BRACEBRIDGE - Strong arms apparently run in one Bracebridge family.
LIKE MOTHER, LIKE SON.
Professional arm wrestler Ashley Maher and son Jakob Chilton flex their biceps following a remarkable performance at the Mike Gould Classic arm-wrestling competition in early April. Seven-year-old Jakob competed for the first time in the event and emerged with a bronze medal, while his mother earned two bronze medals in the amateur and professional class.
Competing at the Mike Gould Classic arm-wrestling competition in Toronto at the beginning of April, professional arm wrestler Ashley Maher and her seven-year-old son Jakob Chilton both took home bronze medals. It was the first time competing for Chilton, who entered the contest in the 0-69 pound category with his right hand.
Coach Joey Costello said that in Canada, the event is second only to the Canadian championships in terms of prestige.
“For a person to do this well at their first tournament shows real potential,” Costello said of Chilton’s performance.
Maher took home a bronze medal during the event’s amateur competition, a bronze medal in the professional class, and a fifth-place finish in a professional class category above her own.
Although Maher had competed in the same competition before, returning to the competition this year was an immense test of inner strength.
“Ashley Maher broke her arm at this same event one year ago and received overwhelming praise and respect from her fellow competitors for not only having the courage to return to the sport, but also to place as high as she did,” said Costello.
At the time, Maher’s injuries to her left arm were severe enough to require eight screws and a metal plate to get it working again. The injury left her left arm immobilized for several months and although Maher is right-handed, the damage made it impossible to perform even simple tasks like tying her shoelaces. Recovery required months of intensive acupuncture and physiotherapy.
Maher, however, quickly bounced back. Competing with her right arm, she won a gold medal in the Canadian National Arm Wrestling Championships this past fall and went on to represent Canada at the World Arm Wrestling Competition in Kazakhstan in November. In a previous Examiner article, Costello had noted Maher’s courage for putting her remaining healthy arm on the line.
Both Jakob and Maher are hoping to compete at a provincial arm-wrestling championship in Barrie next month.