Garrett Ford with Arnold Schwarzenegger, backstage at the 2019 Arnold Sports Festival in Columbus, Ohio.

Special Olympics Ohio powerlifter Garrett Ford is now closer to fulfilling his dream of competing at the Arnold Sports Festival, one of the world’s largest sporting events which just happens to be produced by his hero, Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Garrett (aka “The Hulk”) who lives in Pataskala and trains and competes with Special Olympics Ohio- Licking County, has received his USA Powerlifting (USAPL) membership card, a necessary step in qualifying to compete. While there is a USAPL Special Olympics division in which Garrett could have joined, he decided to register based only on his age. “He’s going to take this membership and go full-out,” said John Wysocki, Special Olympics Ohio Vice President of Sports and Programs and one of Garrett’s coaches. “He has to get his max lifts up a bit more, then he’ll be ready for the Arnold in March. That will be his first USAPL competition.”

Garrett brought home gold medals for powerlifting at the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games and the 2019 Special Olympics World Games. The 2020 Arnold Sports Festival will be held March 5-8 in Columbus, Ohio.