May 5, 2014 8:56 pm

Arm wrestling grandmother makes championship comeback a family affair

Thirteen-time arm wrestling world champion Joyce King is coming out of retirement and making her comeback with children and grandchildren in tow.

The Kings are a family of professional arm wrestlers from Hainsville, N.B., who learned everything they know from the strong-armed matriarch

After taking five years off, 49-year-old Joyce is preparing to compete at this year’s National Arm Wrestling Championships in Charlottetown, P.E.I.

The mother of two and grandmother of three knows her stuff.

“When you are at the table, forget everything and use your power and knowledge and just try to last longer than your opponent,” she told Global News.

These are all valuable tips she’s passed on to her daughter Jessica, son Cody and grandchildren Josie, Hailey and Jaxon. All of them are set to compete at the championships later this month.

Her 26-year-old daughter Jessica has also been crowned with three world titles, but she said she has a long way to go to catch up with her mother and coach.

“I am working my way up,” she laughed.

Thirteen-time arm wrestling world champion Joyce King, pictured with her daughter Jessica, is coming out of retirement and making her comeback with children and grandchildren in tow.

Shelley Steeves/Global News

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“Everybody knew who [my] mom was,” Jessica said. “She was this big arm wrestler. So, the want to follow in her footsteps… it just had to happen.”

There have never been any “dainty” women in the family, she added.

“Strength is just part of our family make up.” said Joyce.

But, their family bond is even stronger than their grips.

“I can be tough this way, but soft the other,” Joyce said, like when she sees her five-year-old grandchildren compete.

“Sometimes they cry when they lose and it’s heartbreaking, but they have to win and lose,” she said.

She said that’s just a part of the sport — one that is alive and well across the Maritimes, according New Brunswick Arm Wrestling Association President Luc Faubert.

Faubert said arm flies under most people’s radar.

“We’ve got caliber of world championships all over New Brunswick that people haven’t even heard of,” he told Global News.

Along with the King family, he hopes to increase the sport’s popularity in the region.

“Now it’s time to just bring more people in and cover the rest of the classes.”

But he’ll be hard pressed to find another family like the Kings: It seems they were simply were just born to be arm benders.

The Kings will compete at the Canadian National Arm Wrestling Championships in Charlottetown May 17-18.

© Shaw Media, 2014

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