ST. GEORGE — No. 1 on the list of “things not a good idea” would be arm-wrestling with Lisa Wolfley. Because you’d probably lose.
Wolfley, 47, recently traveled to Malaysia to compete in the “37th World Armwrestling Championship.” She ended up walking out with the gold medal in the right-handed 70-kilogram weight class and the silver medal for left-handed arm-wrestling.
“I’ve always been a weight lifter,” Wolfley said. “Ever since I was 16 years old I was bodybuilding. I’ve always been strong, so working in the gym four days a week, just working on the muscle mass. There is specific arm-wrestling training you do with cables and bands and straps.”
Wolfley has overcome some huge hurdles to make it this far. About 20 years ago, Wolfley said, she was addicted to drugs and alcohol and gave up the sport professionally.
The addictions eventually sent her to jail and she lost custody of her son. While in jail, she turned her life around.
Wolfley earned her GED, or General Educational Development degree, beat her addictions and converted to membership in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. After her release, she earned an associate degree in health and exercise science and gained custody of her son back.
She began arm-wrestling competitively again in 2007, recently winning a spot in the world championship held Sept. 27-Oct. 3 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Wolfley won the right-handed competition in her age and weight class and placed second in the left-handed competition.
Wolfley moved to St. George from the Salt Lake City area recently.
“I love it here; I love the red desert, I love the heat, everything about this city,” she said. “I fell in love with Zion, I fell in love with mountain biking, I fell in love with the red desert. You can go anywhere and be amazed by the beauty here in St. George.”
Next up for the champ?
“I will hold a few tournaments here in St. George,” Wolfley said. “People have asked me, ‘where do you go after worlds?’ It’s not about where I go, it’s who I inspire and who I motivate – who I can help stay in the sport. Obviously there’s less women than men in the sport and I want more women to get involved and to learn all about the sport and to keep them motivated.”
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