Arm-wrestlers battle at the Tahoe Biltmore |

Arm-wrestlers battle at the Tahoe Biltmore


If you go

What: 2013 Western State Armwrestling Championship

When: May 18-19

Where: Tahoe Biltmore Hotel Casino, Crystal Bay

Cost: Entry fees are $25 for amateur competitions and $30 for the open competition

White knuckles and straining biceps are all a part of this show. The West Coast’s best arm-wrestlers will take over the Tahoe Biltmore Saturday and Sunday in the 2013 Western States Armwrestling Championship.

“The Biltmore is bringing arm-wrestling back to Tahoe,” said Bill Collins, the event’s promoter and owner of National Armwrestling Promotions. “You’re going to have guys with national and world titles come over.”

Competitors, both amateur and professional, will weigh in Friday and Saturday with competition beginning at 1 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Cash prizes will be awarded to the winners of each division.

Divisions include right and left hands in five different weight classes. Entrants 40 years old and over are eligible for the masters class. A right hand open class is available to women. The competition will run on a double-elimination format.

Collins is the head arm-wrestling referee for the U.S. He’s been the manager for the national arm-wrestling team for five years. He’s won six world titles, but he still struggles with the status of arm-wrestling in the U.S.

“In the United States, it’s still considered a hobby,” Collins said. “We’re still trying to bring a legitimacy to the sport.”

Dylan Silver, Lake Tahoe Action

Collins said the organizations surrounding arm-wrestling are trying to attract new members. Arm-wrestling is for anyone, he said.

“We’ve got lawyers, we’ve got doctors, we’ve got guys that dig in the trenches,” Collins said. “I’m a safety specialist. These guys’ occupations are all over the board.”

As with many sports, there are intimidating factors to the beginner. The prospect of having your arm broken in the battle of leverage can be daunting, Collins said.

“I’ve been in this sport since 1979 and I’ve witnessed 27 broken arms,” Collins said. “That’s less than one a year.”

Collins has never had his arm broken. Knowing when to lose and how to position is the key to safety in arm-wrestling, he said.

Dylan Silver, Lake Tahoe Action

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