Arm wrestler hoping to make Worlds

Canadian medalist arm wrestler Chris Beauchemin approaches life the same way he does his sport – no matter what, you keep battling.

Canadian medalist arm wrestler Chris Beauchemin approaches life the same way he does his sport – no matter what, you keep battling.

At 43 he’s recovered from a severe head injury that left him unsteady on his feet and blind in one eye; and he’s rebounding from the sudden loss of his job; and from the equally sudden loss of the sponsorship he needs to get to the next level in his sport – the World Arm Wrestling Championships in Indonesia this September.

Despite all that, he’s raring to go.

Beauchemin squared off to win a men’s silver with his right arm, and a bronze with his left in the Open Class of the Canadian Arm Wrestling Championships in Vancouver over the Victoria Day long weekend. That was a major step in his journey.

“They had all the best from across the country there,” he said. To compete Beauchemin first had to place at the provincials; now that he’s placed in the nationals, he’s set his sights even higher; “if you placed at the nationals you make it to the Worlds,” he said.

Well, you qualify. Making it there is another matter. “If I can get sponsoring to pay for the trip and make it to Indonesia, I’m in. Both arms I get to compete; it’s getting there that’s tough.”

To the uninitiated arm wrestling looks like a pretty straight-forward event. Two guys, or gals, with arms as thick as Douglas firs, face off across a square table, brace their elbows against the chocks, then go at it like mighty hulks.

Beauchemin will tell you it’s not quite as simple as it looks. After his days as a football player were ended by ‘smashed up’ knees, he was introduced to the sport by one of the pros, Anthony Dall’Antonia, “the 18 time Canadian Champion.”

The first thing Beauchemin learned about arm wrestling was how much he had to learn. “I’ve arm wrestled all my life, but never at this level,” he said. “These guys at the Vancouver club were amazing. There were hundreds of techniques.

“So I started learning the techniques and training and got good at it.”

Staying good means training every day. “The battle starts in your hand, in your grip, to your wrist, to your arm, to your body movement, to your elbow placement.” A lot’s going on at the table during competition, which only an enthusiast could appreciate: strategies like hook and drag, top roll, and many others are applied to beat the other guy.

It’s not just about brute strength. “You need strength to impose your will,” Beauchemin explained. “But if you don’t have the tools, you’ve got nothing to impose.”

Willing yourself 12,000 km from the West Coast of British Columbia to Indonesia is another matter, and Beauchemin isn’t sure he’s got the techniques down for that part of the game. But he’s working at it.

If you want to take a crack at arm wrestling yourself, and grip hands with a champ, you can head on down to Transfer Beach park most Sundays and try your strength and skill.

“I don’t’ charge them,” Beauchemin said of his weekend opponents. “I teach them about arm wrestling and let them have a go at me.” All he asks is that people bring non-perishable donations for the Ladysmith Food Bank or second-hand shoes for the Salvation Army.

Beauchemin is hoping to get a club together in the Ladysmith area.

As for the knocks he’s taken, especially losing his sponsorship for the Indonesia run, Beauchemin is philosophical. “I just got top-rolled,” he said. So you look for a technique to counter, and get ready to go again.

 

Just Posted

Kate Cram and her team at Old Town Ice Cream are thrilled to be open for business. (Cole Schisler photo)
Old Town Ice Cream opens up right on time for summer

Located at 539 1st Avenue, Old Time Ice Cream is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily

Things are looking up for Vancouver Island as zero COVID-19 cases have been reported for the first time since October. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Island records zero new COVID-19 cases for the first time since October

For the first time since October, the province is reporting zero new… Continue reading

Black Press file photo
RCMP seek suspect in Vancouver Island-wide crime spree

Crimes stretched from Deep Bay to Qualicum, Ladysmith, Chemainus and Youbou

Volunteers Alex Cook, Ron Dashwood, and Bill Drysdale have been hard at work restoring the old Ladysmith train station. (Cole Schisler photo)
Train station restoration on track for future community open house

Community is asked to give feedback on what they think the best use is for the station

Chemainus Indigenous Peoples Weekend organizer Connie Crocker. (Photo submitted)
Chemainus Indigenous Peoples Weekend online June 19-21

Event’s been in the planning stages since February without knowing COVID implications

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Karl and Stephanie Ann Johanson were thrilled to spot a pair of Sandhill Cranes in the Panama Flats this month, an unusual appearance for such birds. (Photo by Stephanie Ann Johanson)
WATCH: Sandhill cranes an unusual, joyful sight in South Island parkland

These birds don’t often touch down on their way between northern B.C. and Mexico

(V.I. Trail/Google Maps)
Now 90% complete, Vancouver Island trail forges new funding parnership

Victoria Foundation takes on Vancouver Island Trail Association; fund valued at $40,000

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 charged, suspect at large in killings of B.C. brothers linked to gang activity: RCMP

Kamloops brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May on a remote Okanagan road

Albert Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney unveil an opening sign after speaking about the Open for Summer Plan and next steps in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta 1st province in Canada to lift all COVID-19 public health restrictions

70.2% of eligible citizens 12 and older in the province have received a dose of the vaccine

Fraser Health registered nurse Ramn Manan draws a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe at a walk-up vaccination clinic at Bear Creek Park, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Honour our fathers’ with COVID-19 vaccine protection, B.C. urges

109 new cases Friday, 75 per cent of 12 and up immunized

Freighters have becomd abundant in the Trincomali Channel on the east side of Thetis Island.
Nanaimo ponders taking on waste from nearby anchored freighters

Vancouver-based Tymac petitioning the Regional District of Nanaimo to accept waste at its landfill

(Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Trutch Avenue in Chilliwack to be renamed to remove racist taint

New name to have Indigenous significance as Chilliwack takes new step toward reconciliation

Most Read