Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Great Granny at 4 Feet 11, Woman Is Arm-Wrestling Legend

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Great Granny at 4 Feet 11, Woman Is Arm-Wrestling Legend

Article excerpt

She is a 4-foot-11, 85-pound legend of a great-grandmother, a little ol' lady who is anything but.

She has been known to grab a 200-pound man by the shirt collar and back him up against a wall; she once watched her son pick up a fumble in a Little League football game, then raced down the sideline with him as he went in for a touchdown; and she actually jumped up on a stage, donned some feathers and danced after that same son beat a fellow named "Chief Red Eagle" in an arm wrestling match.

She is Sue Patton, and don't mess with her.

"I always say you're only as old as you feel," said Patton, who turned 69 on Friday.

So, how old do you feel?

"Oh, I don't know, maybe 30 or 35, about Dave's age."

Dave, 35, is her son, a man who won his 35th world arm wrestling title Friday night and might be, pound-for-pound, the best arm wrestler in the world. His mom is his coach.

In fact, Sue Patton is a lot of people's unofficial coach. She is the so-called First Lady of Arm Wrestling - coach, promoter, director, organizer, fan.

"I would say she is a self-motivator," Dave said, grinning at his understatement.

Friday, though, she helped motivate Dave as he competed at the $45,000 Yukon Jack World Arm Wrestling Championships in New York. More than 100 men and women from 20 nations are expected to compete in the weekend competition.

Dave retained his title in the 165-pound-and-under classification Friday night.

The Yukon Jack competition is one massive festival of bulging biceps and veins, something like the scene every Wednesday night at Dave Patton's home in Centreville, Va., a few miles down the road from his mom's place in Chantilly.

Those gatherings at Dave's place are far less organized, meaningful and intense, but they are no less about arm wrestling than the World Championships. Every Wednesday night, in Dave's basement from about 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., 10 or 15 people - sometimes as many as 30 or 40 - will get together and practice arm wrestling on one of three special tables.

All the while, Sue will be there coaching. She will guide a newcomer on hand placement or advise a veteran on a slight adjustment to his elbow. …

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