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Cynthia Yerby

Cynthia Yerby

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Cynthia Yerby

Cynthia Yerby, 54 (5'7"). One of the best armwrestlers in the world, Oklahoma, USA (belongs to the Indian tribe Seminole.) Ten-time world champion, seven-time "Queen of Arms". Mother of two, academic counselor at Seminole State College

Tell us briefly about yourself and your family.

I would like you to know that I am a college counselor. I have my Associate degree, my bachelor’s degree and my master’s degree. I have been married for 30 years to Monty and I have two sons, Josh (22) and Matt (19). We live in a small country town called Wolf, Oklahoma (population 50).

Do you keep connections with your Indian tribe Seminole?

Yes, I am a full blood Seminole from Oklahoma. There is also the Seminole Tribe of Florida that I consider very dear to my heart. They have given me support in all my endeavors in this sport. I give all the credit to the Seminole Tribe of Florida for my success.

How did you come to armwrestling?

I started armwrestling 16 years ago, when I was 38. I am a college counselor and I had a student that was into armwrestling. He invited me to watch one of his tournaments and the rest in the history department. I became smitten with the sport. When I went to watch that college student armwrestled and tried it myself, I found that I sort of had a knack for it. It came natural to me.

What were your first steps into the sport?

I armwrestled local people for a few years at local tournaments. Then one day I watched a movie about the yearly World championships in Petaluma, California. I became curious and called the local police department in that town and asked if they really had a tournament and if they did I wanted to know what I needed to do to participate. I was invited to compete and ended up winning 3rd at my first attempt. The first person I pulled that day was the legendary Dot Jones from California. She has since retired. She is a television and movie star now.

Did you defeat Dot Jones?

No, I did not defeat Dot Jones. At the time, she was so far ahead of me in the sport. It was my first professional tournament. I wasn't privy to techniques or anything. She dominated the sport while she was still competing. She has a very intimidating presence.

What are you major achievements in the sport?

I just won the United States National in Denver, Colorado in August 2006. I am a current United States National Champion in my weight class. I am also ranked #1 in my class in the United States. I have won many titles. I possess 10 national titles, 10 World Championships, more than 20 State titles.

What is your weight class?

The 177lb+ class.

What armwrestling gives to you?

I have a passion for armwrestling. I love it. It's a personal thing. It's you power against someone else. The sport has taken me all over the world. I have been very fortunate.

Who would be your toughest opponent?

I consider every armwrestler a challenge and do not take anyone for granted. I believe I would have to single out Mary McConnaughey from Nebraska, USA as my number one challenger.

You got the title of “Queen of Arms" many time. What is this title about?

Yes, I am the current "New York Queen of Arms" I have won the title 7 times. The New York Armwrestling Association (NYAA) awards the title. Gene Camp is the President of this organization. NYAA puts on a great competition every year for the titles of the King and the Queen of the Arms. I love Gene Camp and the people of New York. I look forward to this tournament every year. It is an awesome competition! Next year is the 30th anniversary of this Pro Championship.

Do you consider armwrestling as a peculiar activity or a real sport?

Armwrestling is definitely a real sport. If you don't believe it, get into a tournament and pull someone.

Do you have special favorite tricks in armwrestling?

I believe I have a lot of speed and power when I armwrestle.

What was your longest and shortest armwrestling matches?

The longest match I ever had was with Vika Gabagkova from Russia (I don't know what I was thinking, this lady was unbeatable) I have a lot of respect for her, she is lengendary. I never even came close to beating her. There are many short matches. I try to get a match over as quickly as possible.

How often do you have training and what it consist in?

I do something every day to help with my armwrestling. Mostly, pulling exercises.

Besides armwrestling, what other sports have you practiced?

When I was in college, I played softball, field hockey, and basketball.

Did you compete against men?

I have competed against men but only in jest. Nothing serious.

Did you try armwrestle your husband?

I used to practice with my husband but that's all.

Do you feel yourself as a special woman?

I feel that I am an ordinary woman that has done some extraordinary things. I do!

Perfect answer! Do you stand out among ordinary women? Is it visible for other people that you are an armwrestler?

I don't feel that it is visible that I am an armwrestler because I do the same thing other women do. I am a mother, a wife and I work everyday and take care of my family. If you saw me in the market I don't think you would say "Hey, there's an armwrestler.”

Do you experience any mockery from “ordinary” people?

No, I don't experience any mockery. Most people are proud of me and very gracious to me about my success.

Do you really believe that women should do whatever men do?

I believe women can be very competitive in anything they set their mind to.

Do you think a man still must be gallant and attentive toward a woman even if the woman is strong and self-confident?

I believe that a man should always be gracious and courteous to a woman and a woman should indeed show the same respect to a man. Common courtesy goes a long way in my book.

Do your sons practice any sports?

Both of my sons are active in the sport of armwrestling. Josh, my oldest son has won the Kansas State Championship and Matt, my youngest son has placed as high as 5th in a class with 16 competitors. They are both still learning.

Thank you very much for your excellent answers and for your time! Have a lot of fun and many more titles! Enjoy the sport, your family, friends and fans!

I want to thank you too for asking me for this interview and I hope it is what you wanted.

Actress and armwrestler Dot Jones, the first Cynthia's formidable opponent.

>Dot Jones

The toughest Cynthia's opponent Mary-McConnaughey


Cynthia Yerby on the tournament "Pinarm", 2003

Cynthia Yerby

Cynthia Yerby on the USA open in 2004

Cynthia Yerby

Cynthia Yerby on the USA open in 2005

Cynthia Yerby

King and Queen of Arms - Cynthia Yerby and Marcio Barboza (Brazil), 2004

Cynthia Yerby

King and Queen of Arms - Cynthia Yerby and Giorgi Gelashvili (Republic of Georgia), 2006

Cynthia Yerby

Cynthia wrestles a friend

Cynthia Yerby

Cynthia Yerby against Viktoria Acveland in 2003

Cynthia Yerby

Cynthia Yerby against Cindy Looney in 2006

Cynthia Yerby

Cynthia Yerby in a 2002 match

Cynthia Yerby

Cynthia Yerby in action

Cynthia Yerby

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