Local armwrestler Martin Langlois says 2019 will be a big year for him, as he is competing in some of the world’s biggest armwrestling tournaments. Langlois will be travelling all over to attend the Arnold Classic in Ohio, the Provincials in Kelowna, the Pan-American Championships in Costa Rica, the Nationals in Edmonton, the Worlds in Poland and several tournaments close to home.
Originally hailing from Quebec, Langlois moved to Kimberley five years ago. He retired from the Canadian Armed Forces after 22 years of service and has always been an athlete, playing hockey, softball, and competing in biathlons for eight years. After experiencing some serious knee troubles, he decided to find a different path to satisfy his athleticism and competitive spirit.
“I’m a competitive guy, so I had to find another sport that I can do without my legs,” explained Langlois. “I always liked to arm wrestle at school [and] with friends in the bars when I was younger. In 2008 I started to do some little armwrestling tournaments but I figured out that without technique and proper training, I’d never win.”
Then in 2010, Langlois started to practice and work out with experienced armwrestlers, landing him in many top three spots.
A year later he went to his first national championship, placing first on the right hand, second on the left, and third in open class.
“Since that time, I’ve just wanted to get better and better,” Langlois said. “I have travelled all over Canada and the US for bigger competitions, and since that time I’ve won a few provincials and finished second at the national championships in both 2015 and 2018 in the open class.”
Last year Langlois travelled to Turkey for the World Armwrestling Championship against “the best of the best”.
“I did pretty good for my first experience at worlds, with sixth place on my left and fourth place on my right,” he said.
In terms of the year ahead, Langlois hopes to compete without any injuries.
“I hope everything will happen without injuries, but like any sport it could happen,” said Langlois.
Langlois adds that if anyone else is interested in getting involved in competitive armwrestling, there are local options.
“If anybody, kids, women, men, want to start in a growing sport, armwrestling is like a martial arts fight without hurting yourself,” he said. “We practice once a week in Cranbrook with my team (The Kootenay Kings Armwrestling Club). We [will] show [you] the techniques and training you need to become the best. I wouldn’t be good if I didn’t have this team.”
On January 21 Langlois will be at the Youth Centre in Cranbrook for initiation training for youth armwrestling. If you want to get involved or find out more, contact Langlois through Facebook or email him at email@example.com.