Written: Danielle and Andrew Livelsberger
Photography/Video: Andrew Livelsberger
Part 2 brings you Arm wrestling, MAS wrestling and fencing!!
Fencing coverage in the Hyatt Regency Ballrooms.
Followed up by MAS wrestling on the concourse stage and then by arm wrestling at the Expo main stage.
One of the most anticipated events for us to cover as I have only ever seen this fleetingly on TV. It is great to see in person, hearing the clanging of the foils upon parry, the buzz of the scoring machine.
The speed of the fencers is a sight to behold and trying to keep up with them either shooting video or stills was an interesting affair. My favorite was the younger children as their coordination and focus seemed way beyond their years.
One of the stand out points to the fencing sport is the sense of camaraderie amongst all the competitors and the extended support of the family members. As intense and fierce as the matches might get, at the end of the day, there is always a sincere handshake. The fencers even spend time helping each other out with gear and a good-natured conversation.
I did not know a lot about this sport before hearing that it would be represented at the Arnold this year. While the rules of this sport are straight forward, there is a lot of strategy that goes into resting the stick from your opponents grasp.
Regarding the rules, the objective is to pull the stick from your opponents hand or pull them over to your side of the board.
The board is placed between between the 2 players, which they place their feet on. The official ensures that the starting position of the stick is along the edge of the board. It was exciting to watch strangers come out of the crowd and up on stage to try a new competition. This can be done by all ages, and test not only strength, but endurance and strategy. I am thinking that one of us might just give it a try next year, maybe both of us!
Covering the preliminary heats this year, we saw matches that lasted from a few seconds to almost a minute. There is always a debate regarding strength versus technique. It appeared this year that technique in the preliminaries was a deciding factor to victory. It amazed us at the size difference of some of the match ups. As with the other competitions we watched, we tried to "predict" the winner, but many times it goes differently than expected in arm wrestling. I was pleasantly surprised at the diversity in the ages, races, and genders in this sport. Again, something for everyone.