Get to know Travis Bagent from his home in Shepherdstown, W.Va., to the Nemiroff World Cup table. Proclaimed the greatest left-handed arm wrestler of all time, Bagent was also the announcer at the 2011 Reebok CrossFit Games and is a devoted father and coach.
Bagent won the 2005 Nemiroff World Cup wrestling right-handed but had never been back until this year. Starting in 2006, he began coaching youth football for his son, and the season overlapped with the arm-wrestling championship. In addition to coaching football, Bagent also coaches his football players, his own children and the local college soccer team in CrossFit.
This year, Bagent came back to face the 2010 Nemiroff World Cup champion, Denis Cyplenkov, who is also renowned for his right- and left-handed arm wrestling. According to Neil Pickup, founder of Arm Wars, Cyplenkov is known for his power, while Bagent is known for his speed.
“You’ve got the classic match-up potential here—it’s the boxer against the puncher,” Pickup says. Despite the success of these two arm wrestlers, Pickup chooses Andrey Pushkar of Ukraine to win the title based on his close finishes in the past.
Bagent talks strategy and prepares for the tournament. He’s confident.
“My left hand’s never went down to a foreigner, ever. If you weren’t born in North America, I’ve never even allowed you even one win left-handed,” he says. “There’s a lot of them looking, you know, forward to seeing me fall.”
When arms are locked up and the contest starts, Bagent competes in his characteristically colorful style against the best in his sport.
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Additional video: Arm-Wrestling Technique With Travis Bagent.