Behind the Scenes

Is Arnold's Army Shrinking?

There's no denying that Arnold Schwarzenegger is a giant in the fitness industry. But will recent announcements about his personal life affect his legacy?

Today's media outlets have been dominated by the news that Schwarzenegger admitted to fathering a child with a member of his household staff. The news comes a week after he and his wife, Maria Shriver, announced their separation after 25 years of marriage.

Schwarzenegger was a fixture at Gold's Gym in the 1970s and highlighted the club's convention last year with a videotaped appearance. He spoke at the memorial service of his good friend Jack LaLanne earlier this year.

Schwarzenegger, who recently completed two terms as governor of California, served as both the chair of the President's Council on Physical Fitness in the early 1990s and later was chair of the California Governor's Council on Physical Fitness, focusing on the need for after-school programs for children. In 1979, he was named the international weight training coach for the Special Olympics, an organization founded by Shriver's mother, Eunice Kennedy Shriver. The annual Arnold Sports Festival, held in Columbus, OH, has grown from a bodybuilding competition in 1989 to attracting 18,000 athletes competing in more than 40 sports.

And oh, by the way, Schwarzenegger's stardom as an actor made him one of the biggest box-office draws in Hollywood for years.

Critics of his will point to reports of his groping women that surfaced during his election campaign in 2003, the cash-strapped nature of California under his watch as governor, and, as one of his final acts in office, his reduction of the prison sentence of a political ally's son who pleaded guilty to stabbing a man to death.

And now we have the latest news on his private life. This likely will die down in a few months when Schwarzenegger gets back into movies or adds another chapter to his eclectic life's history. But what, if anything, does this do to your perception of him and his impact on the industry?

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