Local athlete seeks help to get to Worlds
A local arm-wrestling legend has qualified for the 38th World Arm Wrestling Championships in Sofia, Bulgaria this October.
However, Cranbrook resident Ben Soles must now wrestle up the financial support to be able to head to Europe and compete and has established a gofundme account in order to try and raise an $8,000 goal. As of this afternoon (July 26), he’s raised $820.
Arriving at the World Championships will be another high mark on a lengthy career in arm-wrestling for Soles, who participated in his first tournament in 1989 and won his first match.
“This is where I learned that arm-wrestling is not all about strength, technique, timing and experience is essential,” Soles said.
He won his first tournament in 1990 and that led to his first bids in provincial and national championships, capturing third place in both.
He has since competed in “countless” tournaments and has been an integral force in local arm wrestling, including captaining the Kootenay Kings from 1991 to 1998.
In 2008 Andy Elliotte and Pete Durning revived the Kootenay Kings Arm Wrestling Club and asked Soles to help with training new athletes.
Re-ignited in the sport, he has since powered his way toward a shot at the world championship.
This year he has finished second in a World Arm-Wrestling League Qualifier in Red Deer and finished first (left arm) and second (right arm) in the Masters’ Division in the British Columbia Provincials.
And at the Canadian Nationals he qualified to represent Team Canada with both arms in Sofia, Bulgaria this October.
“Since I was a child, arm-wrestling has been my passion, constantly driving me towards living a healthy lifestyle and staying fit. Not only is it my passion, but I am looking to inspire the youth of today to see that it’s possible to live your dreams. I feel honoured and blessed to be able to represent Canada at the 38th World Arm Wrestling Championships,” Soles said.
“I have grown into a skilled trainer, mentor, referee and champion. As a former world’s silver medalist, I understand the commitment needed to become a world champion. My commitment includes time and the resources needed to excel. While able to dedicate myself to training and fiscally supporting my passion, this calibre of event requires extraordinary resources. Each tournament and qualifying event leading to the Worlds requires funds not provided through any government program. All expenses associated with travel, accommodation, uniforms, food, training and nutrition are at the athlete’s expense,” he explained.
If you or your business or organization is interested in supporting Ben Soles in his quest to compete in the World Arm-Wrestling Championship, please go HERE.
Lead image: Ben Soles, left, wrestles Adam Koenig during action at the Sam Steele Days arm-wrestling competition at The Legendary Byng Roadhouse.