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Sudbury set to host the Ontario Arm Wrestling Championships

See some of the best pullers in the province on May 17-18 and even test your strength in the open competition
The 2019 Northern Ontario Arm Wrestling Championship is seen here. (File)

The Ontario Provincial Arm Wrestling Championships are happening in Sudbury this year, on May 17-18.

Rachel Russell, one of the organizers, told some 300 arm wrestlers from across the province are expected for the event, which will be held at the Holiday Inn on Regent Street. Three divisions will be offered: Youth, Masters and Senior / Open.

“Participants will travel from all over Ontario to compete in their respective divisions,” Russell said. “Many athletes choose to pull with both arms, and some youth choose to pull in both Youth and Open divisions.”

The Youth Division is for those up to age 18. The Masters Division is for those 40 and older, while the Senior / Open Division is open to people of any age.

In fact, if you’re interested in testing your strength and you aren’t a regular arm wrestler, you can still sign up.

“You do not need to qualify to compete, although it is recommended that you have some formal training before competing at the Provincial level,” Russell said.

The local team, the Rock City Reapers, have about 30 members of all ages and skill levels. 

“We train in Lively on most Tuesday nights and in Whitefish on Friday nights,” Russell said. “There is no cost to join the team and all you need is an arm, or two, to participate.”

Russell said the sport has seen a bump in popularity since the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“Arm wrestling has become an increasingly more popular sport, thanks to COVID and many people tuning into popular sites like YouTube, to watch their fix of sports,” Russell said. “After restrictions were lifted, the sport of arm wrestling saw a huge increase in participants, including record numbers of entries at the previous two provincial events, in 2022 and 2023. There are tournaments almost every weekend, all across Ontario.”

Organizers are hoping to see some big name competitors at the event, such as Richmond, Ontarios’ Devon Larratt, who is considered to be one of the best arm wrestlers in the world and the best in North America. 

Check out Larratt’s career highlights below.

Also competing is John Therrien, who represents the Rock City Reapers, and is hoping for a double gold in his category. 

“There will also be many pullers who are gold medal winners from last year's National Competition, held in Nova Scotia,” Russell said.

The Rock City Reapers worked hard to bring the championships to the Nickel City, she added. Having the proposal to host accepted and fundraising $5,000 to make it happen.

“This is more than just a bar sport. Our team is a second family, where we support each other in not only arm wrestling, but in life. In fact, most of the Ontario Teams are more like a family than a team. It is a great sport and one we hope will continue to grow in recognition and event opportunities,” Russell said.

If you want to watch the event, the Youth compete at 11 a.m. on May 18, followed by the Masters at 2 p.m. and the Senior/Open at 4 p.m. Weigh-ins on Friday run from 4-10 p.m., and again on Saturday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

For more information, check out our the event Facebook page. Learn more about the Rock City Team on their Facebook page.


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