Some matches were over in a second, others involved two men straining and struggling for several seconds on their way to victory or defeat, but both participants and spectators enjoyed The Whisky Barrel Arm Wrestling Competition held at the Gore Street pub Saturday.
The Sault’s Marty Dimma, an auto mechanic by profession and experienced arm wrestler, refereed the event, watching for elbow fouls, false starts and ready to stop a match if he felt a wrestler was headed for injury.
“I’ve seen arms get broken. It’s not nice,” Dimma told SooToday.
“I started arm wrestling in high school when I was 16 and went to my first tournament at 19, back in 1990,” Dimma said, crediting friend Cory Burke (who also competed in Saturday’s event) with getting him interested in the sport.
“I like winning. I like the bragging rights. Most of my matches are ‘ready and go,’ done in a second,” said Dimma, a lightweight.
“Some of the bigger guys, they can tire out pretty quick after they go back and forth. Sometimes they go over a minute, but usually under a minute somebody gets pinned.”
Over the past 25 years, Dimma has won multiple Ontario championships and has been a two-time Canadian champion.
He also placed 12th out of 52 competitors at a 2013 international arm wrestling event held in Gdynia, Poland.
Weigh-ins at the Whisky Barrel event began at 6 p.m. Saturday, the event starting at 8 p.m.
Approximately 15 people had registered to compete and had weighed in by 6:30 p.m., mostly in the heavyweight category. The event was open to both men and women.
Melissa Thompson, Whisky Barrel owner, and her husband Dunbar, the pub’s manager, were pleased to host the event at their recently-opened establishment.
“Dunbar and I were looking at trying to do something different, that nobody else is doing in town. Marty’s our friend, so we approached him and here we are. We’re going to try and have this again in the fall, next winter and next spring,” Thompson said.
Whisky Barrel Arm Wrestling Competition winners included:
- Doug Behrens, lightweight (under 175 pounds)
- Tyler Gagnon, middleweight (under 200 pounds)
- John Creekmore, heavyweight (over 200 pounds), left and right hand
- Cory Burke, open class left hand
Cash prizes were awarded to the winners.