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Mayor VS Mayor: Arm wrestling gaining popularity in Thompson

The Manitoba Arm Wrestling Association (MAWA) hosted a series of super matches that brought together people of all ages to participate in the ultimate test of strength and endurance.

The Manitoba Arm Wrestling Association (MAWA) hosted a series of super matches that brought together people of all ages to participate in the ultimate test of strength and endurance. The event saw fierce competition and a nail-biting kick off, where Thompson Mayor Colleen Smook emerged victorious in the ultimate challenge in arm bending history.


The event was held at the TRCC stage in Thompson, Manitoba, and featured a guest referee from Winnipeg, Josée Morneau, who is a World Championship Arm-wrestler with over 40 titles to her name. The tournament was coordinated by Eric Squires, who is also a member of the arm-wrestling group in Thompson.


Squires talked about his inspiration for starting an arm-wrestling group in Thompson and how it has grown, "My brother is the Manitoba Arm Wrestling Champion and he was pushing me when I moved to Saskatchewan because they had a really good team in Saskatchewan, and he was like ‘Hey, you should get into this’ and there used to be an old arm wrestling group in Thompson, it was run by Mike Boychuck. So when I came back last year and I told him I wanted to start an arm wrestling group, and he looked at me skeptically and said ‘Yeah, I guess I’ll come out to your practice’ and then he came out, and went against me, he was so surprised and admitted that he underestimated me, so then after that first practice we just clicked and since it’s just been me and him back and forth slowly growing the group and then just recently, within the last year’s been doing exceptionally good.”


"My goal with this tournament is I want to take a team to Manitoba Armwrestling Association for provincials in Winnipeg because Thompson, the Northern communities, and The Pas, they’ve never had a team that’s gone to compete at provincials which I think it would be so cool if we could do that now!”


The event was a resounding success, with participants and spectators enjoying the thrilling matches and the camaraderie of the arm-wrestling community. The highlight of the tournament was the starting match between Thompson Mayor Colleen Smook and Wabowden Mayor Frances Mclvor. It was a tight match as the two clenched arms held firm in the center for a long anticipated time making for the ultimate endurance test. The strength was matched until Mclvor’s arm gave out making Smook the Mayor arm-bending champion!


The tournament also featured a medal ceremony, with first, second, and third medals being awarded to participants based on their performance. The first-place prize money was also awarded to the winners, making it a fun and rewarding event for all involved.


Squires added that safety is a top priority for the group, as if technique isn’t done quite right you can easily be subject to injury.  ”My biggest thing with the whole arm-wrestling group is number one; keeping everyone safe, and two, teaching everyone the technique. Every practice we show you how to do it properly, then we watch as you do it, and give helpful tips.”


The arm-wrestling group in Thompson holds weekly training sessions every Thursday at 6 PM on 88 Sauger Crescent. They welcome anyone interested in joining them to come and give it a try. It's a great opportunity to learn the technique, build strength and endurance, and be a part of a fun and supportive community.


The Manitoba Arm Wrestling Association's event in Thompson was a huge success, bringing together people of all ages and backgrounds to enjoy a thrilling competition. The event showcased the strength and endurance of the participants and their dedication to the sport. With the help of Eric Squires and the Manitoba Arm Wrestling Association, the sport is gaining popularity in the region, and we look forward to seeing more exciting tournaments in the future.


~Matthias J. Johnson is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of the Thompson Citizen.  The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada.

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