The List: Arnold Schwarzenegger's career highs and lows

Erica Thompson

With the Arnold Sports Festival celebrating 30 years in Columbus beginning Thursday, March 1, we thought we'd revisit some of its namesake's hits and misses over the years.


Mr. Olympia

Schwarzenegger has won many bodybuilding competitions, from Mr. World (right here in Columbus) to Mr. Universe. However, his most prestigious accomplishment is winning six consecutive Mr. Olympia championships in the 1970s, and then making a comeback to win his seventh in 1980. (The controversy surrounding his last-minute announcement is still talked about today.)

Additionally, “Pumping Iron,” the documentary centered on the 1975 Mr. Olympia competition, is credited with launching Schwarzenegger's film career. And it's currently streaming on Netflix.

“Terminator 2: Judgment Day”

Schwarzenegger has starred in many classic action films, which solidified him, and his catchphrases, in pop culture. But “Terminator 2: Judgment Day” (1991) is his highest-grossing film to date, raking in $519.8 million, according to theHollywood Reporter. It's also one of the few sequels considered by some to be better than the original film.

Special Olympics Advocate

Schwarzenegger has used his massive fame for a good cause by being a long-term advocate for the Special Olympics. He has donated to the organization, served as a Global Torch Bearer for the World Games, and made headlines for“crushing” an internet troll mocking the events.


“Batman & Robin”

From George Clooney (Batman) and Alicia Silverstone (Batgirl) to Chris O'Donnell (Robin) and Uma Thurman (Poison Ivy), no actor escaped criticism for participating in the widely panned 1997 “Batman & Robin” film. Schwarzenegger (Mr. Freeze) was nominated for a Razzie Award for worst supporting actor, and suffered a box-office slump following the movie.

“Celebrity Apprentice”

Whethermilking catchphrases (“You're terminated”; “Get to the choppa”) orbeefing publicly with Donald Trump, hosting “The New Celebrity Apprentice” was just not a good look. The ratings sank, Schwarzenegger refused to return for a second season, and NBC canceled the show.

Marital Issues

Schwarzenegger's image took a hit in 2011 with his public admission of fathering a child out of wedlock, and his subsequent divorce from Maria Shriver.

You Decide

Relationship withMuscle & Fitness andFlex

Scoring Arnold Schwarzenegger as a contributor toMuscle & Fitness andFlex magazines would seem to be a smart move, and another feather in the cap of the action star. However, in 2005, it was revealed Schwarzenegger, then governor of California,inked an estimated $8 million consulting deal with the publisher. The partnership was controversial, given the magazines generated revenue from natural supplement advertisers, and Schwarzenegger vetoed legislation imposing regulations on the supplement industry. Not to fear,he returned (aren't you glad I didn't say the thing) as executive editor of the publications in 2013.


Before the days of people campaigning for an Oprah presidency, and the election of the current president, some parts of the country looked down on celebrities running for office. Maybe you're still in that camp. Maybe you miss the days when all you had to worry about were a Terminator or wrestler as governor. But Schwarzeneggercalled it an “honor” and “the most educational thing” he'd ever done.