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Shame! Embarrassment! # Armwrestling #

I've just seen a video of two guys approaching an armwrestling table, seemingly to armwrestle. No! First, they talk a little and then one hits the other in the face with a soda can. Then the fiasco continues, someone stops it and that's the end. ()

No! That wasn't the end! It went viral and was connected to the search word "armwrestling" for the longest time!

No matter where and who planned and executed this. What matters is that it ruined the image of our sport for many people for years. All the work of national and international federations, clubs, trainers and armwrestling people went down the drain. The same happened to the image of armwrestling as a "normal" combat sport, a sport that allows people of all ages to participate, especially the disabled people. People who see armwrestling as more than a sport.

How hard we had to work to turn the tables and show armwrestling as more than a "bar sport" that's associated with alcohol and fights, show armwrestling as a regular sport, with Olympic perspectives as well...

Then someone, doesn't matter who - hits their rival in the face and shows it to the world.

Shame! Embarrassment!

Now, I'm writing to those of you who can't be fooled by the trash-talk and media plays. Let's think together...

If a small subject, let's say, with close to no recognition, does something shocking, their popularity grows and they can feel it immediately. It sometimes happens that some benefits come from it, too. If an actess, previously relatively unknown, suffers from a wardrobe malfunction on the red carpet, she's almost sure to receive lots of media coverage and offers. It happens to people, organizations, events, including sport. If a figure skater flips the judges off in their programme, they definitely won't score high but the world will know about them.

That's definitely what the people fighting, quite literally, at the armwrestling table were hoping for. It's certain that their plan will succeed and they will receive more views.

But - for how long?

Now, let's assume that someone from our community wants to organize a tournament. They turn to a school to rent out the sports hall, ask the city government for patronage, look for sponsors.

The school board has no idea what armwrestling is. They reschedule.

The government, local media - same story.

The sponsors say they will reach them in a few days...

Now, let's assume someone treats them seriously, as they should, and upon being asked for patronage, rent-out, sponsorship, they search the internet to ask: what is armwrestling?

They search for the keyword "armwrestling" and see the video of two "armwrestlers" hitting each other in the faces at the table. They tell others, and others, and our potential organizer can say goodbye to any help.

To the authors and conductors of this "idea" - I have a few questions:

What kind of sponsors are you looking for?

What media are you hoping for?

What sort of audience do you want to invite to your events?

To finish off: I know the image of our sport is changing, not always for the better. I know that professional hockey is full of fist fights. But, let's remember - professional hockey's position in the world of sports is much stronger than ours.

I know I'm not a saint and I also took part in a few fights at sports events. About 50 years ago...

I still think, though, that armwrestling is a sport of gentlemen and it shouldn't be promoted in this "fashionable" way.

All the best! I hope this incident was just an incident.


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