SOUTHINGTON - Town resident Ron Ermini will travel to Budapest, Hungary in September to compete among 3,000 people from 60 countries at the 39th Annual World Arm Wrestling Championships.
Ermini has been arm wrestling since 1988 when he was 18 years old. He has won more than 300 trophies, which line the complete right side of his garage.
“I beat everyone I challenged in school so I went to a local tournament in my home town in New Hampshire and took first place,” he said.
Ermini said he then met up with a professional trainer who trained him for 10 years. He moved to Connecticut in 1996 and to Southington in 2004.
Ermini now trains weekly with a dedicated group of friends including Danny Cheng, of Cheshire; Judah Thomas and Marc Piatek, of Southington; and Bob Paradis, of Bristol, practicing both using and defending against techniques such as the top roll and the hook.
He also trains on a Ross Machine, which is set with a weight and is intended to simulate an arm wrestling opponent.
Ermini typically trains both of his arms against 75 pounds of weight. However, he said his record is training up to 205 pounds.
Recently, that training paid off when Ermini qualified to compete as part of Team USA at a nationals competition at Lake Tahoe. He will be in Budapest Sept. 2 through 11, with the competition itself starting Sept. 4.
“It will be my first time there. I’m still looking for things to do as far as sightseeing,” said Ermini. “I will be arm wrestling for three days, possibly four, while I’m there. I’m pumped; it will be tough, that’s for sure. My wife has been pushing me to keep up my training leading up to this. Training has been my big focus.”
There will be a fundraiser to support Ermini’s trip to Budapest July 21 from 7 to 11 p.m. at the American Legion at 66 Main St. For a $25 donation, visitors will be able to enjoy a buffet and cash bar.
Brian M. Johnson can be reached at 860-973-1806 or firstname.lastname@example.org.