posted for and By Andrew Oye

The Scoop: Fitness and fun for all ages, the world's largest multi-sport fitness event - the 2010 Arnold Sports Festival - is upon us. This coming weekend, the international sports and fitness community will converge on Columbus, Ohio to witness and participate in 44 sports and events (March 4-7).

The "So What?": IFBB Pro and 2009 Arnold Classic Champ Kai Greene will return to Columbus to attempt a replay of his triumphant title win from last year. Greene faces tough competition from a dozen other top bodybuilders who all have their hungry eyes on the $130,000 prize.

The Arnold Classic Bodybuilding lineup includes IFBB Pro Dexter Jackson (a vet and 3-time Arnold Classic winner), Melvin Anthony (who is fresh off his 1st place win at the Phoenix Pro), Toney Freeman (a favorite who needs a high placing to remain so), Phil Heath (a favorite who needs more pro wins to justify the hype), Branch Warren (who claimed a surprising 2nd place finish at the 2009 Olympia), Hidetada Yamagishi (who has a new trainer and is showing improvements), Johnnie Jackson (who has made a name for himself in powerlifting), Tarek Elsetouhi, Robert Piotrkowicz, Ronny Rockel, Sergey Shelestov and Roelly Winklaar (winner of the 2009 Arnold Amateur Bodybuilding Championships).

"We are extremely pleased that we have the greatest field of competitors that we have ever presented for the 2010 Arnold Classic," says Jim Lorimer, co-producer of the Arnold Classic and the Arnold Sports Festival.

On the ladies' side, 4-time winners Iris Kyle and Yaxeni Oriquen-Garcia lead a field of 14 women bodybuilders seeking a share of $55,500 in prize money in the 22nd Ms. International. "The match-up between Yaxeni Oriquen-Garcia and Iris Kyle will be a great one because both are at the top of their game and finish consistently high in international competition," says Arnold Sports Festival Co-Producer Jim Lorimer.

Thirty-four other women will vie for $99,000 in the Fitness International and Figure International contests. Columbus' own Julie Palmer leads the field of 15 Fitness International competitors. Among the lineup of 19 Figure International competitors will be 2009 Figure Olympia winner Nicole Wilkins Lee.

The top 400 amateur competitors from around the world will compete at the Arnold Amateur Bodybuilding, Fitness, Figure and Bikini Championships. "We have athletes from 40 different countries competing this year making it one of the biggest international events of its kind," says Amateur Event Co-Producer Bob Lorimer.

Amateur event co-producer Mike Davies adds, "We wish past Arnold Amateur Champions Roelly Winklaar, Elena Shportun-Willemer, Sylvia Tremblay, Candice Houston and Allison Ethier the best of luck as they compete against the world's top professionals in the Arnold professional IFBB events."

Many Arnold Sports Festival participants are youth competing in archery, boxing, cheerleading, dancesport, fencing, figure skating, gymnastics, martial arts, skateboarding, table tennis, weightlifting and wrestling. Top student athletes compete for one of nine $2,000 college scholarships presented by the Columbus Rotary and the Arnold Sports Festival.

Andrew Oye's verdict: All in all, the Arnold Sports Festival weekend promises to be one filled with the celebration of athletics and the rewarding of those who excel in those endeavors.