VIBORG, S.D. (KELO) — Beth Saltzman from Viborg recently traveled to Malaysia for the arm wrestling world championships. She claimed gold competing in her right arm and bronze with her left.
After an eight year hiatus from the sport, Saltzman began arm wrestling again last November. Less than a year later, she can make the claim of best in the world.
“Definitely not something that I ever would have thought I could achieve – world champion,” Saltzman said. “It’s pretty huge.”
“It was pretty darn exciting to watch her hand getting raised and holding the American flag up behind her on the podium,” Beth’s husband Trapper Saltzman said. “It was pretty surreal.
The Viborg community rallied around Saltzman as she competed halfway around the globe. Several sponsors contributed to make the trip possible.
While she was competing in Malaysia, viewing parties were held back home. The Viborg mother has become a celebrity in the small town.
“I can’t even believe the amount of support I’ve had,” Beth said. “Small town but like huge on supporting me. So, Viborg and all the surrounding towns, it’s been incredible.”
“It was a strength,” Trapper said. “You could literally watch it and feel it. Everywhere you went between work and then going to the grocery stores, gas stations. Everywhere I went, everybody wanted constant updates.”
With a pair of medals already in hand, the Saltzmans use her triumph as a teaching moment for their children.
“If you put in the work, the hard work, the dedication, the endless hours, the pain going in, and it’s all worth it,” Trapper said. “You reach Everest. That’s what she did.”
Team USA received the overall team gold at the World Championships. Saltzman hopes to compete again at the world championships, which are in Greece next year.