LAS VEGAS, Nev. — Depending whether you end up winning, “the pull” can be the quickest or longest several seconds of your life.
For the rush of adrenaline, love of combative competition and the prizes involved, “pullers” from all over North America will gather at the House of Blues in Las Vegas on June 29 to determine arm wrestling supremacy for 2017.
The World Armwrestling League, a Chicago-based league, has quickly grown into an underground phenomena that boasts tournaments from coast to coast, and has been featured on ESPN and ESPN 2.
For several years, David Weakland, a native of Canisteo and current Arkport resident, has been working his way up in the professional ranks, and has qualified for this year’s Championships.
Weakland got started at the age of 15, and has been pinning opponents for the last 25 years.
“I started out, with older guys teaching me and training me every other weekend we’d arm wrestle at someone’s house,” he said. Now Weakland helps train a younger stable of guys, including Brandon Elsessor of Angelica, who will also compete in Las Vegas.
To qualify, the men had to place at two regional tournaments, one in Syracuse and another taking place in Chicago. In Syracuse, Weakland took first place with both arms in the Heavyweight Division. In Chicago, he placed second and third, respectively.
Naturally right-handed, Weakland uses both in competition. He’s often described as the sport’s “diesel engine,” starting slow and specializing in stopping guys in their tracks, then wrenching them down to the mat.
Weakland goes to two or three tournaments…
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