Meeting with Arnie gives Dianella martial artist ‘memory of lifetime’


Michael Kaplan meets Arnold Schwarzenegger mid-fight at the Arnold Classic.
Michael Kaplan meets Arnold Schwarzenegger mid-fight at the Arnold Classic.

DIANELLA martial arts competitor Michael Kaplan was lucky enough to meet the one and only Arnold Schwarzenegger at the Arnold Classic multi sport festival in Melbourne this month.

Kaplan said meeting ‘Arnie’ in the middle of his boxing match was the “memory of a lifetime”.

“I thought I may have been dreaming or hit too many times thinking ‘is that the Arnold Schwarzenegger standing there watching me?’,” he said.

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“I took advantage and in the middle of my fight walked over to shake his hand, said hello then told him I have to go back and fight and he wished me luck, which gave me the motivation to get the gold medal right there and then.”

The ATI Martial Arts owner said his athletes came home with seven gold, seven silver and two bronze medals.

“I was very proud at the high level of our athletes when competing against the best from New Zealand, Singapore and other oceanic countries and states from Australia,” he said.