Arnold Schwarzenegger upsets fans by appearing at ticketed event via video link due to injury

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COLOGNE, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 07: Arnold Schwarzenegger speaks in his keynote about digital sustainability during the Digital X event on September 07, 2021 in Cologne, Germany. More than 200 national and international top speakers - experts, visionaries, politicians, entrepreneurs, opinion leaders and critical voices - take part to discuss in two days of a full digitisation programme. (Photo by Andreas Rentz/Getty Images)
Arnold Schwarzenegger pulled out of attending the Arnold Sports Festival in Birmingham on doctor's advice. (Getty Images)

Arnold Schwarzenegger left some fans disappointed when he pulled out of attending a ticketed Q&A session in the UK at the last minute.

The 74-year-old Hollywood star appeared by video link at the Arnold Sports Festival at Birmingham's NEC – which ticketholders had paid £84 to attend – after revealing he had been advised by doctors not to travel.

Schwarzenegger announced on Twitter the day before the event: "I’m sad to announce I won’t be able to see the @arnoldsportsuk in person this year. The team has done such a fantastic job, and I’ll be 100% with you guys virtually, doing my q and a and using technology to be at the event. I can’t wait to see you in person next year."

In a video that showed him smoking a cigar while feeding his pet donkey Lulu, he added: "I am very upset I cannot make it because of my leg condition. I injured my leg, my foot, my calf. The doctor told me not to travel. So I'm sorry about that."

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The event still features live appearances from The Expendables stars Sylvester Stallone, 75, and Dolph Lundgren, 63, with the former Governor of California joining them via video link.

Schwarzenegger said: "At the same time I am so happy that Sly and Dolph Lundgren is here...

"I'm going to beam in every so often during the weekend. You're going to see me on screen. So I'm looking forward to coming next year in 2022. I will be there."

WESTWOOD, CA - NOVEMBER 19:  Sylvester Stallone and Dolph Lundgren attend the premiere of Warner Bros. Pictures'
Sylvester Stallone and Dolph Lundgren attended the Arnold Sports Festival in person while Arnold Schwarzenegger appeared via video link. (Getty Images)

Some fans were not happy that the actor had left it until the last minute to announce he would not be there in person.

Andrew Demetriou tweeted: "What! Paid £84 per ticket to see you on a screen!?"

Ian Cameron commented: "Left it to the last minute so people keep buying tickets to see you."

But other ticketholders just wanted to wish Schwarzenegger a speedy recovery.

Scott Whiteside wrote: "Shame but your health comes first will be at your virtual Q&A at the festival anyway and will hopefully be able to meet you next year. Stay safe. Will say hi to Sly for you ."

And Cory Bassett posted: "Absolutely gutted always my dream to meet you had premium photo op with you and untill next year!"

COLOGNE, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 07: Arnold Schwarzenegger speaks in his keynote about digital sustainability during the Digital X event on September 07, 2021 in Cologne, Germany. More than 200 national and international top speakers - experts, visionaries, politicians, entrepreneurs, opinion leaders and critical voices - take part to discuss in two days of a full digitisation programme. (Photo by Andreas Rentz/Getty Images)
Arnold Schwarzenegger attended an event in Germany at the beginning of September. (Getty Images)

The Arnold Sports Festival is a health, fitness and sports convention launched by the former bodybuilder in 1989.

Schwarzenegger underwent open heart surgery in October last year to replace his aortic valve.

In 2018 he had a new pulmonary valve inserted. He also had open-heart surgery for an aortic valve replacement back in 1997 after doctors spotted a problem – despite the star, then aged 49, not feeling unwell.

The Terminator star sparked controversy in August when he told anti-mask protesters during a TV interview: "Screw your freedom."

Schwarzenegger said in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent social distancing measures: "There is a virus here. It kills people and the only way we prevent it is: get vaccinated, wear masks, do social distancing, washing your hands all the time, and not just to think about, ‘Well, my freedom is being kind of disturbed here.’

Read more: Arnold Schwarzenegger says his kids 'hated my job' in politics

"No, screw your freedom. Because with freedom comes obligations and responsibilities... You have the freedom to wear no mask, but you know something? You're a schmuck for not wearing a mask."

Watch: Sponsor pulls out of Arnold Schwarzenegger's sports festival over 'screw your freedom' comments

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