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Colo. muscleman preparing to compete for title of World Armwrestling Champion

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Arm wrestling competitor Chris Kaufman

Arm wrestling competitor Chris Kaufman

FORT COLLINS, Colo. — Just as Colorado’s Olympic athletes return home from London with the gold – another fierce competitor from our state is preparing to represent the u-s-a on the world stage.

He’s hoping a world championship is within arm’s reach.

He’s competing in the 2012 World Armwrestling Federation World Championship in Sao Vicente, Brazil next month.

Chris Kaufman, 27, is a Colorado State University graduate who works as a software engineer for Otterbox in Fort Collins by day.  But at night, he’s hard at work as a professional armwrestler, hitting the gym, training for the world title.

“It`s a little different.  Not very many people do it.  Actually everybody does it, just not many people do it professionally,” Kaufman told FOX 31 Denver.

For most of us, armwrestling is a sport played out at the bar, with buddies, fueled by bravado and booze.  But for Kaufman, armwrestling is serious business.

“I train Brazilian jujitsu on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and that`s for about two hours.  And then I lift for a bit afterwards.  And on Tuesday or Thursday I train specifically for armwrestling,” he said.

“It`s a lot harder than people think, that`s for sure.”

And he`ll put all that hard work on the line, when he goes for the international title, representing Team USA September 10-18 in Brazil.

“It is going to be nuts,” he said.

Already, he`s the best left handed arm wrestler in all of Colorado.

“In right handed I came in runner-up all weight divisions, but I`m confident and I feel I`m the best left and right handed in Colorado,” Kaufman said.

That confidence, along with arms like Popeye`s, will help him on the world stage.  But his coach says, his secret weapon is his technique.

“His power, his style, his very explosive style.  It`s not a muscle match, even though he`s a very muscular build and very strong looking dude, and i think his technique outdoes that and he comes so powerful and so fast,” said Brian Zehler, Kaufman’s coach and owner of Z’s Training Gym in Fort Collins.

Too bad even an international victory won’t bring the fame and glory bestowed on bigger name athletes in better-known sports.  But if Kaufman comes home with the gold, he will have something to brag about.  And a title, no other computer geek could ever dream of.

“I could just sit there at a computer, and then go home every night and go to sleep, but i don`t see the point in not seeing your body`s full potential.  And seeing what it`s capable of.  So to settle for anything else would just be a shame, really,” Kaufman said.

Believe it or not, in some countries, armwrestling is such a serious sport, athletes are paid full time salaries to train and compete.  Not so with Kaufman. In fact he has to pay his own to Brazil for the competition next month.  He is looking for sponsors, so if you want to help, click here:  http://www.gofundme.com/TeamUSAKaufman

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