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Warrant Officer Vince Squires wins Manitoba Provincial Arm Wrestling Championship

By Martin Zeilig

 

From his bulging biceps to his thick forearms, Warrant Officer Vincent Squires, who works at the Transition Centre, has an imposing pair of powerful arms.

His stocky body is a mass of muscle.



He put those arms to good use on May 4 at the Assiniboine Gordon Inn at the 2024 Manitoba Provincial Arm Wrestling Championships where WO Squires won four individual gold medals in two 198 pound divisions—the Open Category and the Masters plus 40. The gold medals were for winning both his right hand and left hand matches.


He also won a team gold medal.

The entire competition attracted participants from throughout Manitoba. There were four to five competitors in the two categories WO Squires took part in, he said during an interview with the Voxair on May 9.


“The competition was pretty close,” WO Squires said.


 “I had one good match with a competitor from Steinbach. I’ve had a few battles with him. He hasn’t been able to get me. But, it was a difficult match for the right hand.”


He added that the Manitoba Arm Wrestling Association also said there was going to be a team category.



“I immediately started looking around to see if I could put a team together,” WO Squires said.


“They added up the points and I had five people on my team, who also finished in first place in their respective divisions. We were called the Grip Titans. We competed against other teams, and we came out on top.”


It was almost inevitable that he got into competitive arm wrestling.


“I’ve always enjoyed strength sports, and I worked out as young boy with my dad in the gym,” said WO Squires, who was born and raised in Thompson, Manitoba-- located about 760 kilometres north of Winnipeg.


“I would arm wrestle with my uncle. My dad is a heavy duty mechanic and my uncle is a farmer in The Pas (520 km northwest of Winnipeg). When I was seventeen there was an arm wrestling competition in the mall and I won it. I kind of dabbled after that in a few different competitions.”


After he joined the Canadian Armed Forces and started his trade as an AVN Technician, he gave up arm wrestling.


“It was too hard to do it with my job,” he confessed.

 So for the next ten years, he didn’t participate in arm wrestling competitions.


“Then, when I was at CFB Moose Jaw an arm wrestler came through on the course I was teaching about the Tutor (jet trainer used by the Snowbirds aerobatics team),” WO Squires, who’s been in the CAF for 23 years now, continued.


“We arm wrestled and he beat me, and he connected me with some other arm wrestlers in the Moose Jaw area.”


He’s never looked back.

“I’ve been all over Canada as an arm wrestler,” WO Squires said.

“I’ve won multiple provincial titles in Manitoba and Saskatchewan. This past arm wrestling season, I’ve won two other tournaments, one in the fall and one in March.”


That later tournament was an “East vs. West” qualifier held in Steinbach for a competition in Florida, he explained.


If you won that then you’d go to Turkey for a Pay for View East vs. West tournament.

“But, I decided not to go to Florida because it was too close to the provincials,” WO Squires said.


He trains in the gym several times a week using a specific set of exercises to increase his arm and grip strength.


“You want to be strong and explosive (when competing),” WO Squires explained.


 “You want to be able to maintain that explosiveness. So, you want to get a good hit off the go. And, you want to be knowledgeable of the different arm wrestling techniques and you want to be able to counter those, and to impose your technique and will on others.”


He observed that his blocky body type has some advantage in arm wrestling.

“But, the opposite is someone who’s long and thin and uses a lot of leverage,” he pointed out, noting that the average match takes 15-20 seconds.


“Sometimes you can’t force that much power on someone who has a longer lever. They can pull you out of your lane onto their side of the table. It’s not all brute strength. My hardest competition is against someone who is tall and lean and can use their bones as lever and not over to my side of the table.”


As with all sports, arm wrestlers have their share of injuries.

“I’ve had tennis elbow and golfer’s elbow,” WO Squires said.


 “I was out for about six months last month with an injury. It took six months to overcome and train again that particular arm.”


His next competition will be at the National Arm Wrestling Championship (Masters Category) in Gatineau, Quebec on June 28. 


“If anyone is interested in arm wrestling, they can approach me at the gym (Building 90) and I’ll connect them to the sport,” he said.


Who knows? You could end up becoming an arm wrestling champion, too, one day.

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