The bodybuilding and sports world expressed equal parts shock and understanding at the decision to postpone the 2020 Arnold Sports Festival Expo, and limit audience participation to only a handful of events due to concerns of the coronavirus

More than 250,000 people from 80 countries—including some with high numbers of coronavirus cases such as Italy, Iran, and China—were scheduled to attend the expo March 5-8. But international health officials have warned people not to be in large crowds until the virus, also known as COVID-19, is under control. 

Arnold Schwarzenegger said he was disappointed the expo would have to be pushed back to a to-be-determined date, but said in an Instagram post he understood why it had to be done and that health is at the core of the Arnold festival. 

“Making money is less important than being healthy,” the 7-time Mr. Olympia said in an Instagram video. “We want people to stay healthy and fit, that’s what it’s all about.” 

 

 

The bodybuilding, Strongman, and powerlifting competitions will still take place, but only certain events will be open to the public—such as the Arnold Classic World Bodybuilding Championship finals on Saturday night. All athletes are being screened for symptoms of the virus, according to local reports

Many other public events have been canceled or postponed due to the coronavirus, such as the premiere of the next James Bond movie, No Time to Die; dozens of Italian soccer matches; and the FIBO Global Fitness expo that was scheduled for April in Germany. 

If you haven’t figured it out already, the coronavirus is no joking matter, and it should be taken seriously. Here’s a quick primer on what to know about the global health emergency.

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