Arnold Schwarzenegger appeared completely unaffected after a man surprised a gym full of people with a flying, two-footed drop kick to the former California governor’s back during a public appearance Saturday near Johannesburg.
Schwarzenegger, 71, was recording a Snapchat video with fans as part of his annual Arnold Classic Africa event when the unidentified assailant ran toward him and threw himself feet-first at the Terminator. Video shows Schwarzenegger jolt forward but stay on his feet as the man hits him and falls to the ground, where he was quickly subdued by a security guard.
“I only realized I was kicked when I saw the video like all of you," Schwarzenegger tweeted shortly after the attack. "I’m just glad the idiot didn’t interrupt my Snapchat.”
“By the way ... block or charge?” he wrote in another tweet, an amusing homage to former NBA player Rex Chapman’s Twitter-video meme.
The annual Arnold Classic Africa event is bringing together 24,000 athletes for three days of competition in the affluent Johannesburg suburb of Sandton. In another tweet after the attack, Schwarzenegger urged his followers to ignore his assailant and instead “put this spotlight” on the athletes “inspiring all of us to get off the couch.”
As he was being dragged away by the security guard, the kicker apparently shouted, “Help me! I need a Lamborghini!” repeatedly. A site promoting Johannesburg tourism proudly boasts of the exotic cars of Sandton, which it calls “the richest square mile in Africa,” but according to sales figures from South Africa’s auto manufacturers’ association, Lamborghinis are the rarest brand in the country.
In a statement, event organizer Wayne Price said he “believes this incident was carefully planned by the offender, as he is known to the police for orchestrating similar events in the past.” Despite this history, Price says, “None of us could have foreseen that something like this could have taken place.”
The statement said that Schwarzenegger has no intention of pressing charges against the drop-kicker. “He views this as an unfortunate event by a mischievous fan.”
Schwarzenegger was back on social media Sunday, posting a selfie video showing a martial arts demonstration in the background.
The video also showed that Schwarzenegger still has jokes: “I’m so lucky that none of those girls drop-kicked me yesterday,” he said.