Local arm wrestler takes Gold in Grande Cache

Local Arm wrestler Maurice Thebeau competing in Grande Cache. Photo Provided.

Local Arm wrestler Maurice Thebeau competing in Grande Cache. Photo Provided.

Maurice Thebeau took double gold at an arm wrestling competition in Grande Cache.

Thebeau, a former Canadian Heavyweight Champion, has spent the last couple years working back into the sport.

The arm wrestling event was part of the Rox Solid Fitness Festival, held in conjunction with that town’s annual Death Race.

Thebeau says a Grande Cache arm wrestler contacted Battle Zone Alberta, and Alberta arm westling club, to organize the event, dubbed Battle Zone 7. There were, says Thebeau, 93 entries, and over 30 kids between the ages of 5 and 16 participating.

The kids, says Thebeau, provided some of the most exciting matches on the day. “The match of the day went to two brothers, a six year old and a seven year old, who had the crowd going ballistic. The match probably went for over a minute, with back and forth action,” he says.

Thebeau competed in the master division and was also the head referee for the event. “When my class was up another guy would take over to be fair,” says Thebeau.

Another local-ish man also came home with metal. Menno Klunder is a former Tumbler Ridge resident, now in Fort St. John, who comes to Tumbler Ridge to train. He took double bronze in the light weight class for both right and left arms.

Randy Bayer, an Alberta arm wrestling superstar, took on 60 matches in 20 min at $10 a competitor, raising money for a local charity in Grande Cache. He raised $390.

Thebeau says he’s been working hard at getting back into fighting shape. “I used to compete, but got too busy with work to keep it up, but the last two years, I’ve been trying to make a comeback, as I miss the people I met through the sport.”

Thebeau competed at an event in Jasper in January and got third place in the left hand class. He started practicing on Tuesdays at the community centre. “ Without this I would have never won this class,” he says.

It’s been a while for Thebeau, who says he felt like a rookie at the match. “I had so much adrenaline I couldn’t stop shaking.”

After winning the Masters, he took a shot at the open category but says an hour’s break lost his momentum.

He says there is a lot of talent in Tumbler but it is hard to get people to dedicate to training, but is hoping to get even more people involved in the sport.