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ABERDEEN â€” Shawn Kirkpatrick has been training for arm wrestling since he was 12 and after his latest competition in Reno, Nevada, he can now tout the title "the best in the United States" as he took first place in the 2012 USAF Unified National Championship in left 64kg open men's division. Winning this title pulls him in as a qualifier to compete for the National Championship in Saio, Brazil.
Kirkpatrick a BHS graduate and Blackfoot resident also shares his passion with his two children Troy (10) and Justina (8). Justina said of the sport, "This has been my biggest career since I was three." Troy said, " She's the littlest but can throw most of the boys."
The family showed off their talents during Aberdeen Daze where Kirkpatrick has hosted an Arm Wrestling Tournament for the last 6 years. Kirkpatrick also refs at other events and trains in Salt Lake City with John Brazink, "One of the best arm wrestlers there is." said Kirkpatrick.
Arm wrestling is a serious sport. Kirkpatrick explains, "The most common injury for men is having the tendon tear off the bicep. Women tend to get a lot of broken arms. Men do too, but not as often. I have broken arms during my career." The sport isn't just about strength. It is also about tendon strength, positioning and technique. Kirkpatrick has been able to stay injury free since 2007.