Casey Bosum makes his debut at national arm wrestling meet

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Arm Wrestling Crest

Casey Bosum continued to make his climb up the competitive arm wrestling ranks earlier in July, when he made his debut at the 2017 Canadian National Armwrestling Championships, held in Halifax over the Canada Day weekend.

Affectionately called “The Beast” by his teachers and fellow students at Beurling Academy in Montreal, where he will enter Secondary IV in September, young Casey now has four years of competitive arm wrestling under his belt.

Now 14 years old, Casey made his competitive debut at age 10 with an impressive third-place finish in the youth category at the prestigious Mike Gould Classic, and placed sixth at the 2016 Quebec provincial championships, where he battled competitors ranging in age from 12 to 14.

Casey faced the stiffest competition of his young arm wrestling career at this year’s Canadian Nationals, battling the country’s best arm wrestlers under the age of 18 in the 75+kilogram category.


While Casey fell short of a title against much older and more physically mature competitors, finishing in seventh place in both the left-handed and right-handed events, the experience will play a key role in his development as an arm wrestler.

Chris Gobby, a Montreal-based arm wrestler who trained extensively with Casey ahead of his recent trip to Halifax, agrees.

And Gobby ought to know. The 13-year arm wrestling veteran counts two Canadian national championship titles among his 150 career victories, along with a bronze medal victory at the Professional Armwrestling Conference world championships in 2006.

“Casey’s natural progression has been strong and consistent as he’s aged,” said Gobby in an interview with the Nation.

“His greatest strength is his table technique and mechanics, while his greatest weakness remains his structural muscular strength.”

While he openly discusses the areas of the game that Casey needs to work on, Gobby remains highly optimistic that time, maturity and a continued commitment to training will enable Casey to easily overcome those youthful issues.

In addition, the former Canadian champion believes the youngster from Oujé-Bougoumou has the necessary mental discipline to excel in the highly competitive arm-wrestling arena.

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“Mental focus is a big part of competition in my sport,” explains Gobby.

“This is where Casey excels way past his age bracket. His mind and aggression, his assertiveness, is well honed. For what reason, I’m not sure. It could be innate. His father doesn’t possess it.”

That is particularly high praise considering that Casey’s father, John Bosum, has established a successful track record of his own in competitive arm wrestling.

Like his son Casey, John was attracted to arm wrestling at a very young age. But it wasn’t until he was in his mid-20s that he began competing in major tournaments, claiming second place in his debut at the Quebec provincial championships, and also taking home second-place honours at the 2009 Mike Gould Classic.

Since that event, John has been squarely focused on being a dad, instilling values in his son like the importance of an education, and the personal value gained from training for events like the Canadian National Armwrestling Championships.

“We had eight months to prepare for Halifax, and we trained our asses off,” said the elder Bosum with a hearty laugh. “And a big thank you to Chris Gobby for helping Casey prepare.”

Part of that training involved having Casey compete in the gym against fellow arm wrestlers up to four years older than him.

“Those 17- and 18-year-olds were pretty strong, but they didn’t realize Casey is only 14, and were very surprised at his power and competitiveness.”

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While John is incredibly passionate about his son’s education and physical development, he had some training of his own to do, preparing to make his first arm-wrestling tournament appearance since 2009 at this year’s Canadian Nationals.

The eight-year layoff seemed to have little effect on the gentle giant, who took home the bronze while competing in the 110+kilogram Men’s Masters class.

While John had little to say about his own achievements in Halifax, he was eager to heap praise on community and family members, whose sponsorship made their road trip to Halifax possible.

“A big thank you to the OJ band for their major sponsorship, and also special thanks to Stella Diamond, Casey’s aunt, who helped us by going around Waskaganish with a sponsorship sheet and raised well over $500. We couldn’t have done it without them.”

With the Canadian Nationals behind him and no arm-wrestling tournaments scheduled in the immediate future, it remains unclear what comes next for Casey, who is focused on training and spending time with family before returning to school in September.


“I will stick to the same training methods for now,” said the youngster. “But most importantly, I need to learn how to lose before I can become a national champion. My opponent is not the guy across the table from me, my opponent is myself, and my first victory comes from applying what I have learned from my training.”

Casey’s comments echo those of Gobby, when asked what advice the former champion would offer to an aspiring young arm wrestler.

“Embrace and prepare for the fact you have hard losses coming,” said Gobby. “Fall in love with the essence and community of arm wrestling, and you will embark on a great and fruitful journey.”


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