Axe Throwing Instant Hit With Weightlifters
March 02, 2018
By Steve Wartenberg
When Halle Russell walked by the axe throwing space, something happened on a molecular level to the weightlifter from Texas. “I said, hey, that’s axe throwing; I have to do it,” she said. “My body forgot all about weightlifting and I needed to throw an axe. I could be an axe thrower.” And so, Russell tossed a few axes, along with her friend and fellow weightlifter Gerald See, from California. It was love at first fling. “We’re here to try other sports, and when we saw axe throwing, it had to be one of them,” See said. “This is awesome.”
Axe throwing is one of the new events at the 30th Arnold Sports Festival, and the yearly addition of new and exciting sports is one of the many reasons the Arnold continues to grow and is the world’s largest multi-sport event. The first Arnold Axe Throwing Championship will be held on Sunday and feature the top talent, as well as wood-be lumberjacks.
“Axe throwing is a new phenomenon,” said Marty Parker, president of Bucket List Productions and the owner of two (and soon to be three) Columbus-area axe-throwing clubs. He’s the organizer of the axe throwing competition, and also the cages where Arnold attendees can try out the sport.
Hundreds took the opportunity to throw a few axes because: It’s totally fun. And cathartic, competitive and primal.
With some help from Parker, here’s the secret to accurate axing: Start with two hands, even though throwing one-handed seems more intuitive. And then, it’s all in the follow through. “You want to end up in the Superman pose, like a ski jumper landing,” said Parker, who was decked out in a bright-red and plaid suit to honor the lumberjacking heritage of the sport.
On his very first attempt See’s axe landed an inch from the bullseye.
“I had to beat Halle,” he said, adding he’d also tried his hand (or is it hands?) at pole dancing. “I thought I could revolutionize the sport with our weightlifter’s grip,” he said.
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