Summer Games arm wrestling medalists visit Bloomington Elementary School

Medals for the Utah Summer Games are displayed at an assembly held at Bloomington Elementary School, St. George, Utah, April 4, 2014 | Photo by Hollie Reina, St. George News

ST. GEORGE – Utah Summer Games 2012 arm wrestling medalists Jeff and Summer Kirby, along with Games Director Casey McClellan and Sports Director Bob Tate, met with fifth graders at Bloomington Elementary School on Friday to promote the sport and increase interest in the games.

The games, which open in June, are set to celebrate their 29th year bringing sporting competition to Utah.

Though arm wrestling’s history with the games is spotty – with years, including 2013, when it was not included – it has made an appearance in 20 of the last 29 years.

The Kirbys, who have taken over as coordinators of the  arm wrestling competition, said that they hope to make it permanent.

L-R Gage Baresco, 11, Jeff Kirby, and Ian Burge, 11. Baresco and Burge arm wrestle while Kirby referee's at an assembly held at Bloomington Elementary to promote arm wrestling as a sport in the Utah Summer Games, St. George, Utah, April 4, 2014 | Photo by Hollie Reina, St. George News
L-R Gage Baresco, 11, Jeff Kirby, and Ian Burge, 11. Baresco and Burge arm wrestle while Kirby referees at an assembly held at Bloomington Elementary School to promote arm wrestling as a sport in the Utah Summer Games, St. George, Utah, April 4, 2014 | Photo by Hollie Reina, St. George News

“We want to make this thing super awesome,” Summer Kirby said. “We want it to stand out and shine.”

Sports Director Tate said he is excited to have the Kirbys at the helm of this competition.

“They’ve got the spirit,” Tate said. “We’re excited.”

The Kirby’s have a long history with the sport which has become a family affair. Two of their children, Alissa, 6, and Jarett, 11, will be competing in this summer’s games along with their father.

Jeff Kirby addressed the students and talked about the history of arm wrestling, the rules and the technique of the sport.

“Arm wrestling takes three things that I like to call the ‘three S’s,’” Kirby said. “They are speed, strength and skill – with skill being the most important.”

Summer Kirby spoke mostly to the girls in attendance, promoting arm wrestling as a sport for all, not just for boys.

Jarett Kirby and Jeff Kirby demonstrate to the students the proper form for arm wrestling at an assembly held at Bloomington Elementary, St. George, Utah, April 4, 2014 | Photo by Hollie Reina, St. George News
Jarett Kirby and Jeff Kirby demonstrate to the students the proper form for arm wrestling at an assembly held at Bloomington Elementary School, St. George, Utah, April 4, 2014 | Photo by Hollie Reina, St. George News

After the presentation, the students were given the opportunity to compete against each other.

“It was hard,” Ian Burge, a fifth grader, who participated in the wrestling, said. “My hand started shaking.”

In addition to the Kirby’s presentation, Games Director McClellan spoke to the students about the Games and expressed the importance of education.

“In athletic competition it is not always about the biggest and the strongest,” McClellen said, “sometimes it’s the smartest.”

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Resources

  • For more information or to register for a sporting competition visit the Utah Summer Games website.
  • For more information regarding arm wrestling email Jeff and Summer Kirby: sj-Kirby@hotmail.com.

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Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2014, all rights reserved.

 

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1 Comment

  • eagle eye July 7, 2014 at 6:09 am

    God bless Them Kirbys. I know jeff and summer from years back and would like to say they are an outstanding people. Jeff has overcome so much adversity in life and Summer as well. I really wanted to make it out their this year and see their family compete. Eagle eye was a name I had for their son who i LIKE TO SAY IS ONE TOUGH KID. My Heart goes out to your city for Hosting this competition year after year.

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