Author Topic: 'The Grippler' grasping for world arm-wrestling title in LA  (Read 111 times)

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'The Grippler' grasping for world arm-wrestling title in LA
« on: August 09, 2018, 04:05:30 AM »
'The Grippler' grasping for world arm-wrestling title in LA

PEMBROKE — Ian Carnegie believes he can go “over the top” when it comes to the World Armwrestling League. On Thursday, The Grippler (Carnegie’s arm wrestling nickname) hopes to add to the “Ws” in his 15-6 record when he competes at the league’s next showcase event in the Supermatch Showdown Series at The NOVO in Los […]

PEMBROKE — Ian Carnegie believes he can go “over the top” when it comes to the World Armwrestling League.


On Thursday, The Grippler (Carnegie’s arm wrestling nickname) hopes to add to the “Ws” in his 15-6 record when he competes at the league’s next showcase event in the Supermatch Showdown Series at The NOVO in Los Angeles.


Standing 6’1” and weighing in at 350 lbs., Carnegie arm-wrestles in the super heavyweight division, currently competing right hand only, but typically arm-wrestling with both hands. He said he’s looking forward to the competition and he is ready to go.


“(My) short-term goals are to win every match presented to me and then ultimately become the number 1 arm-wrestler on the planet,” he said.


Coming from a family steeped in wrestling, the sport is clearly embedded in Carnegie’s DNA. The son of Gary Carnegie, a Canadian Army vet, and Diane “Vivian” Vachon (yes, those Vachons), a Canadian wrestling queen and hall of famer, The Grippler was born in Pembroke on Feb. 5, 1980. His father was stationed at CFB Petawawa at the time.


His uncles Maurice “Mad Dog” Vachon and Paul “The Butcher” Vachon are both hall-of-fame wrestlers and are certainly well-known names to wrestling fans. He is cousin to WWE superstar Trudy “Luna” Vachon.


Carnegie’s family moved to Montreal when he was young, but returned to the Pembroke area when he was in Grade 8. He attended General Panet High School in Petawawa and Fellowes High School in Pembroke. As a child he played hockey with the Petawawa Patriots, and basketball at Fellowes and then at Dawson College in Montreal. Coming from a wrestling family he wrestled a little as a child between ages six and nine then a bit at age 16, but it was after he had joined the Canadian Forces that he became interested in arm-wrestling.


“I’ve always been interested in arm-wrestling however it was through the military and a very well established arm-wrestler by the name of Devon Larratt that really got me involved,” Carnegie said.


In 2005, Garrison Petawawa held an army arm-wrestling tournament which Larratt ran. He was a member of JTF2 at the time but was already one of North America’s top arm-wrestlers.


“I entered the event and won both arms in the heavyweight division. Once the event was over I then had the opportunity to pull Devon. It was a total futile effort as he was clearly way too strong of an opponent. He assured me that I had what it took to be a champion. So I took his advice and have been competing ever since,” Carnegie said.


It’s the individualistic nature of the sport that appeals to Carnegie and keeps him in it.


“I love that I only have me to blame if I lose and I love the ‘me versus you’ aspect of the fight … and to impose my will on another man in the context of sport.”


Carnegie said winning the Mike Gould Classic, Canada’s top professional international arm-wrestling tournament, was his first big tournament win. In 2017 at the WAL Midwest Classic ‘Tenacious 12’ he finished 2nd place in the super heavyweight right hand class, and 3rd place same class with his left hand. He credits his success to having excellent teachers and training partners.


Retired from the Canadian Forces, The Grippler lives in Kingston these days and is a member of three arm-wrestling clubs, The Ottawa Valley High Hookers out of Pembroke, Ottawa High Hookers and the K-Town Krushers out of Kingston.


If you want to catch Carnegie in action, viewers can stream the WAL Supermatch Showdown Series on the B/R Live app, or in Canada you can stream at walunderground.com.


The event takes place at The NOVO in Los Angeles on Thursday beginning at approximately 10:30 EST.


adixon@postmedia.com


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