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Arnie wannabes compete for first prize in Madrid bodybuilding fest

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Arnie wannabes compete for first prize in Madrid bodybuilding fest
Arnold Schwarzenegger shakes hands with men's amateur bodybuilding winner, Russian Arkadii Velichko. Photo: Pierre-Philippe Marcou / AFP.
10:47 CEST+02:00
Movie star and former governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger, is saying "hasta la vista" to Madrid after a weekend contest of bodybuilding, pole-dancing and Speedo-strutting.

The three-day Arnold Classic Europe competition kicked off on Friday with contestants from around the world facing off to win the top prize, named for seven-time Mr. Olympia winner himself, Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Male and female bodybuilders strutted their stuff in muscle-baring bikinis and Speedos while the Governator looked on, ready to personally hand out awards to the best in show.

American Dexter Jackson won the top prize for men in the professional bodybuilding category, receiving a special congratulations from Schwarzenegger, in person and on social media.

Former Russian gymnast Oksana Grishina won the top fitness prize for women - her second consecutive victory at the competition.

Female competitors performed routines that included a mixture of dance, acrobats and even pole-dancing.

 

IMPRESIONANTE LA RUTINA DE @oksanagrishina en #ACEPRO Wow!

A video posted by Arnold Classic Europe (@arnoldclassiceurope) on

Awesome routine by Oksana Grishina. Wow!

Schwarzenegger gushed during the competition about his appreciation for the contestants as well as his love of Spain, which he said began when he filmed the 1982 fantasy flick Conan the Barbarian around Madrid and Almeria.

"I am such a huge admirer of all the athletes who are training so hard throughout the whole year and they've really come in top shape," the Terminator actor said during the competition. 

"I have to say this is one of my highlights of the year, coming here to Madrid, because the fact of the matter is ever since I filmed Conan the Barbarian here in Spain many, many years ago, 35 years ago, I fell in love with this country, so I love Spain, I love Madrid and I love coming back here," he said.

He took a cycle round the city, even high fiving one lucky fan as he rode by.

 

But the bodybuilding contest also proved perhaps too popular on the weekend, as Spanish media reported that police had to intervene when the event became overcrowded, closing down ticket sales and controlling who entered. 

According to Spanish daily ABC, 6,500 people were supposed to be in attendance, but the event saw an extra 700 past capacity on Saturday, escalating with the arrival of Schwarzenegger.

Madrid mayor Manuela Carmena announced that the city would begin an investigation, Madrid Diario reported.


Ukraine's Irina Vorobyeva performs during the Arnold Classic Europe. Photo: Pierre-Philippe Marcou / AFP.

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