Soles strong-arms his way to silver medal

Local arm-wrestler Ben Soles fell just short of taking home a gold at the arm-wrestling world in Bulgaria.

Ben Soles

Ben Soles

Brad McLeod

Although local arm-wrestler Ben Soles was not able to take home a gold at the arm-wrestling world championships — which were held in Bulgaria between October 1 and 10 — he added another accolade to his already impressive resume.

Soles, who won a silver medal in 2008, earned another silver in the 90 kg grandmaster division of the 2016 championships, losing in his final match.

“I pulled against Poland, and we slipped out in the middle of the table which caused us to go into the straps,” Soles said of his shot at gold. “I think on another given day I might have won, it was really close, Poland maybe has a bit more experience in the straps, so I took a loss.”

Despite the loss, Soles was once again just thrilled to have the opportunity to travel and compete with the best of the world.

“It was phenomenal, there were, I think, 45 countries there, 1300+ competitors [and] Bulgaria was awesome,” he said of the event. “The executives there were saying that it was the toughest world competition they’ve seen to date

Having won silver before, in 2008, and also competed in 1993 and 2010, Soles went in with plenty of experience but was still impressed with the level of talent he faced.

“I wasn’t in awe because this was my fourth time there but it’s the world championships —the [competition] is smart [and] the Europeans and the Russians they get quite a bit of sponsorship from their government,” he said. “Their training levels are hard to match here because we’re mostly blue collar workers [and] over there it’s a little bigger so you’re going against stiff, well-trained competition.”

At the championships, Soles was also in a different weight class having dropped from the 100 kg class to 90 kg, a change that he found to be to his advantage.

“I’m 5’10” [and] I’m strong, but when you get in that 220lbs class you’re running into people that may be 6’2”, 6’3” [who are] lean [with] very long arms, which will give you trouble,” he explained. “When I dropped down I [started to] meet arms that were a little closer to my length.”

In order to be able to afford to travel for the championships, Soles raised money with an online ‘GoFundMe’ campaign, which he said worked out very well.

“[The money raised almost] covered my trip [although] I came up a little short,” he said with a chuckle. “It was a big help [though], I couldn’t have gone without it.”

After 25 years in the sport, Soles is still searching for a gold medal at the worlds, but he has not let it get him down.

“I was right in there, I’ve been second before and so I’m silver again, just that close to the gold,” he said. “[But] if you ever win [a single match] at the worlds you can count yourself lucky [because] you’re beating a whole country.”

Now that the competition is over, Soles is getting back to training and going to the gym, all with the goal of getting back to the next world championships in Budapest, Hungary in 2017.

 

Just Posted

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Over 5K jabbed at Interior Health mobile COVID-19 vaccine clinics

The clinics have made stops in more than 40 communities since launching last week

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Interior Health COVID-19 cases falling slower than the rest of B.C.

More than a third of provincial cases announced Thursday came from the Interior

Students at Creston Valley Secondary School put together an art installation of a replica residential school room. (Photo by Kelsey Yates)
Creston students create art installation of residential school room

The replica was decorated with a small bed, school uniform, and notes written with pleas for help

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Second dose vaccinations accelerating throughout region: Interior Health

To date, more than 675,000 doses have been administered throughout the region

1914
It happened this week in 1914

June 13 - 19: Compiled by Dave Humphrey from the archived newspapers… Continue reading

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed teen facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

The George Road wildfire near Lytton, B.C., has grown to 250 hectares. (BC Wildfire Service)
B.C. drone sighting halts helicopters fighting 250 hectares of wildfire

‘If a drone collides with firefighting aircraft the consequences could be deadly,’ says BC Wildfire Service

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

A aerial view shows the debris going into Quesnel Lake caused by a tailings pond breach near the town of Likely, B.C., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Updated tailings code after Mount Polley an improvement: B.C. mines auditor

British Columbia’s chief auditor of mines has found changes to the province’s requirements for tailings storage facilities

A North Vancouver man was arrested Friday and three police officers were injured after a 10-person broke out at English Bay on June 19, 2021. (Youtube/Screen grab)
Man arrested, 3 police injured during 10-person brawl at Vancouver beach

The arrest was captured on video by bystanders, many of whom heckled the officers as they struggled with the handcuffed man

Patrick O’Brien, a 75-year-old fisherman, went missing near Port Angeles Thursday evening. (Courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard)
Search for lost fisherman near Victoria suspended, U.S. Coast Guard says

The 75-year-old man was reported missing Thursday evening

Most Read