Among the many events at the Sept. 28-29 BDN Maine Man Expo will be an arm-wrestling tournament, held on Saturday, Sept. 28 and run by a man who wants to bring this sport back to Maine.
After attending some small-scale arm-wrestling events in Maine — many of them in back-alley taverns with a handful of people — Nate Gagnon felt he could do it be bigger and better. He formed 207 Arm Sports and held the First Annual Maine Call to Arms in South Portland in June 2012 with 70 competitors.
“I had instant success,” he said. “It was an event that people could be proud of. That was what I was going for.”
Excitement and online buzz flared over the next year, and in 2013 competitors came from all over the Northeast.
“Everyone was excited, motivated and supportive,” Gagnon said.
At the Man Expo, there will be four divisions: men’s right-handed (five weight classes), men’s left-handed (three weight classes), novice and women’s.
Competitors weigh in when they sign up the day of the event. The entry fee is $15 for the first division and $10 per division after that. Those under 18 can compete with signed permission from a parent or guardian.
There will be trophies for first through third place in all weight classes and divisions. There also will be six $100 cash prizes to the first-place right-handed men and for the women. Competitors are expected from all over New England.
“I’m expecting this to be my biggest turnout ever,” he said.
With arm-wrestling coming back into the public consciousness, there’s even a reality television show in the works. Many amateur arm-wrestlers are hoping to get discovered — and, at an event like this, even here in Bangor, could launch someone into stardom.
“It could be the fisherman from the coast or that lumberjack from the woods of Maine who could show up and surprise everyone,” Gagnon said.
Gagnon is excited about the level of the crowds who will be exposed to that sport. With 3,000 to 5,000 people per day expected at the Man Expo, it should raise a lot of awareness.
“As long as the Man Expo is around, I think 207 Arm Sports is going to want to be involved.”
If you’re ready to try your hand — and arm — at this, visit the Max Expo and get involved. Weigh-ins are on Saturday, Sept. 28 from 10 a.m. until noon, and the event begins at 1 p.m.
For more information about BDN Maine’s inaugural Man Expo, visit www.bdnmainemanexpo.com.