By Tom Degun

Arnold_Sports_FestivalSeptember 12 - The United States Olympic team trials for weightlifting as well as the 2012 National Weightlifting Championships will be held as part of the Arnold Sports Festival which will take place from March 2 until 4 next year in Columbus, Ohio, it has been announced.

The Arnold Sports Festival, which is named after former California Governor and Hollywood star Arnold Schwarzenegger, is the largest multi-sport event in America and the US Olympic team trials and the National Championships will highlight the Arnold Weightlifting Championships.

The competition will be held in 15 bodyweight categories as top American Olympic hopefuls vie for berths on the 2012 US Olympic team that will compete in London as well as National Championship titles with over 200 athletes expected to compete at the Greater Columbus Convention Centre.

"Holding the US Olympic team trials during the Arnold Sports Festival will give our athletes the chance to compete in a first-class city in front of tens of thousands of people who come through the venue," said USA Weightlifting chief executive John Duff.

"Columbus put together an excellent bid proposal and we are looking forward to collaborating with the Greater Columbus Sports Commission and the staff of the Arnold as we select our team for the 2012 Olympic Games."

The bid to host the 2012 US Olympic trials for Weightlifting and the 2012 National Championships was a joint venture between the Greater Columbus Sports Commission, the Arnold Sports Festival and the Columbus Weightlifting Club.

"The Arnold Sports Festival is proud that USA Weightlifting has chosen Columbus and the Arnold Weightlifting Championships to host these two prestigious national competitions," said Jim Lorimer, co-founder of the Arnold Sports Festival.

"We look forward to hosting our country's best weightlifters as the US Olympic Team is chosen in Columbus during the Arnold Sports Festival."

The US Olympic Team Trials for weightlifting will be the most prestigious weightlifting event held in Columbus since the World Weightlifting Championships in 1970.

"We're tremendously proud to bring this competition to Columbus and to the Arnold Sports Festival," added Mark Cannella, meet director for the Arnold Weightlifting Championships and President of the Columbus Weightlifting Club.

"There's no better venue and no better group of volunteers in the world to put on such an esteemed event than we have right here at the Arnold Weightlifting Championships."

The Arnold Sports Festival is held annually in Columbus since 1989 with over 18,000 athletes will compete in 45 sports at the event.

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