Ben Blackmore (left) and Stu Durning during the 2010 King of the Kootenays tournament.

Ben Blackmore (left) and Stu Durning during the 2010 King of the Kootenays tournament.

Creston arm wrestling tourney back for another round

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If you think you have what it takes to be a champion arm wrestler, then you may want to take part in King of the Kootenays, an arm wrestling competition that will be held on Oct. 8 at the Creston and District Community Complex.

Hosted by the Creston Arm Sport arm wrestling club, the second annual King of the Kootenays will determine the Kootenays’ best arm wrestlers in four men’s weight categories, as well as women’s and youth. The entry fee is $20 per arm per class for men, $10 per arm for women and $5 per arm for youth.

The contest offers spectators and participants a lot of action without the gore found in many other sports.

“It’s a full contact sport where you’re not going to injure yourself,” said Adam Koenig, who founded Creston Arm Sport. “You go up, you fight with a guy and walk away without bruises.”

Eight local members meet weekly to practice, which paid off at the provincial tournament held in Kelowna in July, when Creston Arm Sport members earned 12 trophies, and Koenig placed second in his division. He will compete at King of Kootenays in a super match (best of five) against Damien Luxon who placed third.

“It’s a bit of a grudge match,” admitted Koenig.

Anthony Dall’Antonia, a member of the Vancouver Arm Wrestling Club, who has competed across Canada, the U.S. and Japan, will referee the competition. International competitor Dave Hicks, also from Vancouver, may join him.

For arm wrestling enthusiasts, particularly those in rural areas, the chance to have top pullers present at the competition is a big deal.

“That’s the beauty of arm wrestling,” said Koenig. “It’s not a big money sport yet. You can meet and hang out with the champions.”

Koenig said his fundraising efforts for the tournament have met with success, and he appreciates the support from local businesses. The proceeds from last year’s tournament allowed him to buy team jersey’s for the summer provincial championship.

And he hopes that this year’s tournament encourages others to get involved, and then watch the best of the best at the nationals in Vancouver in 2012.

“There’s an opportunity to really experience the sport at an elite level close to home,” said Koenig.

For more information about Creston Arm Sport, which offers free drop-in sessions, search on Facebook or contact Adam Koenig at 250-431-8305. For more information on arm wrestling in B.C., visit