Arm Wrestling

Short History

     Arm Wrestling can be traced all the way back to ancient Egypt where a painting depicting a type of arm wrestling was found in an Egyptian tomb dating to about 2,000 B.C. The modern sport is based on a Native American game. In fact, it was usually called "Indian wrestling" when practiced by frontiersmen during the 19th century and by children in the 20th century. In addition to being a semi-popular sport among high school and college students, arm wrestling was a tavern sport and the first organized competition was staged by a journalist, Bill Soberanes, in 1952 at Gilardi's Saloon in Petaluma, California. Over the next ten years, it became bigger and bigger.
     Bill joined hands with Dave Devoto and in 1962, they moved the tournament to a large auditorium in Petaluma and renamed it the World Wristwrestling Championship. By 1969, Dave Devoto signed a contract with the American Broadcasting Corporation. After the contract signing, World’s Wristwrestling Championship entered into a long relationship of 16 years with ABC’s Wide World of Sports. Majority of the people learned about Arm wrestling from ABC’s production of Wide World of Sports. The World Armsport Federation (WAF), was founded in 1977 with the United States, Canada, Brazil, and India as the first members. The first World Armwrestling Championship was held in 1979 in Canada.

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