INNISFAIL – There’s more to arm wrestling than meets the eye.
“It’s also a team sport as well, not just an individual sport,” said Matt Mask, elite arm wrestler and president of the Red Deer Arm Wrestling Club. “When you’re up there, the only person you can rely on is yourself, but it’s with a good team where you find success.
“There’s technique, skill, strength. It’s a combination of everything.”
The Red Deer club recently hosted an arm wrestling tournament at The Zoo in Innisfail.
“This was a scouting tournament they were using for the World Arm Wrestling League (WAL). We had a bunch of winners,” said Mask, noting the top two winners in pro divisions received monetary prizes and first- to third-place winners in both amateur and pro divisions received a WAL medallion.
The one-day event on June 2 saw about 50 competitors from across Alberta, including some from Innisfail, participate in the town’s first arm wrestling tournament.
Men and women arm wrestlers, 18 years and older, competed in amateur and pro divisions, noted Mask.
The Innisfail tournament was streamed live on BR-Live and Turner Productions.
“BR-Live is currently the world’s biggest sporting app where you can watch live sporting events, anywhere, any time, said Mask, noting it’s currently only available in the United States, with other locations expected in the future.
Six episodes featuring arm wrestling tournaments will air this year, said Mask.
“The first five episodes are leading up to the (WAL) finals in September. This Innisfail tournament was used as a scouting tool for more talent coming up at future events,” he added.
Mask said he was pleased with the turnout on June 2, and would consider holding another tournament here in the future.
Out of 11 scouting tournaments in North America this year, Innisfail’s event was the only tournament in Canada.
Mask has been an arm wrestler for 18 to 20 years, competing at the elite level for the past five. He is currently ranked second overall in Canada, with no weight division and ranked third in North America in the World Arm Wrestling League.
“It brings out the lion in me. Everybody has that one thing that brings out that lion and this is the one thing for me,” said Mask.