For local arm-wrestler Allan Heinricks, his trip to this year’s world arm wrestling championships in Brazil ended almost as soon as it began.
“I flew in, stayed one day, and left the next,” he said, citing health problems with one of his legs, lack of a companion to help him get around, and sub-par wheelchair accessible facilities as the reasons he decided to pack it in early.
“I didn’t want to be a distraction for my team,” he said of his decision to leave early and not compete.
There were approximately 20 competitors from Canada at this years event, held Sept. 10 – 18 in Sào Vincente, Brazil.
This situation is a marked contrast from Heinrick’s previous experiences at worlds, where he took home gold medals and raved about the accessibility overseas.
It was especially disappointing, he said, because he had trained extremely hard this year, travelling to Vancouver to learn new techniques from some of the best.
“I had a mental block from the competition in Ottawa,” he said, explaining he fell backwards during a bout at nationals there last year and has had bad back pain since. But through working with Anthony Dall’Antonia of the Vancouver Arm Wrestling club he overcame his mental block and was ready to win at this year’s worlds.
“I went there hungry,” he said. “But I didn’t get to compete. It wasn’t anybody’s fault, but it’s frustrating.”
But he’s not letting this setback get him down.
“Everything happens for a reason,” he said. And he is already planning his next moves – a competition in Sweden in February, nationals, and maybe a competition or two down south in the U.S.
He also has a new upper body machine on the way to step up training and will be travelling again to Vancouver to learn from experts there.