Two-Time Olympic Gold Medalist Apolo Ohno Surprise Guest
, in his first appearance as a Hall of Famer since the NFL Honors Show, was joined by Arnold Schwarzenegger for a “Chalk Talk” on the values of sport and football in front of a packed and enthusiastic audience. The event took place at the Pro Football Hall of Fame Youth Football Outreach Exhibit at the Arnold Fitness Expo, a three-day festival at the Greater Columbus Convention Center in Columbus, Ohio.
Schwarzenegger, who has been a fitness enthusiast throughout his life, had an interesting observation about football. “I think football is the most challenging sport in many ways with its strategy, playing with injury and the mental toughness needed. It is a great game and it teaches great lessons for life and I am honored to be here with a Hall of Famer.”
Pace addressed the hard work needed that got him to Canton.
“It’s easy to see on Sundays how hard guys are working. But it’s really those hours when nobody else is watching. Those hours in the gym, working, studying tape, studying your opponent, working out – doing all those things that make you an elite athlete. Those are the things that really culminate with me when I think of what a Hall of Famer is.”
Pace, who also played basketball in high school, and Schwarzenegger both admitted that they wouldn’t have succeeded in their lives if they didn’t play sports. The former California governor feels every kid needs to play sports.
“This is why sports are so good for kids. Because they learn all of those lessons without really you teaching them. They learn it on the sports field. They know that the harder you work, the better you’re going to get,” commented Schwarzenegger. “There’s no shortcuts in sports.”
The program concluded with Schwarzenegger receiving a signed football from members of the Hall of Fame’s Class of 2016. He also mentioned he might “land the chopper” in Canton in August for the Enshrinement and gave a shout out to pace on his Instagram, which has been viewed thousands of times.
The Hall of Fame venue also welcomed a surprise visit from Olympic athlete Apolo Ohno. The eight-time medalist and speed skater spoke before Pace and Schwarzenegger to the standing room only audience about his mission to help athletes stay healthy while training and about why sports are important to our society.
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“There’s so many incredible life lessons and values that are learned through sport and specifically team sport, nonetheless. The comrade, the teamwork, learning how to win, learning how to lose, coping with the struggles [of] every single day challenges of training and competition. There’s nothing better in my opinion that accelerates that process. So I love sport. It’s done so much for me as a person in terms of character [and] how its taught me and helped shape and mold me into the person I am today,” said Ohno.
The Pro Football Hall of Fame will be on hand throughout the weekend at the Arnold Sports Festival with activities and events that include combine drills, Heads Up Tackling Drills, photo ops with Pace and Gold Jacket Andre Reed, another Chalk Talk on Saturday and coaching youth on a 70-yard field. These events take place on the second floor in Terrance Room 5. Tickets are still available and can be purchased at the door. Fans can also receive a a coupon for a kid's free admission to the Hall of Fame with a purchase of a paid adult admission.