony at the Arnold Expo weightlifting competition today even more special, and he summed up his feelings toward the sport by saying, "This is the highlight for me."
Describing how for many years he wanted bring Olympic-style weightlifting to the Arnold Expo, the California governor presented awards to Olympic gold medalists Leonid Zhabotinsky, Tommy Kono, Issac Berger and Chuck Vinci.
Schwarzenegger left no doubt of his deep roots in the sport when he turned to Tommy Kono and said, "This was my inspiration," describing how he had admired Kono for being a world champion weightlifter who also had a world-class physique. "I wanted to be like him," Schwarzenegger said.
Following the awards ceremony, Cheryl Haworth and Shane Hamman, who were members of the 2000 USA Olympic weightlifting team, presented Arnold with a formal invitation to be the honorary team captain of the 2004 USA Olympic weightlifting team, which will be competing in Athens later this year.