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2024 Arnold Sunday Showcase Seminar Recap

Roger "Rock" Lockridge

Many bodybuilding fans feel that the Arnold Sports Festival wraps up after the Men’s Open champion is crowned on Saturday night, but the late Jim Lorimer always said his favourite part of the weekend was the “hidden jewel” – the Arnold Sunday Showcase.

The Battelle Grand Ballroom was the sight of the seminar that featured a combination of champions and legends joining Arnold Schwarzenegger for fireside chats. The weekend opened with interviews of six of the seven winners throughout the weekend, including new Wellness International winner Francielle Mattos, who said competing here was honoring a personal vow.

“I promised that I would return to this show as a professional athlete because I turned professional here four years ago. I’m a bodybuilder, I love competing, and this is my life.”

Next up were a pair of three-peat champions. Fitness International winner Ariel Khadr and Canada’s own three-time Bikini International winner Lauralie Chapados joined “the Voice of Bodybuilding” Bob Cicherillo for a brief Q&A session. Chapados had trouble putting the significance of her victory into words, but she shared some insight into her mindset as she was working to downsize her lower body to meet the criteria the judges told her they wanted.

“It comes down to bringing the best of yourself, and I’m so passionate about representing this category to the best of my ability.”

Next up was Men’s Physique winner Diogo Montenegro, who scored his eighth pro victory in Columbus, but he obviously felt this was by far his biggest win thus far in his career. Yet, he is already looking to the future.

“I have 32 weeks to do the best work of my life for the Olympia, and I am pretty sure we can improve.”

Then, there was Classic Physique champ Wesley Vissers, who may have had the biggest upset of the weekend. When you get the nickname “The Dutch Oak,” you clearly have to lock in for the contest named after “The Austrian Oak.” Vissers liked the comparisons to the younger Schwarzenegger and embraced the challenge. He had a sense something special was going to happen when he was at the athletes’ meeting.

“I did a check in with my coach. So, I snuck outside for five minutes. That was when I realized we had a chance.”

Last, but certainly not least, the Arnold Sunday Showcase welcomed Hadi Choopan, the Arnold Classic champion. He said through his translator that he wanted to win this title very badly, and now he is locked in on making as big of a legacy as possible in the future.

“It’s only about adding even more to my record now.”

Choopan, his coach Hany Rambod, and Vissers stayed as part of a legends roundtable that included former Mr. Olympia winners Ronnie Coleman, Phil Heath, Lee Haney, and 2024 Arnold Classic Lifetime Achievement Award winner Jay Cutler. Schwarzenegger himself later joined the panel. That is 35 Mr. Olympia titles on the stage for those of you keeping score at home. Haney reminisced about his career and breaking Schwarzenegger’s record for most wins, and Coleman spoke about his quest to claim the record as his own. He also shared a life update, talking about how his health has been improving since his 13 surgeries after he walked away from the stage. He was happy with his progress thus far and hopes for more to come.

“Stem cells work miracles.”

Cutler spoke to the Arnold Sunday Showcase panel about his own legacy in the sport and reflected on his career that led to his honor the previous night. He’s still a force in the industry in multiple ways and told Cicherillo that he simply loves where bodybuilding is at and how he stays involved.

“It’s just great to be a part of it.”

Schwarzenegger shared behind the scenes details of a lot of projects he had been working on such as his book, the now famous State Farm commercial, and more. He emphasized that the Men’s Open champion would receive $500,000 in 2025 and explained why it was so important for him to make that decision.

“It’s all about what we can do to promote the sport of bodybuilding. We need to do as much as we can to get people involved in this sport and fitness.”

You can see all of Muscle Insider’s coverage throughout the weekend here on MuscleInsider.com and watch our exclusive interviews on our YouTube channel.

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