GRIPPING SAGA: ARM-WRESTLING BODIES VIE FOR THE UPPER HAND
Two Groups Hold Rival Championships; (The Wall Street Journal, Dec. 11, 2010) (PDF of original; link)
'All Hell Broke Loose'
Watch the accompanying video, from the 2010 World Armwrestling Federation Championships in Mesquite, Nev.:
By SAM SCHECHNER
MESQUITE, Nev.—On Saturday, hundreds of arm wrestlers will pour into a 33,000-square-foot tent here for the final day of their sport's yearly international championship. Next week, a rival group says it will be in Mykolayiv, Ukraine, to do the same thing.
There is a break in the world of organized arm wrestling. More than a decade ago, a Canadian construction-company owner named Fred Roy was expelled from the World Armsport Federation and started a new group, dubbed the World Armwrestling Federation. Each body began crowning its own world champions in 1998.
For years, the two groups have wrestled with the idea of reunification, sharing a goal of international recognition and a shot at the Olympics. But the latest talks at the world level collapsed in 2005. "This isn't unification! This is dictatorship!" one of the original group's leaders posted on his website at the time.
Since then, the breakaway group appears to have gained the upper hand. In recent years, it has won allegiance from many of its rival's former members in Europe, the U.S. and South America. Mr. Roy says 722 competitors from 41 countries are at this year's event, held at the
Meanwhile, the original group, now run by a retired Egyptian Army general, announced…