Purdy part of arm-wrestling resurgence

Dave Mathieson
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MALAGASH?- A resurgence in arm-wrestling is taking place as was evident at the Atlantic Canadian Arm-Wrestling Championships recently held at the Credit Union Place in Summerside, P.E.I.
Matthew Purdy, out of Malagash, is part of that resurgence.
He and his brother Ryan competed in the "Right Hand 200 lbs" class in Summerside to a packed house.
"There had to be 300 or 400 people there. It was standing room only," Purdy said.
The premier and all the MLA's from P.E.I. were also in attendance to watch the 68 men and women competed in10 different weight classes.
Purdy has been competing in arm-wrestling since 2003.
"I always worked out and when arm wrestling came to Big Al's in Tatamagouche I thought I'd give it a try," Purdy said. "I've been doing it ever since."
Purdy works out three days a week but says success often comes from technique.
"Working out helps but practising arm wrestling on the table is the big thing," Purdy said. "You can be really strong and get beat by a guy who is a lot smaller."
Purdy, who is a welder by trade, built his own table.
"I sometimes go to Truro to practise with some arm wrestlers and sometimes my brother comes from Halifax and practises with me," Purdy said.
Another path to success is to watch your weight.
"I like to be as heavy as I can be for my weight class," Purdy said. "I don't want to be the smallest guy in there."
Purdy said one of the occupational hazards of arm wrestling is tendonitis and on rare occasions broken arms.
"The referees have gone through clinics to be able to referee the matches. The referees will set you up and make sure no one has an advantage and you're not allowed to arm wrestle in any danger or break-arm positions," Purdy said.
The next big competition is the Battle of the Atlantic Championship on May 3 in New Minas.


Organizations: Credit Union Place

Geographic location: Summerside, P.E.I., Tatamagouche Truro Halifax New Minas

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