SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The world championships for arm wrestling begin next week in Malaysia, and one woman from Viborg is representing Team USA.
Beth Saltzman began arm wrestling in 2011. After competing for three years, she took eight years off before picking the sport back up in November. Less than a year later, she will be one of roughly 30 people on Team USA at the world championships.
“I’m so excited,” Saltzman said. “I can’t even explain how excited I am and I’m probably going to cry. It’s an opportunity of a lifetime.”
“She’s going, she’s going up,” said Trapper Saltzman, Beth’s husband and coach. “She’s not even a full year back into the sport after being eight years out, which is honestly, that’s unheard of.”
Saltzman qualified after competing at the national championships in Illinois in the spring. The mother of six qualified for the world championships with both arms, but she is determined to have a good showing.
“Obviously I want to win,” Beth said. “I just want to go there and hopefully there’s no injuries. Hope that I do well, plan to win.”
The pride and honor of representing South Dakota and the United State abroad stretches far beyond just Saltzman.
“It is so cool for her to do this and to have achieved it in both arms representing Team USA,” Trapper said. “It’s the pinnacle of our sport and and to be able to wear the American flag in another country. Does it get any better than that? I don’t think so.”
Saltzman has a 24 hour flight ahead of her, along with a 13 hour time change. As Beth arrived at the airport Thursday, she was surprised at by her parents, family and friends to see her off and wish her luck.
“It means so much,” Beth said. “I had no idea any of them were coming, so it meant a lot to me.”
The world championship begins on Tuesday. Saltzman will be competing on Friday and Saturday. She will return home on Oct. 1.